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Where the auto industry is, and where it needs to go – Bob Lanham, Facebook

Car dealers and other retail professionals in the automotive industry recently came together in Napa, California for the annual Digital Marketing Strategies Conference. Among the speakers was Facebook’s Head of Automotive Retail, Bob Lanham who joins us today to discuss key takeaways from the conference.

The Digital Marketing Strategies Conference, held earlier this month, is an annual event that features executive-level workshops, interactive panel discussions, and high-quality insights from auto industry leaders. This year, industry thought leaders took a deep dive into the following:

  • Messaging: The growth of messaging is showing no signs of slowing down, and the industry as a whole, needs to find ways to better handle it. One dealer group did an internal study of messaging operations and found that while third-party messaging platforms increased leads by 6%, the BDC was 47% more likely to convert those leads into deals. 
  • Media Mixed Model: Media and advertising platforms don’t work within a silo, Lanham says. All the various marketing components work together in order to drive the impact of sales. What Lanham discussed in his event session was the importance of a media mixed model. This model is simply a list of everything that you are buying advertising and marketing-wise and its cost. Then, you can adjust the model as necessary and track the impact of new advertising channels in a quantitative way. 
  • Media Optimization: According to recent research from Brian Pasch and the PCG Companies, when car dealers do not look at their media correctly, they miss out on budget allocation opportunities. In fact, only 12% of inbound phone calls to the dealership, that were referred by search engines, were sales-related.
  • Impact of a Cookie-Less World: With the rollout of the iOS 14 update, understanding how to use first-party data for marketing is now vital for dealerships as well as finding the right third-party data. 

While this information is essential for car dealers, many of them find the jargon and nuances of marketing, daunting to unpack. Lanham says that because advertising and marketing is a top-three expenditure for the dealership, it is in many dealers’ best interest to hire some experience and deft hands to oversee it. Other key topics addressed at the event were social media marketing and personal branding among others.

To find out more, be sure to watch our interview with Bob Lanham and visit https://digitalmarketingstrategies.org/.


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CBT Automotive Network is a multimedia broadcast platform serving automotive professionals. With interviews featuring the biggest names in the industry, daily newscasts following top stories, up-to-date market data, and exclusive articles covering the latest industry trends, CBT is the leading voice of the retail automotive industry.

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