Automotive Advertising Agencies Focus on Consumers Vs Auto Dealers to Sell Cars Because Google Does

Consumers prefer to go to the Internet to shop for a vehicle to get information to make a buying decision without having to visit a dealership. Sometimes they turn to the World Wide Web vs. their local car row to avoid being pressured by a self serving car salesperson — real or imagined. Other times their objective may be to save gas and time before they jump into the real world where they may be pressured into making a premature buying decision based on emotion and limited information. Frankly, in many cases, they are right; can you say — spot delivery.Job one for search engines, like Google, is to provide relevant information to their online customers to help them narrow down their list of vehicles of interest and answer associated questions like trade-in value, payment options and the many items that must be addressed before they can select — the — vehicle vs. — a — vehicle. Once those issues are resolved, they need to help their online shoppers find an auto dealer that can provide a vehicle that best satisfies those terms and conditions; in that order — vehicle first and dealer second. My point is that when Google first directs their customers to the most relevant source for their desired information it is not necessarily limited to a particular dealership. Today’s car shoppers are much better educated than yesterday’s. They know what questions they need to ask before they can make a buying decision so their online search words are more able to target vehicles that warrant their consideration rather than limiting their search to their local car dealerships. For better or worse, auto dealers can’t put that horse back in the barn!The adversarial relationship between consumers and auto dealers that governed old world selling processes originated in the real world to help auto dealers control the shopping and negotiation process and they survived briefly on the virtual showrooms being built one on the Internet, but — today and tomorrow — not so much! Once auto dealer’s realized — or more correctly — once customers told auto dealers that they no longer controlled the access to the information that they needed to purchase a vehicle the dealers tried to control the information on the Internet; how is that working out for auto dealers!Automotive advertising agencies first assumed that S.E.O. and S.E.M. was a way to put Google on the auto dealer’s side of the Internet Super Highway. If they placed the right search words, meta tags, URL names — and the various manipulations of the Google search algorithms that automotive advertising agencies have memorized as fast as Google changes them — then they could manipulate the search results to place their auto dealer clients as the most relevant source for the information that customers were searching for and earn the auto dealers a position on the car shoppers short list. Given the vertical priority placed by Google to position a listing on page one based on relevancy to their customers search words or phrases, that technique certainly has value. However, since customers are prioritizing finding a vehicle before a dealer and/or to answer related questions before they open negotiations on a specific vehicle at a particular auto dealer, auto dealers that base their online marketing efforts to accomplish that priority are positioning themselves mid-sales cycle and they may be a day late and a dollar short for a large portion of today’s and tomorrow’s shoppers/buyers.Automotive advertising agencies have attempted to answer customer’s questions on their auto dealership’ websites in an attempt to earn them a top position on vehicle based searches. Their assumption is that the more information the better — as long as it is relevant — however, once at the auto dealer’s site the more accurate priority is “transparency!” More time on page, and more page visits used to be considered a good thing but today, once again — not so much! The easier and faster the online car shopper can find the specific information that they need to make a buying decision the better! Site designs are being simplified with more intuitive user interface and dedicated landing pages or linked micro sites to allow customers to limit the amount of “clicks” or wasted exposure to information that may be relevant to the dealer but not necessarily to the customer; at that time in their shopping cycle at least.Once the shopper actually ventures onto an online showroom the plan is to keep them there by providing direct or linked access to anything that they need to move themselves further down the sales/buying funnel. The dealer may see these information resources as a conversion tool or a lead generator but if they lose track of the truth — that the customer is still in charge — they risk losing them with the click of a mouse. Sorry, but throwing their trade-in keys onto the roof won’t work in your virtual showrooms!The solution is for auto dealers to listen and learn from their online customers before they presume to sell them anything! Human nature has survived on the World Wide Web and relationship based selling still has a strong influence on consumers. Today’s online shoppers are being directed by Google and the other search engines to social networking sites because the marketplace is a conversation and people are social animals. Auto dealers who want to attract customers with a message that they are the best source for information to serve the customer’s interest vs. their own are better served to have their customers make that case for them.Next generation inventory based search portals — like ronsmap.com — accept an auto dealer’s inventory for free with the ability to push their vehicles into social media using their vBack application to Ask-A-Friend or Tell-A-Friend about the vehicle — and the dealer –that they are considering within their social networking communities of online friends. Google has already admitted that they are prioritizing real time social media to establish relevancy, and automotive advertising agencies already know that more vehicles on a site provide more relevancy to more online car shoppers. As a result, they have found that the way to attract more online customers to find their auto dealership as the place to go to get all of their questions answered will be the message that is carried along with their individual vehicles listed on this communal consumer-centric site; which is what the customers are looking for to begin developing their shortlist of dealers to do business with!Customer friendly applications that distribute the information on an auto dealer’s individual website which have the secondary value of functioning as a conversion tool or lead generator are also key differentiators that quickly build branding value for an auto dealer’s virtual showroom and enhance their online reputation as the place to go to get customer’s questions answered vs. their being sold something. For example, GetAutoAppraise.Com is a next generation appraisal tool that provides credible third party trade-in values sourced through NADA with integrated inventory information that allows the customer to review the entire transaction more efficiently. Their trade-in appraisal form includes vehicle, price and payment information to and from both parties to the transaction in one easy transparent and customer friendly process.Video platforms, like SiSTeR Technologies Video CarLot, is another transparent Google friendly application that converts pictures on an auto dealer’s website into interactive videos with human voice that are also pushed out onto the World Wide Web through their dedicated API to You Tube and soon to be announced applications that push their vShock platform onto social networking communities like Face Book. Their proprietary video platform is fully index able for the search engines and it provides relevant information to the customer from within the video as well as direct links through their vShock application that opens a dedicated micro site with similar vehicles chosen from the dealer’s inventory using algorithms and business rules custom designed by the dealer to improve the customers vehicle selection. This process is another example of a customer friendly information delivery system that will improve transparency for the customer once they find an online dealership which will also extend the auto dealers S.E.O..The point is, the more information that an automotive advertising agency provides through their auto dealer client’s websites in the most relevant and transparent manner the better. However, auto dealers need to get online car shoppers to find and visit their virtual showrooms first, and since information is a key differentiator between them and their online competition — or according to Google and online shoppers, it should be – then the information alone won’t make it! Automotive advertising agencies must focus on consumers’ interests in order to best serve their auto dealer clients because Google does; and Google does it because their customers demand it!

What’s the Cost of Digital Marketing: Marketing Agency Vs Freelancer

At some point, most businesses engage external digital marketing expertise to provide inbound marketing, SEO, PPC, and social media services. In Dubai, that expertise comes in the form of either an agency or freelance talent. In a tough B2C and B2B environment, budgets are tight, and largess limited, so how can prospective clients come to grips with the cost of digital marketing in Dubai? Why Hiring A Digital Marketing Agency In Dubai Is Cheaper Than You Think! Up until now, establishing what the reasonable costs are for hiring a digital marketing agency in Dubai have been murky and anything but transparent. Relying on gut instinct won’t get you very far and public data on rates and fee for services remains elusive.If you are considering tapping into external digital marketing expertise, gaining a clear line of sight on the average costs being asked for monthly retainers and hourly rates for digital marketing in Dubai can be challenging and time consuming to compile. Digital Marketing Pricing Survey Insights A recent survey by Credo, a company that matches prospective clients with marketing agencies or consultants released the results of its latest survey of digital marketing pricing. The survey was distributed to 184 respondents across 19 countries and produced some interesting insights on the present trends for the cost of digital marketing. Freelance consultants consistently price based on hourly or monthly base rates and project fees. Worldwide digital consultant rates continue to be based on years of experience. Consultants with 1-3 years of experience, charge around $88, while those with 10+ years of experience charge an average of $189.Agency pricing appears all over the map. Agencies with 2 to 5 employees and 6 to 10 employees actually charged more on average than agencies with 11 to 20 employees according to the survey SEO agencies appear unsure about pricing their services with pricing being all over the shop. The survey showed an hourly range of $145 to about $181 Agencies and consultants with a strong strategy focus charge higher rates compared to those with a broader portfolio of services Monthly retainers, project fees, and hourly rates are all higher for strategy related servicesImplications For ClientsWith so much variation in rate schedules and competition from freelance consultants, the cost of hiring a digital marketing agency in Dubai may be cheaper than you may expect.Assess precisely what digital marketing services you are after, overlay that with a monthly service fee from a pool of prospective agencies, and use that as the starting point in your negotiations. Most agencies are very clear about their cost base and what utilization rates they are targeting and so consequently, understand just how far they can comfortably negotiate. Agency Versus Freelancer As you would expect, there are some key differences in pricing between freelancers and agencies:Freelancers are mostly servicing clients through a blend of hourly rates and project based fees.Agency preference for monthly-retainer contracts is not surprising, after all, they usually have more overhead to coverThe average digital marketing industry monthly retainer contract starts at $1,000 and ranges up to $5,000.The larger the agency, generally, the more services they offer under one umbrella. If you are looking for a blend of digital marketing services, hiring an agency will reduce the amount of coordination you need to do as a client. The larger the agency, the more customized solutions it usually provides, and hence, the higher the average price point per customer required to cover that specialized expertise and talent. The Best Clients Often, small and medium-sized businesses feel they are at a disadvantage in negotiating with an agency due to their lack of scale compared to larger clients. However, frequently, small, and medium-sized businesses are the best clients from an agency perspective.The reality is, digital advertising as an industry in Dubai, is still a comparatively immature market, and the majority of agencies lack the corporate expertise and infrastructure to service enterprise scaled customers.Hence small to medium businesses provide an agency with reliable bread and butter revenue streams without the complexity and high servicing costs that come with large multinational clients. So, if you are a small or medium-sized business, don’t be embarrassed to negotiate with an agency. They need clients like you, another reason why the cost of hiring a digital marketing agency in Dubai may be lower than you may expect! High Demand Agency Services Despite the profusion of digital marketing services, SEO and PPC services remain most agencies primary sources of revenue. The top five services sought by clients are: SEO PPC management Social media Content marketing Analytics and UXAnalytics and user experience design (UX) are surging in popularity as their importance to attracting prospects and retaining customers becomes clear. This recognition is reflected in their growing footprint within the portfolio of digital marketing services clients are seeking from their agencies.While this is good news for the industry as a whole, as it indicates a more disciplined and structured approach to digital advertising in the Middle East. It also points to a continued lack of recognition by business owners and marketers of the need to put in place adequate analytic capability in-house.Similarly, ensuring an engaging user experience from the launch of a digital marketing initiative would go a long way towards supporting the consumer acceptance of online marketing particularly as regional Internet users have become more experienced and have higher expectations of the online UX.Identify growth opportunities for your business today! Our free 30-minute marketing assessment can help save you money and drive your business forward. Subscribe Now For A Free 30-Minute Marketing Assessment!Conclusion If you are in the process of hiring a marketing agency, the news is good. The cost of hiring a digital marketing agency in Dubai may be lower than you anticipate and there are different pricing structures and models available.Many agencies use a combination of pricing models such as monthly retainer for standard services, milestone pricing for projects they do frequently, or hourly pricing for new or more complex work. Discuss which pricing model works best for you with your prospective agency and you may be in for a delightful surprise!

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