Revving up Fixed Ops: Reputation Marketing (Part 4)

Revving up Fixed Ops: Reputation Marketing (Part 4)

The fixed operations industry accounts for well over $300 billion in revenue every year, yet automotive dealers are struggling to capture even one-third of this goldmine. In part one of our series, we identified a few key reasons why dealers are not getting their fair share of the available business that is, frankly, theirs for the taking. In part two, we examined the results dealers should expect from email and direct mail marketing of their service drive. Most recently, in part three, we considered the wide open field of opportunity dealers have with search and social media advertising.

Yet, as more dealers aggressively move to market their fixed ops business, a critical part of marketing remains. One that, if ignored, can cripple the efforts (and waste the dollars) behind these channels that promise so much success — even if they are executed perfectly.

What is this final ingredient? Consider the wisdom of this ancient Jewish proverb:

A good reputation is more desirable than great wealth, and favorable acceptance more than silver and gold.

This proverb elegantly captures a powerful truth. Your dealership can boast impressive revenue or profit numbers in the short term, but will still lose if it carries a poor reputation. Whether dealers’ fixed operations have always been important, or are taking on more weight as sales are anticipated to flatten in 2017, the success of a dealer principal’s marketing efforts hinges on the dealership’s online reputation.

In other words, dealers could wholeheartedly adopt every single marketing tip from this blog series, but fall short on online reputation marketing, and see little to no fruit from their fixed ops marketing labor.

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Consider the online consumers who are in need of servicing their vehicles. Assume your dealership’s direct mail marketing has worked well with email, search, and social marketing channels. Buyers now turn to Google.

Perhaps they are among the 70% of drivers who research parts and services online prior to contacting a service center. Or maybe they are among the smaller, but still significant, 38% of low-funnel service prospects who look up an auto dealership’s service hours and directions. These buyers find your store in their search and are greeted by Google’s Knowledge Panel, upon which your reputation is displayed — quite literally — for all the world to see.

If the quantity and quality of your dealership’s ratings and reviews are not up to their expectations, they will simply continue their search online.

If the quantity and quality of your ratings and reviews are not up to [the buyers’] expectations, they will continue their search rather than finalize their choice.

Earlier in this series, we noted strong results for direct mail, email, search, and social. Beyond these, Dominion Dealer Solutions has provided amazing ROI for its automotive dealer customers with respect to online reputation marketing. In fact, dealers are seeing a 5x growth in the number of reviews generated in the first year of working with us — 3x more than the next best performing provider. Furthermore, those reviews are linked to an average dealership rating of 4.6 stars.

There is no better way to ensure a strong fixed ops marketing strategy than to seal it with a “good reputation.” We look forward to working with you and seeing the “silver and gold” follow.

Boost your dealership’s reviews and maintain a flawless online reputation with Prime Response. To get started call 877.421.1040.

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