Joining us today to discuss how dealers can better incorporate video into their marketing strategies, is Jon Torrey, Product Manager of Video Advertising at Dealer.com.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Hello everyone, Jim Fitzpatrick. Thanks so much for joining me on another edition of CBT News. Today I’m so happy to have with us, Mr. Jon Torrey, who is the product manager of video advertising at Dealer.com. I know that you know that brand, been around forever, and actually been around for as long as dealers I think have been using the internet to sell cars, right?
Jon Torrey: Yep.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah. Welcome into the show, Jon.
Jon Torrey: Yeah, thanks for having me, Jim. Appreciate it.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Now Dealer.com has a product manager of video advertising, this comes on the heels of us telling dealers over the last 10 years, don’t do video. You should do pay per click and you should do third party lead and now the pendulum swings back, and now it’s correct to do video, but you’ve got to do it right.
Jon Torrey: Exactly.
Jim Fitzpatrick: So talk to us about that. How has video advertising changed the way consumers go about car buying? Go about the car buying process?
Jon Torrey: Yeah, yeah, for sure. So one of the things that we’re looking at here at Dealer.com is how is the shopper journey evolving? How are shopper behaviors evolving? And one of the things that we notice is shoppers are using video to educate themselves about vehicles. And it’s a very telling statistic that YouTube is the number one format to discover new vehicles for consumers, and it’s the number two to discover more information about vehicles in a consumer’s consideration stat behind only search.
Jon Torrey: So there’s over 4 million in market auto videos viewed per day on YouTube and the average person scrolls through 300 feet of content on their mobile device. It’s much more convenient for shoppers. For me to go on and watch a walk around, a two, three minute video and get all the features, what’s new for this year instead of going through Google and reading six different articles. So that’s what we’re finding is the convenience factor and when you look at the younger generations, they’ve had an iPad in hand since they were born so they are used to getting content on demand. They’re used to that level of engagement and now that’s really where shoppers are getting their information.
Jim Fitzpatrick: When you talk about video advertising and the role that video plays with consumers today as we were just talking about that, there’s not a hotel that you stay at now with your family if you’re going to go on vacation where you didn’t look at the room first in a video presentation that’s on the hotel’s website, or better yet an Airbnb home for instance, that you’re going to spend $5,000 for a week to stay in this incredible home. But because of the video and it takes you into every single room to see, you feel that much more comfortable as a consumer to make that decision.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Same thing goes with cars, right? I mean now with the walk around that you were just talking about, consumers now feel that much more comfortable to say, “Wow. I actually can the car online and feel good about it” because of the quality of the videos and how we’re delivering that information, that presentation to consumers, right?
Jon Torrey: Yep. Yep. Absolutely. And I think that when it comes to advertising, since the day advertising was invented, it’s always been about showing the right message to the right person at the right time and in the right place. Those core tenants haven’t changed, but the technology and consumer habits have. And so what we see is advertising before or during those videos that consumers are using to educate themselves and knowing which shoppers are in market based on search history, based on their video watch history allows us to connect with them at a really critical point and allows our dealers the opportunity now to take advantage of an under-priced channel. There’s not a lot of people advertising on YouTube and it is historically under-priced and that is why I am advocating so much for our dealers to be advertising on YouTube and Facebook video and beyond.
Jim Fitzpatrick: So Jon, if it’s so effective, why are dealers hesitant to do it?
Jon Torrey: Yeah. That’s a really great question. So I’ve personally spoken with about a hundred dealers specific to video advertising to really understand why aren’t you advertising on this? Why are you still on television? Why aren’t you advertising on video at all? And so it really boiled down, there’s a bunch of different dealer personas that we sort of discovered, but it boils down to one thing. They don’t have access to creative assets at scale for a reasonable cost. Even the larger groups that I’ve spoken with that have production teams in house, they’re just not able to keep up with changing the offers every single month, changing the creative, doing those types of things. So ultimately across everyone, I think that is the number one thing is lack of creative assets.
Jim Fitzpatrick: And do you have a solution to that?
Jon Torrey: We do. Yes. That is what my life has been the past like eight months is building that very solution.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Okay. Is it an automated AI approach to just saying, look, you set it and forget it as a dealer and it will populate these videos with the proper offers at the right time to the right audience?
Jon Torrey: Correct. Yeah.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Wow.
Jon Torrey: So what we’re doing… Yeah it is. We have a couple of different packages. So this is where it gets a little bit nuanced. Because when we talk to dealers about video, most of them say, “You don’t have to sell me on video. I just need the creative assets.”
Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
Jon Torrey: But then when you have a deeper conversation, you realize that some dealers want an automated solution, and for ours you can pick up to six vehicles. We automatically populate the vehicle imagery, the offers. One unique thing about our product that I really love and I’m going to plug this and stress it is I think in 2020 and beyond, we need to get our dealers really thinking about their value proposition.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah.
Jon Torrey: Sell me on your dealership. What are the assumptions that you have that you think your customers know about you, write them down because in our video templates with the automated solution, you can put up to three unique taglines that promote your business. You invested in a gourmet cafe, you invested in privacy rooms so that people, working adults, can come in, they can do work while they’re waiting for a car to be pulled around, whatever that is, they’re waiting for service. Well, we also have two other packages that allow for custom solutions.
Jon Torrey: You might say to me, “Jon, the automated solution is great. It’s a sort of set it and forget it. Dealer.com has built amazing technology to allow me to run these month over month, but you know what? I want a fully custom solution. What do you have for me?” And so we have two packages for that. We’ll have someone come onsite, get dealership footage, we’ll create custom templates for you. The price point is obviously a little bit higher, but we’re able to do the automated but also the custom.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Oh, that’s pretty cool. That’s pretty cool. What are some of the other benefits that dealers can expect when they invest in video advertising for their stores?
Jon Torrey: Yeah, for sure. I mean so when you’re investing in video advertising, I think that it’s targeted impressions, it’s attention, it’s the ability to spend less than you are today to get better results. So if you’re a dealership that’s advertising on television today, I would implore you to ask how is that performing? What are the KPIs that you’re looking at? Are you able to see website visitors, VDP views, leads, ultimately sales from that channel, right?
Jim Fitzpatrick: Probably not.
Jon Torrey: I’m not knocking TV. There’s places where it’s useful, but generally when you start to ask those questions that dealers start to say, you know what, I’m not quite sure. So I think ultimately it’s we see at Dealer.com and we’ve seen over the years that when you get in front of shoppers, across multiple channels with a consistent message, all of your core KPIs go up, your unique website visitors, your VDP views, your leads, your sales, that all rises. And that’s just going to continue with video.
Jon Torrey: One of the things I’ll say too is we offer not just a tier three solution, but also tier one and two. So we’re able to take footage from a tier one or tier two and we’ve been running this today and localize that. So we’re able to pair like OEM level, footage that’s on television, localize that with dealership names, with end cards at the end, and what we’ve seen from that is an increase in search volume for the specific vehicles that we’re advertising. So you’re actually, it’s a demand generation channel, but you’re affecting the demand capture of that low funnel shopper seeing an S60 ad from the OEM that’s localized to your local dealership, and then going and searching on that vehicle.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Wow, that’s fantastic. I mean this is going to be a game changer for a lot of dealers. You could be more effective in your advertising.
Jon Torrey: Very, very much so.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Bring down your cost per car sold, which is what every dealer is trying to do right now is to run their dealerships more effective. NADA says the average dealer is spending somewhere in $700 a car or some crazy number on marketing.
Jon Torrey: Exactly.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Why does it have to be that much when we live in a digital age the way that we do?
Jon Torrey: Yep.
Jim Fitzpatrick: We should be advertising and marketing to the end market customers right now for our brand.
Jon Torrey: Absolutely.
Jim Fitzpatrick: This allows you to do just that, right?
Jon Torrey: Absolutely. Yep.
Jim Fitzpatrick: For sure. So can a non Dealer.com client use your services in the area of the video as well or do they have to be a Dealer.com client?
Jon Torrey: No. If you don’t have a website with us, you can still take advantage of the video advertising product that we have.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Okay.
Jon Torrey: The only prerequisite for this is that you have some kind of advertising product with us today.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Okay.
Jon Torrey: So the way that the fee… If you don’t, it’s just going to be a percentage fee on top of the standard monthly fee.
Jim Fitzpatrick: When you say with us do you mean Dealer.com or with Cox Automotive?
Jon Torrey: With Dealer.com.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Dealer.com. Okay.
Jon Torrey: Yep. So some kind of advertising package, but our product… And that’s one of the things that we wanted to do is we wanted to provide a price. It’s $10.99 per month. You get up to 42 videos and it’s automated and that’s the starting point. You obviously have the custom solutions.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Right.
Jon Torrey: But when you look at… If you’re not a customer at all with us, then there’s a percentage of media spend on top of that, but you can start with us today. If you don’t have a website, you don’t have advertising, you can still start with us on video advertising today.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Wow. That’s kind of a challenge that you’re laying out to dealers right now. Dealers, I don’t know if you heard that or not, but-
Jon Torrey: Yeah, let’s do it.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Start with them today and start the year off right in 2020.
Jon Torrey: Yes.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Because this is where the industry is at right now. It’s where it’s going is video advertising and the guys at Cox Automotive know what’s going on and certainly Dealer.com. Jon Torrey, product manager of video advertising at Dealer.com. He knows the deal. Thanks so much for joining us on CBT News. This has been great. Love to have you back after the first of the year and see how things are going, how you’re rolling out to dealerships and maybe bring back some real big success stories.
Jon Torrey: Yeah, sounds good.
Jim Fitzpatrick: All right.
Jon Torrey: Thanks for having me.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Thank you.
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