Stop Selling, Start Helping: 4 Key Takeaways From Conductor’s 2018 C3 Digital Marketing Conference

c3 2018 4 key takeaways

I had the pleasure of attending Conductor’s annual C3 conference in New York City last month. C3 aims to put the most successful and innovative digital marketers on the planet together in one room. We shared insights, successes, failures and thoughts on the future over two (quite snowy) days.

It’s important as a dealership to stay ahead of the digital marketing curve – we’re in one of the most competitive business verticals.

Fortunately, I returned from C3 with several insights that I have already shared and implemented with the Mudd Digital team. I would like to share four of them with you:

1. Find a niche and be the world’s best in it

At the conference, it was common to hear words such as “industry-leading” or “thought leader.” We don’t often ask in what field we believe ourselves to be the best in the world, so I was apprehensive when this topic was discussed during Joe Pulizzi’s opening keynote.

But let’s take a moment to hyper-focus our thinking. Could you be the leading authority on all-weather tires? No? Well, how about the leading authority on all-weather tires that are specially suited for road conditions in your area? Who knows your backyard better than yourself?

2. Intangible assets such as intellectual property, goodwill, user experience & reputation mean more than ever

Hurricane Harvey caused inestimable damage to several southern states and tore families away from their belongings – their vehicles included. General Motors and Ford Motor Company immediately donated millions in relief and offered special discounts and incentives to those affected by the storm.

According to Ryan Skinner, a Senior Analyst at Forrester, intangible assets now account for 87% of the US S&P 500’s net worth.

Showing the customers in your community that you and your dealership care about them will pay great dividends in the long run. Gaining customer loyalty gives your dealership an enormous financial advantage.

3. We must become customer obsessed because “customer focused” is no longer enough

“Increasing customer power has changed the equation,” says Skinner. Customers that are not only helped but also empowered by what they purchase will leave a lasting impression on your business. This empowerment creates a great amount of trust.

Skinner suggests that we bring customers as close as possible, as often as possible, to the point of creation and decision making in the marketing process. Incorporating the customer’s voice into your strategy becomes a beacon for earned promotion. It’s time we left the Information Age and enter the Consumer Age.

A slick way to begin incorporating your customer’s voice is to proudly display online reviews. If you aren’t soliciting reviews from customers before they drive off the lot, now is a great time to start. Encourage them to be honest and descriptive.

4. Not optimizing for mobile will leave you behind….quickly

My favorite session of the conference was held by Louis Gray, an Analytics Advocate from Google. He talked about in-depth Google Analytics tracking and reporting strategies, and he also discussed the importance of mobile analytics as well as what we can do to best chart our mobile progress.

We’ve found that roughly 60% of a car dealership’s web traffic comes from mobile users. Approaching digital strategies with mobile as an afterthought is no longer a smart choice for dealerships to make.

According to Gray, YouTube now reaches more 18-49 year olds than TV on mobile alone. This demands that you ask yourself some important questions: Are you running any TrueView campaigns? Are the conversion funnels for those campaigns optimized for mobile users? Are you accurately tracking mobile-only leads?

I was engaged by his presentation, and so impressed by it that I kept active on social media throughout so I could share his advice. He must’ve appreciated what I had to say, because I earned a retweet from the official Google Analytics Twitter account:

c3 google analytics retweet

Attending C3 this year was an invigorating, informative experience. I look forward to the future of digital and what we can do, both as marketers and dealerships, to stay at the top of our game.

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