Entries in Internet (14)
Its Friday, its the Vroom Room comein make yourself comfortable, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation.
A bit of Internet Nostalgia, with websites from back in the day.
You surely read that Bill Ford Sr. passed away last Sunday.
If you have been around hot rods for a few years, you must remember the Stroker McGurk cartoons by Tom Medley, at one time they were a fixture.
This past week there have been enough political events in Canada and Quebec to fire up, fuel up, a gazillion pundits, with a gazillion perspectives of the same thing, with a gazillion twists. Perhaps we should ask The Colonel to chime in...at some point. However not a bad thing to see "disruption" in the Canadian political landscape.
In the meantime its fascinating, and in some ways instructive to see the different perspectives, thought vectors. One gains considerable time. Anything to do with the acceleration of cycle time? What do you think?
Tomorrow is the 12 hours of Sebring, yes we are Corvette Racing fans.
Its also the start of the F1 season with the Australian GP...it will be fascinating to see Kimi and Fernando drive for the same team, the interactions, the drama.
What to say about GM's ignition switch recall/problem? Let's wait till all the facts are known, in the meantime its not a pretty picture...especially "if" GM knew all along...and the bankruptcy was to clean out all the skeletons. The folks that kept the car key seperate from their other keys probably never had a problem. Possible that since the model years were all within the "old GM" it remained in the closet. Lets wait for all the facts.
A strong February, although some manufacturers had a stumble, still a strong February. The trend towards various forms of "utility vehicles" endures. Back in the day they would have been station wagons...think about this for a moment. The arrival of certain new models are cannibalising sales from established models, it will be interesting to see how it develops in the coming months.
In case you did not know, the best selling Porsche in Canada is a truck. With the arrival of the Macan it will continue to be a truck, and Porsche will continue to be a strong "money machine".
Think about how fragmented the showroom process has become. If 20 years ago we knew that eventually the showroom would be disintermediated, the knowledge base would gravitate to the Internet.
How come its so fragmented? Could it be that everyone is focusing on a specific aspect since they have expertise or technology in the "specific aspect" and in some way obfuscating the big picture. Agreed the picture by now is immense, and fraught with peril...or is it?
The astute dealer...
Lets not go back 20 years, or even 10 year, lets focus on the emergence of "social media" going mainstream in late 2009 and early 2010...lets say 4 years ago.
Imagine that this dealer 4 years ago committed to acquire an advantage in cyberspace, through the Internet, and social media. The dealer made an enduring commitment to finally have a digital dealership comparable to his brick and mortar business.
This same astute dealer did not buy a web site from one suppliers, SEO from another supplier, BDC/CRM from again another supplier, and so on. Put aside the technology fatigue, and the rampant digital immaturity. This dealer went out and did it himself, with his people, and acquired "pieces" he needed to control his execution.
Now in 2013 this astute dealer has a compelling digital presence, is proficient in social media, is proficient in generating content for his customer base, is socially involved with his customers and prospect at his brick and mortar dealership, and at his digital dealership. The dealer paid more attention to actually building an enduring digital dealership, than trying to measure ROI on social media, conversation rates on leads. Stopped complaining that it costs too much, feeling nickle and dimed at every turn, needing a ton of suppliers to presumably achieve an online presence.
This dealer controls his destiny, and makes his luck.
This same dealer endured a bunch of his peers telling him he was crazy, that he should buy a piece here, a fragment there, that he should wait another 15 years to see how it will develop, just in case.
That this dealer tells his peers how its done, and what they should do, in the meantime he has a 4 year head start, his content makes him the darling of search engines, is engaged with his customers and prospects.
This dealer "fooled around" with the Internet for 15 years, tried a bunch of stuff, endured a myriad of vendors and suppliers, improved his knowledge base, and finally made a commitment after 15 years to finally build his digital dealership from the foundation up.
Imagine for a moment the dealer that made a comitment 10 years ago...
In a group meeting he tells his peers "Guys I finally started building my digital dealership, I have a digital lot boy, I have a digital editor/content generator, I have a digital receptionist/greeter"....his peers look at him and question his sanity.
Someone in the back of the room comments "If I undestand this, you went against the flow, stopped talking about it, have a well executed digital dealership, and are well positioned for the future"
We will continue...
PS: The first Social Selling
Go back to the early days of the Internet in the mid 1990's (almost 20 years ago), it was clear at the time that at some point, the showroom would be disintermediated (remember that term), the knowledge base that resided in the showroom would be disseminated via the Internet.
The salesperson (the definition of the time) would be disintermediated.
Think about this...20 years later in the auto business its all referred to as the Internet, its divided into bite size portions. Its a battle plan here, social media there, seminar, webinar, symposium, summit, and everyone of these things presumably has most of the answer to all the problems/challenges/obstacles.
If you remember 20 years ago, when we were dealing with dial up modems, and dowload speeds of 28 or 56K, clunky web sites, and product information migrating to the Internet. Watching the evolution from Netscape to Internet Explorer, to Chrome and Firefox. Back them the discussion was "wait till broadband becomes a reality".
When broadband became a widespread reality in the early 2000's, technology moved even faster, the product knowledge transferred even faster, complemented by videos, and more photos.
Imagine for a moment the folks that were challenged understanding what was going on, and yes persisted in doing business as asual, and yes it still worked. Think for a moment, that an advertised "incentive program" is similar to a "nuclear blast" that immediately crosses all the lines, and blankets the various media platforms.
If you are a manufacturer what do you do? You continue with aggressive and expensive brick and mortar programs (everyone understands brick and mortar its been around for centuries). Then "nuke" the competition with "incentive programs" to actually move iron. Reflect on this for a moment.
Lets progress to the late 2000's with the advent of social media...wow, here's the talk..."you need to be on Facebook, you need to understand Twitter, you need to grasp social media". Obvious that "social media" becomes the buzz word, and there are all sorts of social media illuminati going around.
Now factor in the various showroom technologies, CRM, BDC, Big Data, to name a few. You know the saying "we are in the people business...."
Reflect on this for a moment, and we will continue.
Its over 10 years that some vehicles are "connected" usually with a dedicated cellular line, with OnStar immediately coming to mind, and On Star has a very sophisticated operation to assist the millions of subscribers.
At the same time cars have not been connected to enable WiFi, or to communicate on board diagnostics. Perhaps initial demand was low, the variables were and still are in the gazillion, and "who needs these additional headaches when there are a myriad of pressing priorities.
Perhaps before we evolve to self driving vehicles, we should at least insist they they be connected. When it comes to being connected vehicles are in the dark ages, where its usually the customer/owner smart and or storage device that does the connecting for the vehicle.
It would be cool to have a connected vehicle with own WiFi spot, can send diagnostic signals to the manufacturer, can receive software updates, and so on.
Would it encourage multi tasking, probably not any worse then today, would it make it simpler to have a good operating at its optimum, sure it would.
Activating a data package in the business office when a customer acquires a vehicle can be an additional source of revenue for dealers.
Cleansing the electronics of a vehicle when its traded in could be another revenue source. Agreed at one point manufacturers willfully steered clear of all these potential pitfalls.
We agree trains and buses have been connected for some time.