Dealers dig disruption at DealerTalkX

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Skeleton champion Jon Montgomery

Disrupt or die was the key message coming out of DealerTalkX Toronto on Sept. 20.

Olympic gold medalist and TV host Jon Montgomery kicked off the event with his own story, explaining how taking calculated but unexpected risks moved his life from car auctioneer, to Olympic gold medalist, to the host of the Amazing Race Canada.

Most dealers agree that digital is the future of marketing. The challenge is evolving their digital strategy with the rapid pace of change. Jason Lucas travelled from Kingston for his fourth DealerTalk and said the event helps his dealership meet that challenge. DealerTalk provides takeaways his team can put into action right away, and also “validates what you’re already doing,” he said.

So where’s the best place to start with your digital strategy? Susan Seto says it’s knowing your buyers. Seto, Vice-President, Market Strategy of Environics, presented the results of a study her company conducted with Kijiji to discover what motivates the Canadian car buyer. It turns out that Canadians take a logical, practical approach to buying a car. A focus on women and millennials revealed what these key markets want from their car buying experience, and she suggested some ‘best bets’ to make sure they get it.

Uncovering and leveraging your dealership’s data another key step to increasing sales. Janis Showers, owner of The Car Girls and Rohn Jackson, Head of Analytics at Kijiji both spoke to this crucial topic. Showers’ approach starts from the ground up. She’s an expert in coordinating the data gathering efforts between every department to keep your data fresh and reliable. Jackson spoke to how dealers must “read the real data to see where they’re at,” to drop preconceived notions about customers.

And the dealers are on board. Mark Baltazar, Vice-President and partner at BrandSpark International shared the results of a study revealing that dealers are recognizing and embracing digital technology.

Look for more in-depth coverage in October’s issue of Canadian auto dealer.

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