On today’s show, we’re pleased to welcome back Glenn Pasch, auto marketing expert, industry thought leader, and CEO of PCG Digital. Glenn is no stranger to CBT News and always has great insight and advice into the world of marketing.
If you’d like to hear more advice and insight from Glenn, be sure to watch our past interviews with him as well.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Glenn, thanks so much for joining us on the show.
Glenn Pasch: Thank you so much for having me again.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Sure, so you wrote a recent blog post that we want to talk to you about. I think you titled it Two Important Things to Adjust Before Q4. Talk to us about that and talk to us about the thought behind that and what you’re suggesting.
Glenn Pasch: Great. So as we are helping dealers, we know the Q4 is really the time of year that makes or breaks a dealer’s year. What we’re really trying to focus on these two changes: One would be Google My Business, which is your free listing that everyone sees. When I type in a dealership’s name, it’s the thing that will pop up on the right-hand side. So Google My Business.
Glenn Pasch: The second is the idea in your paid search about buying your own name, buying the dealership’s name. So Glenn’s Toyota. I buy that, so I see that ad there for Glenn’s Toyota, and then I also see my organic listing. So recommend not buying the name and optimizing Google My Business.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Okay, and dealers have heard conflicting ideas on that. They’ve heard, “No, buy the name,” and you’re saying, “Don’t buy the name.” What was the rationale behind buying it in the first place?
Glenn Pasch: Well, back early on, if we go back to when the first websites came up, they were just all-flash. And search, they didn’t really know how to find you, so you could either game the system to come up in search, or in a lot of times, the way they were built, your inventory wasn’t really even on your website. It was all these links off to something else, and it was very hard to show up. So you had to buy your name to guarantee that you would be there.
Glenn Pasch: But now, with all of the technology advances, the websites now are so much better. Google as a product. We sometimes forget that Google is a product that’s constantly evolving itself, so in search now, in my opinion, if I’m typing in your name … So if I’m typing in Jim’s Toyota, my intention is to find Jim’s Toyota. So why do I need to buy my name? Google will present the user who types in Jim’s Toyota with … Your website should be the first organic listing, and my Google My Business.
Glenn Pasch: So I don’t think you need to. There are still, as you said … Dealers will defend that and say, “Well, Bob’s Toyota’s buying my name, and his ad is there.” But in this day and age, the intention is to find you. So even if I saw Bob, the odds of me going, “Oh, I really meant Bob!” are very slim.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Right, right. What are the best ways to monitor your website traffic?
Glenn Pasch: Google Analytics, and anybody who tells you differently, I just disagree strongly. You can have your own dashboard. So if you’re working with a company that has a dashboard, they may show you a streamlined version of your website analytics. But we always recommend having both, making sure that they are using Google Analytics, as well, so you have something to compare to, to hold someone accountable.
Glenn Pasch: But again, Google Analytics has to be set up correctly, because that’s evolving. You want to be able to track not just website visitors, but how many phone calls, how many people completed forms, and more importantly, what else did they do on my website? Did they look at photos? Did they click on my payment calculator? All those things matter nowadays.
Jim Fitzpatrick: And what is a UTM code, and how can dealers tag their Google My Business with one?
Glenn Pasch: Right, so a UTM tag is a fancy way of saying it’s a little snippet of code that attaches itself to your website address or your URL. What that does is it allows in Analytics for you to see the traffic. For instance, we see in our Analytics all the time what we call referral traffic. So if somebody was on Auto Trader or Cars.com and Cargurus and they clicked on the link there, they jumped over to your website. So in Analytics, you’ll say, “I had 100 people who came from Auto Trader over to my website.” That’s pretty simple.
Glenn Pasch: If you don’t put that tag on your Google My Business, the website button, all of the people who click onto your Google My Business to come to your website is just dumped into organic traffic, so you don’t see it. If you have the ability to separate it, then you actually can see if you’re doing any other marketing in the area: offline, traditional media. If, all of a sudden, people are typing in your name. So if I’m typing in my name and I see a surge-up of that traffic, I can say, “Oh, that radio spot I did is working,” or “I just hosted a big event and I was the title sponsor and we had 10,000 people there. Look at all these people who are typing in my name and coming through Google My Business.” So it’s important.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Right, right. We hear a lot about the use of video nowadays. That seems to be all the rage with dealers. They heard “No video” for many years. “Oh, get off of TV. Don’t do video. You got to be online.” But now, obviously, with all of these different OTT and such, they’re hearing a lot more about video. What do you say about that, and what do you recommend to dealers?
Glenn Pasch: I think video is the best way to start communicating your message out there. Everything designed for the phone, but even if you’re searching on your computer, or as you said, OTT, video tells a better story. It’s easier. Right now, you’re talking to me about an article I wrote. Someone could read the article, but we’re having a conversation, so it’s easier for them to consume, and then they say, “Okay, I’ll go over and read.”
Glenn Pasch: So for a dealer, customers now want to know about the dealer. I think we have totally pivoted, took that jump over to really being about the experience I’m going to receive. I’ve been saying this for a while now: The car is the car is the car. Meaning if you sell Toyotas, the exact same Toyota Corolla is the exact same car the other person has, so really going to be about the experience. Video can explain to someone the experience you’re going to deliver. Video from a customer, saying, “Boy, did they deliver on it!” I think that helps you.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Sure. Who at the dealership do you recommend to be the pitch person, so to speak, in these videos? Should it be salespeople? Should it be the dealer principal? Should it be the GM? All of the above?
Glenn Pasch: I think all of the above. I think what happens is, if you do a great job in video, funny thing is, they want to meet that person. So if you hire an actor who is not part of that or you put all of your eggs in the basket with one person but I leave, then you may not be able to use their likeness.
Glenn Pasch: Depends on the message. So if it is, “Here is the overall brand message,” I’d like the owner or the general manager. If it’s, “Here’s how we take care of you in service,” well, maybe it’s the service director. Or “Here’s how I take care of my customers,” or “Here’s what’s going to happen when you come in,” that might be a salesperson. So I think variety, as long as they’re comfortable on camera and have fun. I think the more people who are willing to do it and talk about it, I think it gives the customer a peek inside the dealership, to see the real people who are in the dealership. It doesn’t feel so much like a commercial.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Right, right. Knowing what you know about the car business and how much it’s changed, and obviously, you’re one of the leaders in digital marketing and social marketing and such. Is there a place for any traditional marketing any more? If it was Glenn Pasch Toyota, would you be spending any money in radio, TV, billboards, or are you just saying, “Nope, I’m all in on digital. That’s where the buyer is. That’s where I want to be?”
Glenn Pasch: No, I think I’d … It depends on my market, so you have to look at it as your market. If I’m in a market where there’s a lot of commuters, I’m a bedroom community type … Or think of outside of Atlanta. So people are commuting in and out of Atlanta, but my dealership is outside. I might have billboards on the highway, but I’d make sure they were fun, unique. Not trying to just be 199. Again, we got to catch them.
Jim Fitzpatrick: But wouldn’t the argument be made for that $4,000, $5,000 a month billboard that’s in a high-traffic area, to say, “Wow, if you give us that five grand and we put it into digital or social marketing, you’re going to get so many more eyeballs from buyers in your market for that product, at a time that they’re shopping for the vehicle?” Versus if 10% of the market or 5% of the market is in the market for a vehicle-
Glenn Pasch: I’d argue that’s the same thing with saying social media … I’m putting it in front of you in market. I think it’s a blend. The interesting thing, and why I think this is … I was just at a conference and I had three dealers at three different times come up to me as they walked the floor and said, “You know what, Glenn? It doesn’t seem like there’s anything new in digital marketing.”
Glenn Pasch: And that made me think that for some dealers now, digital marketing is no longer this special thing. And I think with all the advances of OTT, being able to target and set box-top data is very much equal now to what data you’re getting from, say, social media. So you could target. Now it’s not, “I’m just going to buy Big Bang Theory at 7:30.” I now say, “Well, who’s the shopper that buys this vehicle?” Now I can go to the cable company and say, “Okay, here’s the person. What are the 30 programs that this person watches?” And I’m going to advertise on all of them. The other way was I had to hope the 10% were watching. Now, I’m going, “I’m going to catch them here.”
Glenn Pasch: So I still think billboards. I still think traditional. I just think that you have to … If I was going to do a billboard, I would have only one phone number or a catchy phrase or something that would lead me somewhere or people would hear it. It wouldn’t be my first. If I had a little extra or I got a deal on it. It wouldn’t be my first play, but I think traditional still works. You just have to know the market, ask the right questions, and make sure it mixes with everything, versus just being segregated, where we’re going to do some radio, but it’s not connected to anything else we’re doing.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Right, right. For the dealers that are out there that are not in video yet, what do you say to them? Get in? Wait? Dealers can get so blinded by all of the different new flashy items. As you mentioned, some dealers are like, “Hey, there’s nothing new.” Would you say that video is probably the newest, latest, greatest thing out there?
Glenn Pasch: Well, what I would do, in terms of video, if somebody’s saying … There’s two different ways to look at video. One is, “Am I constantly going to make videos that I’m pushing out through social media or through other channels?” Yes, that’s another strategy, but I would … Even if you’re saying, “I don’t know how to do that,” I would hire a company to come in and shoot five videos: Why should I buy from you? Why should I service? Why should I trade my car? How am I going to get the best deal? What’s the experience? Those are evergreen. Those aren’t going to [inaudible 00:12:11].
Glenn Pasch: But those then, when I come to your website, I see someone talking to me. That’s a little bit different. Now, if you want to get involved with video, you probably have somebody in your dealership that shoots video. They love video. They do it all the time. They do it at home. They do it for themselves. What they would do … What I think would happen would be that would be a great person to say, “Hey, would you go do this?” They would think it was nothing. It would be fun for them to do it, instead of going, “Oh, this is so hard to do.”
Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah, yeah, for sure. So just to kind of recap, the things that you want the dealers out there to focus on for Q4. If you had to pick three or four things, what would that be?
Glenn Pasch: Well, if you don’t have your branding videos up, I’d get them done. I would definitely be focusing on making sure Google My Business is tagged, because it’s just going to help you. You can just type in Google URL builder and it’s a simple tool to do it. Or your website company or your marketing company should do it.
Glenn Pasch: I would stop buying your name. If it’s under $500, that’s fine, or $300, but I see dealers spending $2,000, $3,000, $4,000 on their name. I’d take that money and I would go put it into Facebook ads or things like that.
Glenn Pasch: And ultimately, I would take a step back for a moment and really focus on in Q4: How am I taking care of the people? A very simple thing … I know a separate conversation about how you’re communicating to your online customers when they call or email. Just ask yourself a simple question: If you, Jim, were standing in front of me and you were pointing to a car and saying, “Can you tell me about that car?” what would I say? But if you sent me an email and said, “Tell me about that car,” am I saying the exact same thing? So it’s really about treating your customers exactly the same way you would online as you would in the store. And really focus on that experience, because at the end of the day, the car is the car.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Right, and this is what makes you the auto marketing expert of the world out there, so we appreciate your visit here, Glenn, on CBT News. It’s always a pleasure. Our dealers get so much out of it, so thanks again for joining us. I wish I could sit here all day and talk about this, because it’s always a hot topic among our subscribers and viewers. I really appreciate you taking the time out of your day today.
Glenn Pasch: Any time, any time. Always here for you. Thanks.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Great, thanks so much.