Thursday, August 17, 2017

Major OEM Facebook Campaign Delivers

152%  Increase In Monthly Sales Nationally
45%    More Concierge Test Drives
15%    More Lead Conversions
14%    More Handraisers

Really smart people doubted it was possible:
·       Launch an entirely new promotion in only 3 weeks
·      To promote a luxury car with really low awareness
·      From a brand known for much lower price-points
·      That convinces people to not only volunteer their information, but…
·      To agree to a 90-minute test-drive at their home or business
·      And generate literally hundreds of test-drives           

Done, done and done.
The campaign was launched on May 12, 2017, to promote the luxurious new 2017 model-year car in ten key U.S. markets.  Initially scheduled to run for six weeks, it was extended to seven weeks in order to accommodate over-performing markets.

What does over-performing really mean?
“This social media initiative generated hundreds and hundreds of real and engaging 90-minute test drives,” said Scott Empringham, CEO of Flash Point Communications.  “We’re talking high-quality hand-raisers, hot leads and in-market shoppers telling us to bring the car to their house or office for a test drive…with no financial program incentives.”

STEP 1: Pinpoint Media Targeting.
“Generating really hot leads is part science and part art form,” said Empringham.  “We’ve been refining our proprietary targeting for years now, combining Facebook data, R.L. Polk data, and our own proprietary screens. We don’t know of any agency that can match it.”

STEP 2: Custom Creative.
Creative was tailored individually for each of the 10 test markets.   This paid off especially big in the Atlanta and Los Angeles markets.

STEP 3: Daily Optimization.
Flash Point created individual “dashboards” for each test market to give both client and agency a daily update on all metrics. Media and promotional adjustments could then be made in real-time. 

For instance, when metrics showed that respondents wondered how the actual test-drive would work, Flash Point created a demo video in only 48 hours that explained the entire process as an added value to the Client, and test-drives increased as a result.

Bottom Line?
The program exceeded test-drive objectives by 45%.  Hand-raisers were up 14% and lead conversions were up 15% compared with this OEM’s previous promotions through other channels. And sales of this 2017 model soared…up 112% in May and 193% in June, year over year.

Who is Flash Point again?

For over sixteen years, Flash Point Communications has been a leading innovator in social media software, marketing, and retail network engagement.   Based in Costa Mesa, California, Flash Point serves many of the globe’s most respected automotive brands from four offices nationwide. For more information, go to

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Advanced Dual-Stage Targeting™ Helps New PurchasePath™ Grow Market Share For Car Makers

COSTA MESA, California, February 16, 2017—If you’re a new car manufacturer, you know it’s not overly complicated to sell another car or truck to your most loyal customer.  You know who and where they are.  You know what they like.  And often, you even know when they’ll be in-market.

But conquesting?  That’s a whole different story.  You need to target conquests with pinpoint precision.  Sell them on the advantages of your brand.  And make the path to purchase absolutely seamless so you don’t lose potential buyers along the way.

That’s the whole idea behind PurchasePathTM, the new, proprietary digital marketing platform from Flash Point Communications.  PurchasePathTM takes conquest shoppers by the collar with custom messaging and seamlessly brings them right to the showroom floor.

“Specific conquest messaging is critical when you’re a car company trying to gain market share,” said Scott Empringham, CEO of Flash Point Communications.  “You need to show shoppers that it’s alright to leave their old brand, and prove that there’s something better out there for them to check out.”

PurchasePath uses new Dual-Stage TargetingTM to identify specific owners of competing brands.  First it identifies these targets with behavioral, in-market screens and other segmenting tools.  Then, it sends them custom videos and other messaging and tracks how receptive they are to the conquesting message.

“Nobody ever gets married after one date,” continued Empringham.  “Same goes for conquesting.  It’s an on-going process.  But if you segment, focus, and retarget effectively, you can get great results and grow share.”

After identifying potential new customers, PurchasePath begins a gentle yet extensive and customized re-targeting campaign intended to stoke the conquest’s interest in the new brand and product.  It even integrates the conquest’s preferred colors and trim levels into the re-targeting.

Finally, PurchasePath is able to fully integrate with a brand’s dealer inventory feed and/or dealer management system, directing the conquest seamlessly to their nearest dealer and showing them the exact car or truck the customer wants at a compelling price.

“You know how Amazon aggressively targets and follows someone who is looking at a product?  How they don’t give up until the sale is made?” said Empringham.  “Well this is the Amazon approach applied to the automotive business.”

Once PurchasePath is in place, a private “Dashboard” is created for the client and updated daily.  “It’s a web-based information center that tracks and reports every click on the web site,” said Empringham.  “Then it tracks in-store visits and purchases right back to the client’s site.”

Currently, Flash Point is rolling out new PurchasePath to all new and existing clients.  Empringham believes that all clients will be using the new process within 12 months.

Flash Point Communications was the first digital agency to help sell over $1 billion in new vehicles in the U.S. using only social and digital media.  

For over sixteen years, Flash Point Communications has been a leading innovator in social media software, marketing, and retail network engagement.   Based in Costa Mesa, California, Flash Point serves many of the globe’s most respected automotive brands from four offices nationwide. For more information, go to

Friday, October 14, 2016


Last month, I participated in a panel discussion about social and digital marketing at the Digital Dealer 21 convention in Las Vegas.  In attendance were hundreds of automotive dealers ready to learn best practices in digital and social media. 

As the panel discussion unfolded, one issue kept coming up again and again: accountability.  Dealers wanted to know what kinds of results they should expect using social media. They wanted confirmation that they were getting adequate bang for their buck.  And they wanted to know the strategies that could help them grow their businesses. 

I found this odd.  Because, while traditional media offer varying levels of accountability, social media (especially Facebook) is off the charts regarding accountability and transparency.  In fact, it’s more accountable than the previous champion, direct mail, with only 20% of the cost.

Thursday, September 8, 2016


COSTA MESA, California, August 16, 2016—Want to connect your dealership with the huge pool of potential Hispanic customers on social media?  You’ll need to target the right prospect at the right time with the perfect message. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

2nd GM LMA Breaks Ranks with Traditional Agency. More to Follow?

COSTA MESA, California, August 29, 2016—The Southern California Buick GMC LMA broke ranks first, moving agency-of-record digital marketing responsibilities from a GM roster shop to non-roster Flash Point Communications.

Now, the Southern California Cadillac LMA has followed suit, moving its digital marketing to Flash Point as well.

Monday, July 18, 2016


COSTA MESA, California, July 18, 2016—Flash Point CEO Scott Empringham’s must-see workshop, The New Rules of Facebook Version 2.0: 10 Hacks Guaranteed to Double Your Leads, Sales and Service, is coming to the Digital Dealer 21 Conference & Expo.

Specially designed for dealer Principles, General Managers, Sales Managers, and Internet Managers, this free workshop provides dealers with many of the same cutting-edge tools employed by Flash Point Communications to help sell over $1 billion in new vehicles.

Monday, April 11, 2016

SoCal Buick GMC Breaks Digital Agency Ranks, Becomes Fastest Growing Region in the U.S.

COSTA MESA, California, April 11, 2016—After changing digital agencies in December, 2014, the SoCal Buick GMC LMA is crediting Flash Point Communications with helping it achieve the fastest regional growth rate in North America.

“Last year, we were pretty much in the middle of the pack,” said Greg Heath, Chairman of the Southern California Buick dealers.  “Now SoCal is the second fastest growing region in the country for Buick.  And our GMC dealers now rank number one in the U.S. for growth.

“Our digital marketing was a major contributor to our success,” Heath continued.  “Flash Point doesn’t just come in selling an ad network, website, pre-roll, impressions, or nebulous stuff like “outcomes.”  They come in with a well-defined digital/social strategy for our LMA, as well as our individual Dealers, one complementing the other.

“Plus, they were the first vendor that started their presentation with an estimate of leads and sales they’d deliver,” said Heath.  “That was a first.  Bottom line was, they take responsibility for every marketing dollar they spend.”

The SoCal Buick GMC LMA actually went outside the roster of preferred GM agencies to select Flash Point.

“We had presentations from three GM roster agencies,” continued Heath.  “Flash Point was just more sophisticated.  They measure everything.  They deliver leads to dealers in real time. On so many levels, they just blew the other agencies away.”

“We made a big bet on a non-roster agency and it paid off big-time,” concluded Heath.

In related news, Flash Point Communications has just been named the digital/social media agency of record for the SoCal Cadillac LMA.

For over fifteen years, Flash Point Communications has been a leading innovator in social media software, marketing, and retail network engagement.   Based in Costa Mesa, California, Flash Point serves many of the globe’s most respected automotive brands from four offices nationwide. For more information, go to