Sparkin’ Things Since 2009
As we speed through the second quarter of 2019, we’re reminded of where DealerFire was during this exact same time period a decade ago. At that time, we had just begun extending our reach into the automotive vertical, and had finally stopped creating websites for gas stations, clothing boutiques, and chocolatiers (no, seriously, this was a thing). In fact, it was our budding relationship with Toyota that ultimately tipped the scales on our development. In early 2009, we recieved our first-ever OEM certification with Toyota and haven’t looked back. Since then, we’ve accumulated 16 OEM website and digital advertising certifications, and will re-launch the Toyota program (along with Lexus) over the next few weeks. It’s an exciting time at DealerFire, and we want to make sure we always remember where we started and our first OEM partnership.
We have a lot to talk about in this month’s edition of Spark Notes. We had some great feature releases, and some partnership announcements. We’ve also announced dates for our upcoming 2019 User Summit, the first time we’ve held the event since 2016. Read on to get the scoop on all things DealerFire in May.
DealerSocket Drive User Summit
The DealerSocket User Summit is making its first appearance since 2016. It’s back with three days of innovation, education, and collaboration in Anaheim, CA, near Disneyland from August 21-23. Each day at the summit will have a unique focus. The first day will be dedicated to reviewing industry best practices and product-related workshops. The second say will focus on innovation, providing attendees a deep dive into the latest technology from DealerSocket, including some sessions on AI/ML. We’ll also share our plans for continuing our award-winning customer service model. The summit will also feature DealerSocket After Dark, a themed party with a (to be announced) headlining concert.
DealerFire will have a prominent role in this year’s summit. We are featuring three partnerships with accompanying workshops, and announcing a brand new CRM to website integration. You’ll be providing some sneak peaks below, but you’ll have to register for the event to make sure you get the full experience.
DealerFire Enhancements Portal
When it comes to product marketing, we want to address two major issues that we’ve had in the past. First, content – when we release a new product, or enhancement, where would you go to find out more information? And two, distribution – communicating our releases to the right people in the right manner. Obviously, our Spark Notes blog posts will reduce some of this pain, but to make things are clear as possible, we’re also adding an Enhancements Portal to DealerFire.com.
This page will serve as a continuously updated platform for all DealerFire enhancement communication. The product and engineering teams currently work in two week sprints, so the page will be updated twice monthly. Information can include new integrations, partnerships, programs and products, with screenshots, content detail and a way to request more information, or even install and/or configuration instructions.
April 2019 Releases
In April, we spent a lot of time focusing on our new OEM programs and partnerships. We’ll detail some of the new integrations below, as well as when you can expect to launch your DealerFire website in program.
Toyota TOOMS Coupon Integration
As part of the new Toyota program, launching in early May 2019. we are given exclusive access to specialty integrations. One of those integrations is a new webservice dedicated to service & parts coupons delivery, called TOOMS. Dealers that integrate with this service via DealerFire, receive daily coupon delivery directly to Ignite. From there, dealers can enable or disable the coupons, as needed. No more reason to worry about manually creating coupons each month as they are auto-generated!
Precise Price Performance Reporting
Dealers on Precise Price just got access to a brand new reporting tool – Google Data Studio. Approximately one year ago, DealerFire started using Data Studio exclusively for client reporting, especially clients utilizing tools and products beyond the standard website. Now, Data Studio has been aligned with your digital retailing strategy to display monthly stats, both related to online metrics and in-store conversions and sales. The report is auto-updated and hosted in the Google Cloud, so you can access it at anytime. We’re currently rolling the new reports out to pilot dealers and plan to have all dealers on the new platform by the end of May 2019.
Volkswagen Precise Price Certification
It’s seems like not too long ago, digital retail was seen as a pipe dream in most dealerships. The thought was, consumers are not going to buy cars online because that technology would just be too complicated to try and implement on the Tier 3 level. Flash forward to 2017, and we released one of the most robust digital retailing tools in the market – Precise Price. You might ask, “what’s the difference, I’ve seen a lot of DR tools?” And you’d be right, over 10 new digital retail tools debuted at NADA in San Francisco this past year. But, the difference with Precise Price is in the integration. Most DR tools are built to be lead generators, simply just collecting and passing info into your CRM. Precise Price actually syncs that online payment data with your instance of desking, making the customer hand off easier than ever.
OEMs are starting to recognize the value that Precise Price brings into the dealership. We’ve gained three certifications over the past three months, including our newest partnership with Volkswagen. DealerSocket CRM customers can now enroll with Precise Price services and be included in VW’s “pilot program”, starting in April. If you are one of those lucky dealers selected, you could be eligible for up to 50% co-op reimbursement.
Digital Marketing Opportunities for May
Get Your GMB in Order
Is your Google My Business (GMB) page in order? Do you know what that even means? Your dealership’s Google My Business page gets a ton of views every day as it takes up prime search position and offers up great info for prospective customers. If you don’t have it optimized, or aren’t interacting with it, you are missing out.
DealerFire is now offering GMB optimization and posting with our content marketing and social media packages. This means we’ll optimize local search placement using categories, monitor your latest reviews, respond to questions asked in Q&A, and even post some new specials or events with Google Posts.
Capitalize on Spring Fixed Ops Searches
Winter is difficult on cars – especially in the northern states. With the weather warming up, customers are looking to service their daily drivers and vehicles they may have had in storage. Invest some funds in your fixed ops paid search marketing to ensure your dealership is grabbing these lucrative service appointments. Bonus – some of these customers may be ready for a new purchase or lease. The more foot traffic, the better.
DealerFire is included in several OEM programs dedicated to fixed ops paid search advertising and has the top scores in the industry for service term click-through-rate, impression share, conversions and more.
Q2 is going to be filled with a lot of exciting partnership news. We are in the process of finalizing integrations with leading developers in both the ADA compliance and heat mapping verticals. In the next edition of Spark Notes, we’ll talk more about how you can enroll in the pilot programs as they are launched.