15 April

Website Analytics vs. Shopper Analytics

By Marshall Slaton, Bayshore Solutions Digital Marketing Team

What Are the Right Analytics to Use in Automotive & Consumer Marketing?

 

While attending the last Digital Dealer conference, there was a great session covering analytics and whether we should focus on the website or shopper perspective. For example, if someone showed you the number 14,162 by itself, what would it mean?

Absolutely nothing. Without context, the data has no position in measuring relevance. If your page views go up, or your time on site decreases, how could you compare that to what is happening competitively in your industry? You simply cannot because comparing analytics for different websites is like comparing apples to oranges. However, you can compare consumers.

Today’s automotive shopper visits only 1.3 dealers on average before buying a vehicle, down from 5 just a few years ago. If you cannot win the shopper online, you will lose to your more digital marketing savvy competitors. In todays data driven universe we should focus on shoppers and not users, consumers not clicks.

Here is a quick way to start:

  • Auto Shoppers – Identify the attributes and attribution of those shoppers. Do they spend more time looking at new cars vs. preowned vehicles? Once they find the vehicle, do they research finance options on the site?
  • Behavior – Understand their intent, level of engagement, intensity of interest. Are they submitting a form or making a call after looking at one vehicle, or after looking at nine?
  • Conversion – Define the conversion propensity along with conversion on investment. Is the shopper returning to the site shortly after going through the sales cycle and not purchasing?

Understanding the context of the data is key! Only 1 out of 8 shoppers have an intent to buy and you must distill the data based on shopping behavior and quickly assess who is ready, willing, and able. Effective consumer marketing today is about understanding changing behaviors, whereas it was previously spent on studying outcomes. For example, post sales surveys are not accurate as many businesses are missing data where consumers bought elsewhere. Consider this – 8% of dead leads were found to still be actively shopping.

Focus on shopper analytics when reviewing your website data. Consider context, and you are guaranteed to improve your sales success.

To learn more about how we can help you with  effective, results-driven marketing  contact us today!

Marshall Slaton

Marshall Slaton

is Director of Digital Marketing at Bayshore Solutions. Passionate People - Creative Ideas - Inspired Results.

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6 April

Sitefinity 8.0 New Features

Bookmark and Share By Rich Read, Bayshore Solutions Development Team

Telerik Sitefinity released version 8.0 on March 17, 2015. This release includes important technology updates, performance boosts, improved support for some of the most popular responsive frameworks, and new enterprise features. Bayshore Solutions is a Sitefinity Solution Partner with certified developers on staff.

Sitefinity Partner Logo Here are some of the highlights of Sitefinity 8.0:

Performance

When deploying updates to a Sitefinity website, the first request for a given page will typically take a performance hit while the web application is recompiling and caching that page. Sitefinity 8.0 provides a page pre-compilation tool that compiles generated markup in advance. This helps pages load faster and reduces the processor load on the server.

More MVC Goodness

One of the reasons we recommend Sitefinity CMS to our clients for their custom websites is the high degree of extensibility that enables us to do just about anything we want with it. This enabled Sitefinity to introduce ASP.NET MVC (Model View Controller) support for developers back in version 5.1. Good for them, and for us, because this is the direction that Microsoft appears to be heading.

Sitefinity 8.0 introduces more than 20 new MVC components. There are widgets for things like search, social sharing, and image galleries. They have also developed many front-end components that support infinite scroll, drag-and-drop, and image selectors.

Responsive Frameworks Out-of-the-Box

It’s important for every website to look good on desktop browsers, tablets, and mobile devices. Responsive layouts are what provide this capability. Sitefinity has had their own responsive layout features for a number of years. They are now bundling Bootstrap, Foundation, and SemanticUI to allow designers to base their design on one of these popular responsive frameworks. Developers can even add support for others through the new resource package feature. A resource package is essentially a website theme that can contain stylesheets, scripts, images, and layout templates.

New Multi-Site Updates

When running a multi-site scenario you can now choose which sites you want to sync content with. For example, you may want to share Blog content between some of your sites, but not all. Content approval workflows have also been updated to allow you to specify which site and language you wish to apply the workflow to.

Wrap-up

Sitefinity’s desire to stay on the leading edge of technology, combined with their rapid release cycle of four versions per year, guarantees that the platform will continue to evolve with the industry. This provides Bayshore Solutions the opportunity to offer our customers best-in-class solutions built on top of relevant, up-to-date, technologies.

Bayshore Solutions can determine the website CMS platform best suited to your needs and create a high-performance web presence that delivers measurable growth results for your business. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today!

Rich Read

Rich Read

is a Senior Developer at Bayshore Solutions Digital Agency. We integrate technology and Marketing expertise to deliver measurable results for customers. Passionate People - Creative Ideas - Inspired Results.

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31 March

Tips for Gaining Momentum on a Stalled Website Project

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By Kaci Riverol, Bayshore Solutions Project Management Team

Website projects are fun and exciting to kickoff but can sometimes be difficult to manage to completion. Both the client and the project team need to work diligently to maintain the momentum while always keeping in mind the original scope and agreed upon budget and timeline.

Project Management Tips

 

There are many reasons why a project gets stalled from change of scope, to slow decision making, to time and resource constraints. If you are really passionate about getting things ramped up and starting up a project that has been stalled for a long time, you need to be very practical about it and come up with concrete steps to get things going.

Tips for Revitalizing a Stalled Project

Here are some tips that you can use to render momentum to a stalled project:

  • Analyze- Before you revisit any task take a step back and analyze how your project got stalled in the first place. By understanding this you will be better able to manage the project moving forward.
  • Plan – It is helpful to jot down the specific roadblocks that initially caused setbacks and the steps you will take to overcome them. Once you know what your setbacks were and your counter plans to tackle them it will be easier to avoid running into the same issues again.
  • Prepare – Before you actually start any work make sure that you have reviewed how the time off has effected the overall project. Check in with the client to confirm the end goal is still the same. Confirm that your resources are available and if they will need additional time to spin up on the project again before continuing work. Always share any deviations from the original budget and timeline with the client and get their approval before starting work again.
  • Execute – This is a crucial step. You need to re-launch your project at this stage. Have the same enthusiasm you had when you first launched it. It is always a good idea to get the project delivery team excited about the re-launch as well.
  • Keep up – Very often there is a heightened momentum when a project kicks off again but then a tendency to slack back a little. Since you don’t want to find yourself back in same stalled pattern keep a steady pace. Clear and consistent communication is key and will keep the project on track.

When you follow the above steps and maintain a steady work pace you will be able to regain the momentum in a stalled project and ultimately reach the final goal!

If you need help kicking off a new website development or marketing project or even revitalizing a stalled one the skilled team at Bayshore Solutions can help. Contact us today!

Kaci Riverol

Kaci Riverol

is a Project Manager at Bayshore Solutions Digital Agency. Passionate People - Creative Ideas - Inspired Results

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18 March

Is It Truly a Lead-Gen Issue? An Automotive Customer’s Odyssey

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By Marshall Slaton, Bayshore Solutions Digital Marketing Team

It is not uncommon for automotive or service businesses to worry about generating “enough” leads. Examining the Inquiry, “Is Your Business Not Generating Enough Leads?” a little further, often yields very interesting and actionable results.

Align Marketing & Sales or Miss the Target The story I am about to tell you is very true, and I am not mentioning the brand or auto dealership because this most likely happens often for many auto dealerships and service businesses where marketing and sales are mis-aligned.

Recently, I was looking for a new vehicle for my growing family and kicked off my journey by doing research online first (Just like the majority of automotive customers in today’s marketplace). After visiting sites like Edmunds, Motorweek, YouTube, Autotrader, Cars.com, etc., I eventually found several candidate SUV’s that I was interested in. I was ready, willing, and able to buy a new SUV. What happens during the process will amaze you.

After finding the SUV I wanted to test drive, and possibly buy, I submitted my information via the dealerships contact form. Shortly afterwards, I received a call from a woman working in the internet sales department. She gave me some additional information and asked when I would be able to come by the dealership. I gave her a date and time, to which she said she would have me meet with Jim at that time for the test drive. The day before the appointment, the woman called me again to verify the appointment and that I still planned on coming to the dealership. So far, so good! A lead was generated and effectively followed-up by the dealership.

Upon arrival at the dealership a few minutes before my scheduled appointment, I went to the reception desk to ask for Jim. There was no one at the desk, but a salesperson with another customer came by to assist. I told him I was to meet with Jim about a specific SUV I was interested in buying. He says he’ll check, but Jim may have already gone home. Wow, did I just hear that a salesperson went home instead of helping a qualified lead? Guess he may have already hit his quota for the month.

The salesperson that was trying to help me verified with some other folks that Jim was not available. As he relayed the information to me, he shouted out to another person with a tie that was walking across the showroom to ask if he could assist. Quite quickly, the other person said he was busy and kept walking. A couple of minutes later, I would discover that this person was the Assistant Sales Manager and his mission was getting to the outside of the showroom for a smoke break.

So, I waited about 10-15 minutes for a salesperson to finally come to assist me (we’ll call him Derek). While waiting for Derek, I had been asked to stand in a large office with a window into the showroom. Two gentleman were sitting behind a tall desk, and one of them said a salesperson would be with me shortly. As I stood there for a while, neither gentleman said anything and just sat staring into the showroom. Later, I would discover that I was waiting with the Sales Manager and Service Director. I guess that neither person would have an interest in selling one more vehicle.

Derek came and greeted me and apologized for the wait. He asked me to sit down and tell him how he could assist me. I explained that I had an appointment with Jim to look at a specific SUV that I was interested in buying. Derek then asked me what my budget was and if I was looking to finance. I stated that budget wasn’t a concern more than the right vehicle and that I would be open to financing depending on current offers. He then proceeded to show me the SUV and went over all of the feature and benefits. He took about 10 minutes going through everything without ever pausing to ask me a question.

If you missed it, the point I am making is that he never questioned me about why I need a new SUV and how I would use it. For example, carrying multiple kids, towing a boat, using it off-road, primary or secondary vehicle, and so on. He only asked about money details, and did not try to build a relationship for better assisting me. I was an Internet lead and already knew everything about the vehicle other than the experience of driving it. He was standing in the way of a sale.

After our test drive, he asked if there were any other questions and when did I think I would purchase. I told him I had one other dealership to stop by, but look to make the decision within the next week. He said great, shook my hand, gave me his card and sent me on my way. I would have expected him to ask me if I had any objections to buying this SUV or if there was anything else that he could do that would have me driving the new SUV home today. Is he really a salesperson?

The next day I received a call from the woman in the Internet leads department asking if I was helped during my visit. I did not share my experience with her other than I was still looking for an SUV. I never did get a call/text/email from my salesperson. He should have at least contacted me to see if I made a decision and if he could win me back. I never did receive any other correspondence from the dealership.

In summary, I was a qualified Internet lead that took all the steps to arrive at the dealership. What the dealership did once I arrived was fail to make a sale by simply not abiding to good sales practices. The marketing and inventory of the dealership generated a lead, but the sales team failed to close the sale.

The key take-away here is that both marketing and sales must be aligned well to produce successful results. Take the time to understand your customer’s flow through the purchase experience with your business. Aligning communication, feedback and incentive between Marketing & Sales can help clarify whether your standard procedures expose a lead generation issue or a sales closing issue.

At Bayshore Solutions, our marketing and sales teams’ goals are interdependent and key performance metrics are measured that connect the success of both areas with each other. We certainly help bring leads to our customers through their websites and to their doors. We also can help build the analytics to ensure the journey from your inbox or doorstep to the handshake with a new, happy customer is well planned and executed.

Contact us today to learn how we can help grow your business.

Marshall Slaton

Marshall Slaton

is Director of Digital Marketing at Bayshore Solutions. Passionate People - Creative Ideas - Inspired Results.

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11 March

Tips for Marketing on Mobile

By Marisa Benton, Bayshore Solutions Digital Marketing team

mobile marketing-smartphones image
Our smartphones and devices are among the most personal things we own. They are our means of communication and our entertainment. They house our memories in pictures and videos, and keep us on schedule with calendars and alerts. Whether it is for personal or professional use, we are always on our smartphones.

What does this mean for brands and businesses? You have a direct, open line to your customers almost 24/7.

 

What is Mobile Marketing?

Digital marketing is always evolving, and the newest frontier is mobile marketing. On average, we’ve seen our clients’ mobile traffic increase to about 40 percent of all website traffic; and users are doing more than just browsing businesses on their smartphones – they are converting. According to Google AdWords, 70 percent of smartphone users will call a business directly from their mobile search results.

Mobile marketing is what brands and businesses can, and should, be doing to get in front of their customers at the most opportune time. Searchers on smartphones are more likely to be further down the sales funnel or have decided to call a business directly either for more information or to convert. Mobile marketing is transitioning from being an additional paid search or social option to being well-rounded campaigns all their own.

To better server mobile searchers, AdWords recently rolled out call-only campaigns. These PPC campaigns prominently display business phone numbers and are only shown on devices that can make phone calls. Here’s an example:
mobile marketing-call ad image

Tips for Marketing on Mobile

Marketing on mobile should be completely different from your existing PPC efforts. Here are a few things to keep in mind when setting up a mobile campaign through AdWords:

  • Bid aggressively. Smaller screens mean less real estate, so don’t be stingy with your bid.
  • Optimize your keywords. Stick to shorter phrases and be hyper local. Mobile searchers want a solution that is fast and close by.
  • Tailor your content. Speak to pain points because searchers on smartphones are more likely to have an immediate need. Remember that searchers will probably call, so your ad copy should encourage offline conversation.

Where to Advertise on Mobile

Paid mobile search isn’t your only option when it comes to reaching your customers via their smartphones. To really reach people, you have to show up where they are spending the most of their time.

Pandora

mobile marketing-pandora logoAccording to comScore, Pandora is the ranks #1 in time spent per mobile user per month. The most-used smartphone app also has advanced behavioral targeting options for advertisers, so you can get your business in front the exact audience you are trying to reach.

 

Social Media

mobile marketing-social iconsFacebook also offers advertisers robust targeting options on its interface, which is – of course – the most popular social platform and is a close second for most-used mobile app. Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms have been testing and slowly rolling out advertising options, too, so there is nothing but opportunity on the horizon for paid social. (If you aren’t already advertising on social media, you should be!)

 

Mobile Apps

mobile marketing-phone appsThe advertising marketplace on smartphone apps and games also is growing. Business Insider reported that 86 percent of user time spent on smartphones is on mobile apps while only 14 percent is spent on mobile browsers. You can expect digital and mobile marketing to grow in this area as the app industry continues to boom.

 

Where to Start

Of course, earned SEO and other digital marketing efforts – like call tracking, unique optimized copy and a responsive website – will only make your mobile campaigns better.

Need help marketing to your mobile audience or bolstering your digital marketing efforts? Contact the experts at Bayshore Solutions.

Marisa Benton

Marisa Benton

is a Digital Marketer at Bayshore Solutions Digital Agency. Passionate People - Creative Ideas - Inspired Results.

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