Wednesday, November 18, 2015

An Open letter to the Hyundai, Innocean and their New Media Agency Canvas Worldwide

What Your Dealers Want Need from Your New Social Media Agency

1.  Qualified Leads and Showroom Traffic

Given Hyundai’s reputation for excellence, I’m confident your new agency will curate top notch content.  And they’ll leverage the appropriate influencers to stimulate brand and even nameplate advocacy—in pursuit of the next Fiesta Movement.  And, no doubt you’ve already set-up a real-time, #NewsJacking “news room” to produce the next “dunk in the dark” success story.  All that is essential.  But it’s not how your Dealers will ultimately measure success. Remember the recent New York Times article, "The Gap Between Auto Dealers and Social Media?" Particularly when you begin to encourage them to participate and spend their money, invest their time.  What will they want to know?  “How many qualified leads did this produce?  If you want me to invest my money and time, how many leads do you think it will produce?  Will it result in measurable, qualified showroom traffic, and more importantly sales?” The answers on how to do this are out there.

2.  They Want Choice

Agency newsrooms are adept at curating clever content.  And there are a number of social media publishing tools that are designed to push content onto Dealer Social Media accounts.  Unfortunately, all-too-often, it’s the same content that gets published to every page. Dealers hate that and are growing increasingly frustrated with it. Why? They’re working hard to differentiate themselves more and more, and the homogeneous “pushed” content is working against them. Technology solutions sound great but they only go so far to solve social challenges.  What’s the solution? Seek out a publishing partner that offers variable content.  Editable content.  Customizable sweeps apps that will allow them to support DMA-specific sponsorships, or even Dealer-specific events and promotions. Customizable test drive apps that do the same.  Look for a publisher that offers the Dealer lots of choice and you’ll be richly rewarded.

3.  They Want More Control

Savvy Dealerships and Internet Managers want more control of the message.  Not just the content, but how it looks and when it’s published.  They want to take the national message, and make it theirs.  (It’s that entrepreneurial culture you mention in your press release.)  What if you unleashed their creativity? What if you let them experiment? What if you gave them the tools and teams to liberate their creativity? They can be smarter (and much more effective) than you think.  And when 100, 200, or 1,000+ dealers work together…the results can be gold.

4.  They Want To Conquest 

What’s your social media agency’s plan to (a) locate competitive, in-market shoppers/intenders, (b) invite a dialogue with them and (c) produce a lead and/or drive them into Hyundai showrooms?  And again, if you’re planning on encouraging the Dealers to invest their time and money to support your efforts, you’ll want to have a firm handle on that—or prepare to suffer through some really tough dealer meetings.  And if you don’t think it’s possible to isolate conquest shoppers and deliver an exclusive, non-transferrable offer to drive traffic, watch this.  It’s not only possible, it’s mandatory.  Trust me, your competition is already doing it.

5.  They Want A Dedicated Team To Help Them

Question: when was the last time you updated your Facebook page?  Your Twitter account? Instagram? Posted a blog?  Launched an email to all your colleagues, stakeholders or customers with updates?  Have you fallen just a little behind?  Well, your Dealership Internet Managers are no different.  The average Dealer Internet Manager is understaffed, over-worked, and can’t possibly do it all themselves.  What’s the solution? Offer a dedicated team to help them ACTIVATE their campaigns.  Not necessarily do it for them.  But help them.  With as much or as little assistance as they need.  And what do they need help with? Developing content, launching content, targeting in-market shoppers, conquesting their competition, integrating their social channels, website, email list and even their showrooms with Point of Purchase material.  Pilot it with 100 of your Dealerships for 90 days and watch what happens.  You’ll have some very happy (and profitable) Dealerships.  And you’ll never turn back.

6.  They Want Useful Metrics

Impressions are essential. So are fan and engagement metrics.  But when your dealer’s real goal is to sell 13 more cars this weekend, they are, for practical purposes, useless.  What if your metrics reported that, “what you did last week directly resulted in 100 more local Facebook fans, 40 qualified leads, 8 Dealership visits and 2 sales”?  What if you could supply your Dealers with metrics reports that showed them you were successfully Conquesting the competition?  That both of the sales came from people who previously owned another brand? And that your efforts had an incremental positive impact on their business?  Working with data partners like Polk can offer this kind of data.  Working with partners like Flash Point, can pull it all together for you. Take advantage of it.

7.  They Need To Be Better Understood

Many of your bright-eyed new hires don’t really know a lot about the nuts and bolts of the auto business.  They haven’t spent more than a few minutes in a Dealership and they’ve never been in a Dealer meeting. Worse, as “experts” in social media, they tend to often appear over-confident to your Dealers.

The Solution: Admit your team doesn’t really understand what Dealers want, let alone need.  Then send them out into the field, to stores to interview Internet Managers, GMs and Sales Managers.  Send them to Digital Dealer.  Make them become genuine (not assumed) experts at Retail Automotive marketing. 

What they’ll find is this: Internet Managers are just like you and me.  They have goals, and their goals are NOT to strictly curate content.  They are there to help the Dealership sell cars.  Yes, they want to offer valuable content. Yes, they want to connect with their fans and followers.  Yes, they want an engaged audience.  But if that’s all that happens, guess what?  They’re fired.
Really get to know your Dealers and you’ll find they can be your greatest assets.

8.  Remember The Service Department

What better opportunity is there to create a raving fan than in the service department?  (That’s why some call it the “other showroom.”)  And if a raving fan is created when they are delighted with their service, how can it not translate into improved sales retention?  And what if you could leverage social media to actually drive incremental ROI’s from within and outside their brand. Many Dealers and OEM’s are doing just that with spectacular results. Hint: We’re working with a few of them.

Needless To Say, Here’s What Your Dealer’s Don’t Want
1.  These guys at their Next Dealer Group meetings.

Regardless of the direction you decide to go, as consummate technologists and marketers we’ll be watching and cheering you on.  And if we can help, well, we’re only a few minutes away from your marketing HQ.

All the best,

Scott Empringham
Flash Point Communications, LLC

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Portland Toyota Dealers Award New Social Media Campaign to Flash Point Communications

COSTA MESA, California, October 1, 2015—Flash Point Communications has launched an integrated social media campaign for its newest client, the Portland Toyota Dealer Marketing Association.

Launched on September 1, 2015, the campaign uses Facebook ads to target Honda and Subaru owners who are in-market for a new vehicle.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Friday, August 14, 2015

Total Activation Technology Has Another Convert: Nationwide Insurance Chooses Flash Point For New Campaign

COSTA MESA, California, July  22, 2015—After reporting stellar results for its core automotive clients, Flash Point and its Total Activation technology has earned a major non-automotive client.

Nationwide Insurance, Western Region, has selected Flash Point to create, launch and run its new Nationwide Insurance West campaign on social media, with targeted ad support on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google and Yahoo.

“Flash Point has a pretty solid track record when it comes to social media marketing,” said Greg Heath, Partner - Nationwide West .  “They really target their ads.  They get retailers really involved, deliver leads in real-time, and make it totally turnkey.”

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Flash Point Opens Office in Detroit

Watch out Motor City, the town just got even brighter. Why, you ask?

Two of our key executives, Jen and Todd Losey, with a combined digital and social media experience of over 10 years in the industry, will be setting-up shop next door to you in Detroit to even better serve your needs. 

Want to drive incremental impressions, engagement, test-drives and quantifiable sales on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn? Then these two problem-solvers are the team for you.

So what’s the bottom line? Beginning next week, Flash Point will be even more responsive, flexible, and connected to you and your business.


Friday, June 26, 2015

The Digital Gold Rush: How Flash Point Turned One Campaign Into 1,700+

“The gold rush for sales continues for car dealers, but the methods with which they pan for the gold have transformed completely. It just so happens that my team is expert on how to get the best results with the best new tools,” says Scott Empringham, CEO of Flash Point Communications. “With TIV heading for 17 million, a record high mix, the competition for car dealers is more intense than ever before. But with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms, things have also never been more exciting. Rather than sifting through piles of dirt to find what they’re looking for, dealers have the opportunity to speak directly to in-market leads and other brand enthusiasts. They even have the chance to turn enthusiasts into brand evangelists.