Dave Spannhake Joins Alpha Dawg Jim Ziegler to Discuss Automotive Digital Retail

Logos for Reunion and Alpha Dawg over faded background of cars lined up

You’ll find no shortage of great conversations happening in automotive retail. Brilliant voices throughout the industry are delivering content on topics ranging from chat to inventory turnover to digital marketing.

Recently, our CEO Dave Spannhake had an opportunity to spread the message of Reunion Marketing with Alpha Dawg Jim Ziegler.

Dave Spannhake — Founder and CEO of Reunion Marketing. He has more than 10 years of experience on the automotive retail side, leading the internal marketing department of a 33-store group in Raleigh, North Carolina, before forming Reunion.

Jim Ziegler — Known as the Alpha Dawg, Jim created the Ziegler SuperSystems to train automotive professionals in best practices for sales and marketing. With more than 40 years under his belt, he’s become a nationally recognized writer, columnist, professional speaker, and performer in automotive.

If you like what you hear, make sure you’re at the Internet Battle Plan XXIV: Register here.

Here’s an overview of their discussion :

Dave Spannhake is …

Founder and CEO of Reunion Marketing. Dave has a background that includes 10 years in automotive retail with a 33-store group in Raleigh, North Carolina. For the latter half of his time there, he was the group’s Marketing Director and managed to achieve some incredible results:

  • 400% lead and traffic increase
  • 75% revenue increase (final 3 years)
  • Sold 1 out of every 5 cars in Wake County

Reunion is different from other marketing vendors because …

We use data to guide every decision. Our team collects information from the entire company’s network of nearly 200 stores to understand the performance metrics of the top 20% and bottom 20%. We then analyze what the top performers are doing and see how that applies to other partners.

Reunion believes that dealers need to …

… know where their site shows up in search — and not just on Google. Look at CarGurus, AutoTrader, Cars.com, and other third-party listing sites to see how their inventory is cycled through.

… look at search terms to understand their market’s search behavior, where they currently show up in the results, and the potential they have to show up elsewhere.

… understand that by accepting third position in the search results, they’re missing out on 25% more clicks. That’s because first position gets 35% of the clicks, and third position gets 10%.

… focus on the data of what searches drive traffic to their stores. It’s 3-5-word searches. If you want more details on this, we analyzed 10 million search queries. Check it out.

… know that it’s not yet time to optimize for voice search because consumers aren’t using it for purchases or investments as significant as car shopping. They’re using it for exploratory needs.

  • “Siri, what’s the weather today?”
  • “Siri, set my alarm clock.”

In fact, only 11% of voice searches in 2017 were shopping-related.

Reunion Marketing is …

A data company. While our strategies use channels like SEO and SEM, we’re not pigeonholed into either of those simplified buckets. Out of 140 SEO providers on automotive vendor sites, the vendors that truly analyze data for each piece of a dealer’s digital marketing in aggregate can be counted on one hand.

Now for a few random insights …

“You should know what’s going on with your SEO. Specifically where you’re winning or not winning.” – Dave Spannhake

The data will tell you what’s possible and what’s not possible.

Dealers need to speak with Cars.com and AutoTrader to discover how their click-through rates fit into the rest of the community. And if there are dealerships that perform better, they need to find out what those dealers are doing differently and use that data to create their own results.

The more data you have, the better you can understand what’s happening in automotive. That should translate into higher averages than the previous month.

“Geeks are definitely at a premium.” – Jim Ziegler

Many lead-selling providers use a dealer’s inventory against them by reselling leads to competitors. Dealers should create a list of vendors they work with that has the dealership’s inventory on the vendor’s site, then fire the ones they don’t want.

“Not all leads are created equal.” – Dave Spannhake

A lot of autoresponders frustrate consumers with idiotic responses. Dealers should focus on delivering great customer service, which is one of the few things that can’t be automated. If a dealer uses an autoresponder, he or she should check in periodically to see how it’s representing the dealership.

Facebook has the same mass appeal as TV or newspaper once did.It, however, is far more effective. It is its own channel with its own specific purpose, so avoid lumping different channels together.

If you like what you heard in the video, please reach out to discover how we can help your dealership achieve its sales objectives.


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