That’s why you’re our featured team player this month! Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do for JKR! Please accept this token of appreciation as our sincere gratitude for helping to make our company what it is today.
Automotive Advertising Tips From “The Car Guys” at JKR
Three tips to increase traffic:
Over 50 years of combined success in the automotive advertising world allows us to share our indisputable knowledge with dealers out there, who are just getting started or still figuring it out. Follow our lead. We make market leaders.
Whenever possible, retain an outside perspective of your current advertising strategy. We offer a free, no-obligation comprehensive analysis of your current situation, and our highly skilled Account Executives offer suggestions for immediate improvement.
Question everything! Whatever you do, if you can’t clearly see it working, it’s not. Stop wasting your money, energy, and time on it.
Take the JKR digital challenge! Here’s the third and probably the most valuable tip we can offer in today’s e-newsletter. The JKR digital challenge: You could be receiving better service for less, and much higher ROI.
Nearly every industry has fallen victim to Online Security issues at one time or another, including many automobile dealerships. Their databases are fertile ground for a hacker, chock full of customers’ personal and financial information. The importance of protecting this data cannot be overstated – and today’s blog offers tips from an industry expert to help keep it safe.
Tim Taylor is Owner of TaylorWorks, a Central Florida-based Managed IT Services and Support company whose clients include multiple automobile dealerships. We spoke to Tim about some of the most effective ways a dealership can protect one of its most important assets – the customer database.
What can a dealer do to protect himself from Online Security breaches?
As any dealer knows, their database would be a goldmine for hackers, so it’s very important that their networks are completely secure. They must have good firewalls and if they allow people to operate remotely, they should use VPN (Virtual Private Network) connections. Even if their network data is 100% online, hackers can still infiltrate one employee’s computer and get what they want.
If you have internal servers, they should always be backed up both locally and online (in the cloud) so if a ransomware situation occurs, it allows you to recover very quickly and not have to worry about paying the ransom. It is also vital that your backup system runs continuously. Here’s an example why this is true: if a hacker strikes at 4:00 in the afternoon and the best thing you can do is recover everything from the previous day, that’s obviously not good for the dealership because you risk losing everything you keyed in during the present day.
You simply shouldn’t take chances. You never think it is going to happen to you … until it does. A lot of businesses today – ours included – require a second authentication to log on to their computers. This is called Two-Factor authentication. In addition to the user name and password, the employee also validates their identity from their phone. This is an inexpensive – but very smart – extra layer of protection, because it helps keep unwanted people from gaining access to your vital information.
As you mentioned earlier, each individual computer at a dealership can be hacked. Is there anything that can be done to help make them less vulnerable?
One very important thing is making sure all your machines are continuously updated. I’m talking about simple Microsoft Windows updates. If this doesn’t happen, there is a much bigger chance that information can get compromised. Microsoft creates a lot of patches to stop things like this but if they’re not installed on the computers it doesn’t do any good. You need software on your PCs that can give you reports regarding each machine getting updated on a regular basis. A Managed Service provider can provide this.
The dealerships that take the necessary steps to keep up with these things are the ones who don’t have big problems. The ones who try to save a little money or don’t pay enough attention to it are the ones who often end up with their systems infected, compromised or ransomed. And here’s the thing: it costs a lot more to correct a big problem like this than it would have ever cost to prevent it in the first place when you consider the downtime, the loss of productivity and any ransom you might have to pay … not to mention possible sales lost while you are down! And these days, hackers often base ransom amounts on what they think you can afford to pay, not just a predetermined sum of money – so the amounts they demand can be quite high.
How should a dealership handle online “phishers” – people using fake correspondence to obtain financial or other confidential information from Internet users?
Dealerships manage large amounts of money and sometimes wire transfer big sums online. So it only makes sense to train all your employees – especially those who handle money in any way – to be especially careful. We actually have a service where we send out “dummy e-mails” to our clients’ employees purporting to be from Microsoft, FedEx or another company the employee would consider legitimate. In these emails, we ask employees to verify their ID, password and other information. It’s all very official-looking but of course, not real. We then go back to the client and tell them which employees fell for the dummy emails and gave out their information. This type of ongoing staff training is very important so your employees know to be on alert at all times.
Transferring money should involve a multi-level approval process and even a call before the transfer is ever actually made – because once money has been intercepted by a phisher you’re not going to get it back.
A great ad during the COVID-19 pandemic is obviously not the same as a great ad under normal circumstances. Although we’re not completely out of the woods yet in terms of what’s happening with the coronavirus, things continue returning to normal. As such, it’s time to examine some of the key elements to a successful post-COVID ad campaign.
Great Ad Elements
Keep it Simple: When you only have 30 or 60 seconds, less is more. Focusing on a smaller number of things ensures your audience will remember what you said – and it could even leave them wanting to know more.
Make it Easily Identifiable: Be sure your dealership’s name and logo (in video productions) are mentioned and displayed often.
Make it Interesting: You can use facts, emotion, entertainment or a number of other tactics … but if your audience isn’t moved by it, it’s going to be less effective.
Make it Memorable: Think about how much advertising you’re exposed to on a daily basis. Make your dealership’s ads stand out from the crowd and you’ll reap the benefits.
Be Consistent: Spread the same message in all your platforms. This helps avoid confusion – the last thing you want when there are others nearby who sell the same products as you. Clearly representing your dealership and its mission ensures consistency.
Make it Credible: Believability is a big part of what makes people take notice of an ad. Potential customers won’t buy from you if they don’t think they can trust you.
Make Sure it Reaches the Right Audience: Reach and frequency must be sufficient for an advertisement to truly be effective. Getting the most people you can to see your messages (reach) is great, but that isn’t the only element involved. It typically takes multiple exposures (frequency) to your message before you can expect any kind of response.
Want to find out if your marketing dollars are being spent efficiently? Contact JKR and we’ll provide you with a no-strings-attached, FREE Advertising Review. We’ll take a close look at what you (and your competition) are doing, and give you our expert feedback. Call us at (321) 397-0777 today to get things started.
JKR Automotive Advertising: The car dealer ad agency.
Employee turnover at automobile dealerships is currently running at an almost 40 percent annual clip. Year after year, this number has continued to grow and the issue is especially serious in the sales department. This information comes from a recent Dealership Workforce Study presented by the NADA, the organization representing the interests of dealerships selling new cars and trucks.
The topic of employee turnover is always a hot-button issue with car dealers nationwide. Despite the average weekly income for all employees at new-car dealerships rising to more than $1,300, it’s always difficult to retain staff members, especially salespeople who are, ironically, among the highest paid of all. The employee turnover rate with the sales force is so prevalent, nearly half are terminated within 90 days of hire!
There are several reasons for the severity of this staff retention issue. First, some dealerships have the mindset that their salesforce and entry-level people are “expendable” – so if they leave or are fired they’ll just find someone to take their place. Second, many people don’t like the long hours they often find themselves working. For example, even though sales consultants working 50-60 hours per week predictably earn more than their counterparts working 40-45 hours, the extra money doesn’t seem to be worth it to many of them.
Bearing in mind that it costs a great deal of time and money to interview, hire and train new employees, what can be done to help lower this shockingly high employee turnover rate?
∙ For starters, it helps to refrain from having too many people on the sales floor at the same time. If a dealership overstaffs, it can be frustrating for a salesperson who recognizes that the amount of foot traffic isn’t sufficient for everyone to get opportunities to make sales.
∙ Second, take the time to properly train your new employees. Online courses alone are not enough. If they don’t know how to present your products – and themselves – to customers, they won’t be successful.
∙ Third, give them consistent feedback. If you want them to improve, show them you care. Give them the help they need to do their best.
∙ Fourth, be flexible with schedulingwherever possible. This is especially true if you have a younger workforce.
∙ Finally, try your best to create career paths for valuable staff members interested in sticking around for the long haul.
Just as with most other businesses, attracting and retaining the best employees creates an atmosphere that is pleasant and comfortable for customers and staff alike. How does that atmosphere compare to the one you’ve created at your dealership?