Archive for October, 2010

So many things to cover, only one page to do it in…

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Wow! What an exciting couple of months it has been for us at JTZ Enterprise. In September we were proud to moderate a Panel Discussion at VIADA’s 50th Convention and Expo. The Panel we assembled included experts from various Automobile Industry related companies, Cars.com, Comsoft, Inc., Motorcade Magazine, AddZzoo, and DealerAutoDirect.com. Each of them gave details on how their company utilizes the Internet to help you do what you do best, SELL CARS!

The night before we attended the Expo as an exhibitor. It was fun to see everyone there. A dealer in today’s market will have a hard time succeeding with a “I know it all” attitude and this expo is a wonderful way for dealers to stay on top of all the new products and services available. I thank all of you who stopped by our booth and said hello.

Before the convention our developers were working hard to roll out a new section of www.VAUsedCarDealers.com. The new section expanded one statistics page into three separate areas. The original stats page is still there and is labeled Your VUCD Listings Stats. This page tells you how well your listings are doing on this website. More details were added and a complete breakdown of each vehicle listing results is available. The second page is marked Your Website Listing Stats. This is for those members who also have a website hosted by JTZ Enterprise. These pages tell you not only how often each of your listings is clicked on from your website, they also tally all the Calls To Action (CTA) that were followed from your site. A CTA is defined as an action your prospect takes when they follow your advice or direction to move closer to purchasing something from you. A CTA example is when an interested shopper visiting your inventory page requests the Carfax report, or searches for a specific Make or Model, or moves from page one to two in order to see the next 25 listings on your site. The third area is marked All VUCD Listing Stats and it will give you the top ten most clicked on and viewed Years, Makes, and Models. This information is designed to help you see what is hot and what is not both on your lot and around the Commonwealth.

These stats will be the topic of a later article and we will attempt to chart Return On Investment (ROI) when it comes to Internet Advertising. For now, we encourage everyone to check this new area out and give us your feedback.

At about the same time we were developing this area we were also trying to help clean up some things at Craigslist.org. Craigslist is free and effective but, unfortunately, this has led to some taking advantage of a good thing. JTZ Enterprise contacted VIADA about some listings that indicated the group posting it belonged to www.MAPPVA.com when they did not. We also forwarded several urls to Bruce Gould of the MVDB we thought were good examples of misleading ads from licensed car dealers. Most of them violated various advertising laws and we are happy to report both organizations responded quickly. VIADA contacted those who were displaying the VIADA or MAPP logo incorrectly and got them removed. The MVDB sent warning letters and emails out to those in violation of advertising laws.

Congress passed sweeping Finance Reform Laws and it was a question as to whether or not car dealers were going to fall under these new laws. It was lobbied by some that you would be included because of the increasing number of complaints from military personnel. These misleading Craigslist ads are mainly targeted towards the military and this should remain a concern for all reputable dealers. It only takes one bad deal to have a bad reputation be cast on your entire industry. If you see someone stretching the rules, say something. If you know them personally, start with them. If that is not possible, feel free to go to VIADA or the MVDB. I did and I found they both have an open door. They want you to know everyone must play by the same rules. When it comes to advertising online, in the newspaper or over the air, all the same rules apply.

After we returned from the convention our developers began working feverishly on yet another new feature. Beginning mid-October JTZ Enterprise began sending Carfax a list of all VINs in our system that we know to belong to dealers signed up for Carfax services. In return, Carfax will send us back a list of those VINs telling us which ones have free online reports available and which ones are considered to be a One Owner. This information is then used to display the appropriate Carfax/One Owner logo and link to the report. Reports run on vehicles with title branding or negative report information will not be displayed. The last step we take each day is provide Carfax with information on those vehicles a report has been run on so that they can display and link to those listings from Carfax.com. This will get your inventory additional exposure to shoppers who have put an emphasis on this information by starting their search at this other website.

There is no additional cost for these two Carfax services. This is just one more way you are able to get more from your advertising dollar.

Already we are looking forward to 2011! We want to take this opportunity to thank you for once again stopping in at The Internet Corner.