3 Birds Marketing

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Make 2014 the Year You Stop Settling

Kristen Judd

Looking back on just the past five years or so in business, it feels like somebody keeps turning up the speed on the treadmill. The ready availability of information online, changing consumer behavior and buying patterns, constant connectivity through a variety of devices and communication touchpoints, the flagging influence of traditional advertising in favor of engagement, and the near daily changes in search engine algorithms and social media platforms, makes it very difficult for most businesses to keep up with these changes while still focusing on core business activities. This is especially true for automobile dealerships. While selling and servicing vehicles is the business of car dealerships, technology systems are used to run operations and online channels to market and advertise so consumers with automotive needs can find them.
As many moving pieces as there are, there are some common themes that unnecessarily complicate matters. Yes, I said unnecessarily. For too long dealers have had to make do with:

  • Legacy systems that are not integrated or don’t communicate with one another
  • Systems that cannot easily be configured to fit the process or reporting needs of individual dealers.
  • Too many different systems, logins and dashboards to effectively utilize and manage
  • Overlapping solutions from different vendors leading to:
    • Inconsistent branding
    • Loss of control over the number of “touches” or messages customers are receiving
    • Muddied messaging or inconsistent communication strategy
    • List fatigue and list management challenges
    • Customer confusion
    • Multiple points of contact for account management
  • One-size-fits-all or cookie cutter approaches that do not reflect the unique dealership brand
There is no longer any reason for dealers to settle and accept the status quo. Just because things have always been done a certain way, doesn’t mean that there is not a better way to do it. As much as the rapidly changing technology landscape makes keeping up a challenge, it also presents solutions that can catapult your business forward. The conversations will be expanding to encompass the concepts of enterprise solutions and open APIs and the flexibility, configurability and agility that they bring to business. We’ll still be talking about big data, online presence and reputation, social media and mobile, but these conversations should be under the larger umbrella of the integration, leveraging and data aggregation afforded by enterprise software. There is no need to continually settle for a fractured, rigid, piecemeal approach. Make 2014 the year that you stop settling.

If I have intrigued you and you’d like to learn more, I’ll be with the rest of the 3 Birds team at NADA at the end of this week exhibiting in Booth #1459. Like the rest of the world today, I can also be reached through a number of different communication channels. I am @kwjudd on Twitter. You can email me at kristen@3birdsmarketing.com. Connect with me on LinkedIn. Or simply call me at 415-235-3902.