Archives For automotive digital marketing

Sales of sport utility vehicles were particularly strong this year, according to joint research by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive.

Total light-vehicle sales are expected to finish out 2017 at 17.2 million units, a decrease of 1.9% from 2016, according to joint research by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive, with retail light-vehicle expected to finish the year just below 14 million units – down 1.1% from 2016.

Having personally invested 5 months into working in car dealerships during 2017, on the front lines managing digital marketing campaigns and supervising BDC operations… I can attest to the simple reality that trucks and SUV’s were where we were able to generate excitement and consumer response in 2017. At Tier 3, we feel the mood of the car buying population far sooner than reflected in sales numbers. 

The continuing shift of sales percentages into more trucks and SUV’s and less conventional passenger cars is reflected in the responsiveness that automotive consumers have to sales promotions and campaigns on each model type.

Looking forward to 2018, both firms expect total light-vehicle sales forecast to top out under 17 million units, a decline of 1.2% from 2017, while the forecast for retail light-vehicles is 13.8 million units for 2018, a decline of 1.4% from this year.

The big surprise for 2017 turned out to be the strength of sport utility vehicle (SUV) sales, according to Jeff Schuster, LMC’s senior vice president of forecasting.

“SUV demand has been robust and is expected to finish up 5% in 2017 from 2016 and a market share of 43% of total light-vehicle sales,” he said in a statement. “The SUV reign will continue for the foreseeable future [as] SUVs are expected to  account for 50% of new model activity in 2018, which will help push the share of total sales to 45% and continue the segment’s volume growth, even as the total market is projected to contract further in 2018.”

He added that light truck models overall accounted for 68% of new-vehicle retail sales through Dec. 17 – the highest level ever for the month of December, making it the 18th consecutive month above 60%.


While participating in a meeting during NADA 2015 in San Francisco, I challenged Brian Pasch’s assertion that car dealers should not invest too much time or energy on Pay-per-Click Search Engine Advertising strategy or tactics… Almost a year and a half later, I believe Brian has come to understand why I still work so diligently at educating dealers about Google Adwords as a strategic digital marketing tool.

Recently Brian published an article on LinkedIn which references Ford Motor Company’s latest initiative to compel their dealers to spend more of their advertising budget on PPC Search Advertising.  This article is compelling because it showcases a major OEM doing whatever they can to drive their Dealer Network’s competitive positioning in Search Results Page rankings via the use of Google Adwords.

Although I agree that dealers need more and better educational resources for their digital marketing proficiency, I do not believe it is a 100% educational issue, nor will the problem be resolved by learning alone. Car Dealers have an almost inexplicable affinity for the off-line advertising media that has served them so well over the years… In the past. This will only be overcome when those of us in the automotive digital marketing world learn to communicate, present and close deals as well as the old school media sales professionals.

Here is the bulk of Brian Pasch’s article:

Education Is a Cause of Low Impression Share

Founder of PCG Companies, Author, Keynote Speaker

Education Is a Cause of Low Impression Share

Recently, Ford sent out a memo to their franchise dealers outlining their new co-op policy regarding funds associated with digital media investments. The new policy will require Ford Dealers to use 50% of the digital media funds for paid search, starting July 1st, until dealership impression share increases.

The reason for this change in policy, according to Ford, it the abysmally low AdWords impression share that Ford dealers have when consumers conduct a search in their local market for Ford related terms or general shopping terms.

The dealers must increase their paid search spend until they hit a target impression share, which would make the brand more competitive in search results.

While I understand the reason for this policy change, and how it will help to support the national advertising campaigns that Ford runs, it does not fix the underlying problem.

Why are Ford dealers not seeing the need to invest in search engine marketing?

According to Ford’s memo,  their dealer network is being outgunned by competitors by nearly a 3:1 ratio in paid search. Other dealer networks are investing in paid search, protecting their brand related terms, resulting in a much higher impression share.

So what is really the root cause of this competitive disadvantage? An issue is the current state of franchise dealership education. It is not a problem unique to the Ford dealer network. While some Ford dealers may not understand that they must advertise online, why is the Ford network they so far behind their peers?

While policies that require spending in specific strategies (SEM) makes sense in the short term, to protect market share, the bigger problem at hand is the failure of dealership education and certification regarding online marketing.

Franchise dealers hate being told how they have to advertise their dealership.

So, I’ll raise my hand to offer assistance to the Ford dealer network regarding strategies to help Ford dealers understand the “why” behind digital advertising and online marketing. PCG has developed a comprehensive catalog of online workshops designed to educate dealers on automotive digital marketing and sales process.

Once Ford dealers understand the “why” behind this policy change, they will adjust their spending patterns naturally. Forcing franchise to spend their advertising dollars in certain areas, without establishing a clear financial benefit first, will create friction between Ford and their dealer network.

Right now, affirmative action is needed. I support that decision, however, what about social media advertising? Video pre-roll advertising? Will the beatings continue without education?

Do you agree? Share your thoughts below.

2016 Digital Marketing Strategies Conference

I invite all dealership leaders to join me at the 6th Annual Digital Marketing Strategies Conference (DMSC), May 22-24th in the Napa Valley. This conference is designed for dealership owners and managers who want to gain a competitive edge with their online marketing strategy. 18 tickets remain; act quickly.

Conference details:

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Ralph Paglia

Automotive Marketing Pro with a Passionate Commitment to Clients

Ralph Paglia currently serves as President of ADM Consulting, LLC based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. Prior to his launch of the ADM Consulting Practice in May 2014, Ralph drove the concept, business strategy and creation of Automotive Media Partners, LLC… From January 2011 and up to to the corporate formation and official launch of AMP in April 2012, Ralph served as Vice President – Digital for Tier 10 Marketing with offices in Washington, DC and Miami, FL.  During his time at Tier 10, Ralph recruited, hired, trained and led the Digital Marketing and Advertising Team. Ralph created Tier 10’s Digital Advertising Operations, and defined those operating procedures in a Documented Manuals. Ralph designed the team’s work-flow processes and digital advertising operational steps that executed campaign fulfillment for Tier 10 Marketing dealer and dealer association clients.

From early 2007 through the end of 2010, Paglia was responsible for ADP Digital Marketing Business Development. He established key strategic partnerships with Car Companies (Ford, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Hyundai,Kia), Social and Digital Media Enterprises, major universities (ASU), car dealers, large dealer groups and digital marketing enterprises such as Google, Yelp, Yahoo!, DoubleClick, Specific Media, Jumpstart Automotive Media, KnowEm, Ning, TubeMogul, Network Solutions, DealerRater, Facebook, Presto Reviews, J. D. Power and Associates, Digital Dealer Conference,, CBS, Ford, Kia, Honda, Toyota, General Motors, Hyundai and others.

At both ADP Dealer Services (now CDK Global) and Tier 10 Marketing, Paglia created significant revenue growth from new solutions to accelerate vehicle, parts and service sales using digital marketing, site visitor retargeting and behaviorally targeted online display advertising, search engine advertising, social media marketing and reputation management strategies and tactics.

Prior to Tier 10, Paglia created new businesses for ADP Dealer Services (now CDK Global) such as Digital Marketing and Advertising, OEM Digital Marketing Consulting, and Social Media Reputation Management.

EDUCATION: After earning his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Valparaiso University, Paglia attended SUNY-Buffalo School of Business for his Masters in Business Administration (MBA), specializing in Marketing. His first job after graduate school was with De La Fuente Automotive, Inc. in San Diego where he served in multiple roles over an 8 year period including sales manager, general sales manager and general manager. .

AUTOMOTIVE: Since his San Diego dealership days, Paglia has served in management capacity for dealer groups in California, Texas and New York. Ralph has become a nationally recognized thought leader, conference speaker, consultant and frequently published author on automotive CRM systems, Digital Marketing and Advertising Strategy, organizational development and Internet Sales Team Operations and Management.

GODFATHER OF DIGITAL MARKETING: Paglia has been tagged as the “Godfather of Automotive Digital Marketing” by several industry veterans as a result of his remarkable history and pioneering thought leadership. His experience at large scale implementation of auto industry Internet Sales Departments, Business Development Centers (BDC) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tactical operations is unmatched. Paglia is a well known speaker and frequently published expert on Automotive Digital Marketing and Advertising, automotive solution development requirements, CRM systems, dealer business process and operations, Digital Marketing value propositions along with measurement criteria, platform data points and collections systems for performance reporting and ROI analysis.


1986 San Diego: Paglia pioneers “Internet Leads” using Bulletin Board Systems at defense contractor facilities

This Is Melloy Nissan #MelloyNissan.

ADP Dealer Services Announces Financing Program with GE Capital as CDK Global

Previously, ADP Dealer Services utilized ADP’s Credit Services for all financing. Now, GE Capital will offer their financial stability and strong reputation to CDK’s dealers. Since 2007, GE Capital’s Equipment Finance business has completed $36 billion in lease and loan transactions. Its network includes more than 200,000 customers in over 10 industries.

XXL Magazine Cover

July 20, 2014 — 1 Comment

Ralph Paglia | President
Automotive Media Partners, LLC




Twitter and Instagram: @RalphPaglia

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