’s Wayne Pastore Discusses How Dealers Can Improve Their Online Presence‘s Vice President and General Manager, Wayne Pastore, joined Jim Fitzpatrick on the CBT Stage at NADA 2020 in Las Vegas to discuss common mistakes dealers make with their online presence and how they can improve their digital storefront.

digital marketingVIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Jim Fitzpatrick: Wayne Pastore, I want to thank you so much for joining us here at CBT News at the NADA 2020 Convention.

Wayne Pastore: Thank you, Jim, thanks for having us here.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah, absolutely. So is on the forefront of everything that’s happened in the automotive space. Obviously you guys knocked the cover off the ball. What enhancements or new features is rolling out here at the show.

Wayne Pastore: The really cool thing has been doing this for 21 years and we have every major OEM program in the book. So we’ve used all that technology, all that knowledge in the past and one of the things we found is that it’s beyond just widgets and websites.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Right.

Wayne Pastore: So when we talk about enhancements and features this year we really looked at the consumer experience.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Okay.

Wayne Pastore: And are we doing things that allow the consumer to shop better and have a better experience on the website? I know you hear the term digital retailing, right but it really is about a retailing experience.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah.

Wayne Pastore: So when we looked at 2020 and going into where– and into the future, it’s about a shopping experience.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Right.

Wayne Pastore: So the features that we’re bringing are around that. So we think about how a shopper shops, it’s different today than it was five years ago. Five years ago, you and I would go on a site we want to know the horsepower of a car or is it all wheel drive and things like that.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah, do it for high-level research and yeah.

Wayne Pastore: What shoppers want to know today is can I trust that dealership? Can I trust that model, right? So one of the things we did a lot of research on is reputation and reviews.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Okay.

Wayne Pastore: So you look at Yelp, you look at OpenTable and how we handle some of the other retail businesses. So we’ve brought that to automotive and we brought that through our website. So you as a dealer can look at your reviews, put them right on the website.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Okay, nice. Very nice, very-

Wayne Pastore: But not-

Jim Fitzpatrick: … important.

Wayne Pastore: Very important. But what we found is more important than just to put the good reviews on there but also how does a dealer handle bad reviews.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Okay.

Wayne Pastore: Right, so I went and had a bad experience, what do I do?

Jim Fitzpatrick: Right.

Wayne Pastore: So we will help that dealers curate that review, provide a good response all right so that the shopper or the consumer that’s interested in that dealership feels the trust.

Jim Fitzpatrick: will help the dealer come up with a response?

Wayne Pastore: Yep. So we will work on-

Jim Fitzpatrick: Wow.

Wayne Pastore: … the response through our service bureau team-

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s pretty cool.

Wayne Pastore: … and we’ll send their review over to the dealer saying this is what we think and the dealer approves that.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Nice.

Wayne Pastore: And when we do the response, what we’re doing is we’re looking at the right keywords in a pride SEO value.

Jim Fitzpatrick: There you go.

Wayne Pastore: So when that website is on your Google My Business page, you’re getting organic improvement in your search draft.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Sure, sure.

Wayne Pastore: Yeah, so-

Jim Fitzpatrick: Wow. That’s pretty cool. So that managed service, I mean that’s huge for a dealership to be able to rely on you guys to do that because that’s usually where they get in trouble.

Wayne Pastore: Right, so we can-

Jim Fitzpatrick: It’s to say who-

Wayne Pastore: … do it at scale.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah, wow.

Wayne Pastore: We can do it scale, we can do it cheaper-

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s fantastic.

Wayne Pastore: … than a dealer can do it.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Wow.

Wayne Pastore: And we do with the expertise of everything that we have at

Jim Fitzpatrick: Okay. Wow, that’s fantastic. So a big concern that dealers have today is efficiency, obviously. Dealer margin compression or getting attacked from every angle, are we in the [carbons 00:00:03:01]?

Wayne Pastore: Yeah, I know. I know.

Jim Fitzpatrick: So talk to us a little bit about what’s innovations are, what you’ve got and what you’re working on to address those needs of efficiency.

Wayne Pastore: Yeah. A couple of things on efficiency and we’ve had a couple of meetings and our large dealer groups has said, “You know what? I’m fine on my gross. I have a tour I need to be, I understand my numbers, I can forecast it out. I understand where SARS is going. I need to see where interest rates are going, I know those impacts. What I need help on is my operating costs,” right, “Give me tools that help me manage my sales expense.”

Jim Fitzpatrick: Right.

Wayne Pastore: All right. So one of the things we’re doing is and through that personalized experience and that better retail experience for the consumer.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Right.

Wayne Pastore: By the time the consumer has gone through the site, by the time the consumer has looked at the car, the dealer knows more about what that consumer is shopping for, right?

Jim Fitzpatrick: Okay.

Wayne Pastore: So the lead that comes over from the website into the CRM and who leads of in CRM and we understand that. So the lead curation is much better. So you as the salesperson, when that shopper comes into the store, knows a lot more about that shopper.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Okay.

Wayne Pastore: Knows what car they’re looking at.

Jim Fitzpatrick: So it’s much more of a personalized approach, which is what consumers are pretty much demanding these days, isn’t it?

Wayne Pastore: Exactly. It’s personalized approach.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah.

Wayne Pastore: So the car is there, the car can be ready to be test driven.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Right.

Wayne Pastore: So that sales cycle, that in-store experience, first of all, it’s much more connected with the online.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Right.

Wayne Pastore: So what happens is that sales cycle is shorter.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Sure.

Wayne Pastore: So what we’re seeing is that we’ll see sales costs decrease and that is really what the dealers are asking for is, help me control my operating costs. I can control my growth because I know those levers but help me with my operation.

Jim Fitzpatrick: But while you’re doing that you’re also making a huge step in the right direction with customer experience.

Wayne Pastore: Yeah, exactly.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Because I mean at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about– Is shortening that amount of time when a customer comes in, getting right to the demo drive of the car that they’ve been looking at online and be done with the deal. Or at least go into the finance office much quicker, right?

Wayne Pastore: Yeah, that’s a great point. If you think about digital retailing when it came out in 2013 people were like, “Oh, this is a great product.” You click a button, you buy a car online, to the shopper went into the store, they start it all over again.

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s right, that’s right.

Wayne Pastore: Right. So we want to make sure that there’s enough information going through the process and we’re training. We invested $4 million this year in our performance management team, so to help the-

Jim Fitzpatrick: Wow.

Wayne Pastore: … dealer in-store, right. So make sure that there’s an optimal experience. So when that shopper comes in, they’re not repeating the same process. They’re not repeating the same buying vehicles.

Jim Fitzpatrick: We hear from dealers then it’ll pop up in reviews, I did so much online, I thought I had a great experience, I thought it was going to be much quicker. I get to the dealership and– I mean it’s-

Wayne Pastore: Exactly, exactly.

Jim Fitzpatrick: … what happened, right?

Wayne Pastore: Yep. So we’re seeing satisfaction scores go up, they put a good review in and the cycle starts all over again.

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s right.

Wayne Pastore: And now they’ve bought the car so now with all the Cox Automotive intelligence that we have available, we can start now targeting into their fixed ops.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Okay.

Wayne Pastore: Right, so the second-

Jim Fitzpatrick: Wow, that’s nice.

Wayne Pastore: … area that dealers can make money is in their service base.

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s a beautiful thing.

Wayne Pastore: Right, so we’ll send targeted ads for service, we’ll send targeted ads for parks and things like that. So take it through the whole buying cycle.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Sure. What do you think are some of the most common mistakes that dealers make with regard to their online presence?

Wayne Pastore: I think one of the things dealers make a mistake on is they put too much stuff on the website, it’s too confusing, the shopper doesn’t know where to go. They’ll see popup ads, they’ll see-

Jim Fitzpatrick: I know.

Wayne Pastore: … chatbots pop up and that will distract the shopper.

Jim Fitzpatrick: It reminds me we’re here in Vegas at the convention and you drive down the strip and it looks like many dealers’ websites.

Wayne Pastore: Yeah.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Come to this show, eat at this place, right?

Wayne Pastore: Yeah.

Jim Fitzpatrick: And when you get to a dealer’s website it could look much like that.

Wayne Pastore: So we’re starting to use the term instead of the website, a guiding comparison experience.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Okay.

Wayne Pastore: All right, so the moment you get there we’re going to guide you through the process. We’re going to ask you questions, right. What is interesting you in the type of car you want, right. Do you want a SUV? Do you want four-wheel drive? We’ll start showing you cars right up front so you won’t see a coupon for a special, you won’t see a chatbot pop up. We’ll be asking you questions. The initial cars, we’ll show you we’ll take all the Cox Automotive data, we’ll understand where you were shopping, on Autotrader or Kelley Blue Book. So by the time you get to the website, those cars that we think you’re interested in, will be there soon.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Sure. What advice for the dealers that are watching us right now and CMOs and marketing managers and F&I guys and what advice would you give to them to improve their digital storefront?

Wayne Pastore: I think the number one advice we would give is, understand how shoppers behave, right. Don’t think about how your website was five, six years ago. Don’t think about, hey, I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I know what I’m doing. Shopper behavior is changing, right, so understand that. So like you said, that’s why the reputation management.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Sure.

Wayne Pastore: Understand where shoppers are getting their information, they’re getting their information more and more online. So traditional TV is moving to video is moving to online video, right? We have probably the largest audience through Cox Automotive to understand to target video advertising on all channels. Not just YouTube but connected TV, so Hulu, programmatic buying, so ESPN, Weather Channel, those type of sites. We’re putting you everywhere with relevant ads on that the shopper probably can see.

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s pretty cool.

Wayne Pastore: The last thing we want to make sure that shoppers understand is this is a large, 19% of shoppers out there have some sort of a disability.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Okay.

Wayne Pastore: So make sure your sites are ADA compliant.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Oh, wow.

Wayne Pastore: Not just for regulatory reasons, right?

Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah, yeah, sure.

Wayne Pastore: And people say, “Wow, if a person’s blind they’re not going to drive a car.”

Jim Fitzpatrick: Right.

Wayne Pastore: True. But that father who maybe has a blind disability is trying to buy a car for their son.

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s right.

Wayne Pastore: So reach 19% of shoppers out there that can’t do it through traditional means.

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s right.

Wayne Pastore: And those is some of the things that we’re telling dealers to look for.

Jim Fitzpatrick: In anticipation of today’s interview with you, we spoke to one of your dealers and they said, “The reason we switched over to was because of reasons like that.” That you guys see what’s around the corner because many dealers and I was one, you live in kind of a cocoon. You’ve got these blinders on and the only thing that you know is what’s happening in your showroom not even in your market sometimes, right? But the reason that they went with you versus one of your big competitors was for that reason, that things like you just mentioned. Who would have thought about a disability of 19% in the marketplace? You guys already have and those are the solutions that you’re bringing to dealers. Pretty cool.

Wayne Pastore: Yeah. If you think about it, we have 10,000 dealers in websites.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Wow.

Wayne Pastore: We have 28 OEM programs.

Jim Fitzpatrick: The data that you’ve got is incredible.

Wayne Pastore: So the data that we have, the data we get through Cox Automotive, not just data but Kelley Blue Book, Autotrader, [VIN 00:09:15].

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s right.

Wayne Pastore: The householding data that we have so when you watch a video, we know income levels, we know householding data, so we’re making sure that we’re targeting the right audience to you as a dealer.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah. Wow, that’s fantastic. So what big things are you announcing here at the show?

Wayne Pastore: Again, we’re announcing the reputation management, which we’re already having some great success with. Our video advertising products and really showing that not just a video advertising product that you can throw out there on YouTube but targeted ads with the relevant information from Cox Automotive. We are talking about our service model because a dealer told me that their sales rep has to know 34 applications when they get hired.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Wow.

Wayne Pastore: Right, so we’ve made an investment in our performance management model to not only make sure that a dealer understands our tools but understands how to drive a digital strategy across all their tools. So those are some of the big things that we’re talking about today.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Okay, okay. And we’re in an area right now where dealers with margin compression, efficiency, that means everything, right?

Wayne Pastore: Yeah.

Jim Fitzpatrick: What dealer can’t afford the luxury of losing online traffic, right?

Wayne Pastore: Right, exactly.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Through your website because if a consumer comes to their website and they’re disenfranchised, they’re off and they’re gone, right?

Wayne Pastore: Yep, yep.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Is that what you’re here analytics in your days has said?

Wayne Pastore: Yeah, exactly. So one of the ways we help dealers with that is, make sure that you don’t lose the deal. Understand why dealers don’t buy this car, right. So in addition to, we know all that information about dealers that are buying the car, ultimately, we also know dealers that don’t buy the car, right. So we can then readjust your GOs that you’re advertising in, we can readjust your video messaging on the fly. We can create an ad in about two minutes.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Okay. Very nice.

Wayne Pastore: Video message, all that we can do. Every channel that you imagine across digital marketing, from search to display into Waze. So if you’re a fixed ops advertiser you have a connected car, that car’s coming in, you drive by a dealership, that actually pop up on that screen.

Jim Fitzpatrick: No kidding.

Wayne Pastore: So-

Jim Fitzpatrick: That is incredible.

Wayne Pastore: Yeah, it’s pretty cool.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah, and so here now for the last 15 years, we’ve been telling dealers more and more get away from video, get away from video. And here we are now preaching to dealers, “No, actually if you do video right, that’s the way to go.”

Wayne Pastore: Exactly.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah.

Wayne Pastore: And it’s funny dealers will say, “Well, I spent so much money. I can’t spend more.” I’m not asking you to spend more, what I’m asking you is spend the money where you get the information you need to have the targeted operations to drive efficiencies.

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s right and dealers never have a problem spending more so long as the vendor can connect the dots.

Wayne Pastore: Right, exactly.

Jim Fitzpatrick: If they can’t connect that dot and it’s like, yeah, you just spent another $25,000 a month. But guess what? We can’t really tell you if that was connected to a consumer or a deal. They’re in trouble, right?

Wayne Pastore: Exactly, right and one of the things we’re seeing is that the KPIs that maybe were used five years ago like, hey, took my time on site. We want to see time on sites go down.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Right, right.

Wayne Pastore: And then we’re seeing that if a consumer understands what they’re getting on the site, time on site goes down but conversion rates go up.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah, that’s fantastic.

Wayne Pastore: So the KPIs that need to be measured in the industry need to change.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Right, are different, that’s right.

Wayne Pastore: Yeah, different now.

Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s right. Well, Wayne Pastore, I want to thank you so much for joining us here on CBT News. It’s been very enlightening and so you guys are on the forefront of all things automotive at Cox Automotive. And congratulations to you having a great year and hopefully, you have a great show.

Wayne Pastore: Thank you very much, very nice meeting you.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah.

Wayne Pastore: Thank you.

Jim Fitzpatrick: Thank you.