Showing posts with label automotive marketing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label automotive marketing. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Do Great Products or Services Receive Positive Online Reviews?

In October of 2011 a class-action lawsuit against Yelp claiming that they were removing negative reviews in exchange for “advertising” was dismissed with prejudice (meaning they cannot be sued again for the same reason). It’s now two months from 2013 and already it seems the complaints of extortion are not going away; instead they appear to be growing more frequent in numbers as awareness has risen that something fishy could be going on at Yelp.

So far, courts have allowed Yelp to hide behind Section 230 of the Communications Act. For the uninitiated, Section 230(c) (1) of the Communications Act provides:

"No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider."

In the spirit of full disclosure, I am the Co-Founder of DeliveryMaxx and we have a patent pending product which helps companies, particularly automotive dealerships obtaining positive online reputation.  As I always tell my clients, "nothing will replace excellent customer service and an outstanding product."  However, if companies excel in both criteria than why should these businesses not enjoy the rewards of positive online recognition or reputation?

When Google changed their algorithims to scrape fake reviews, DeliveryMaxx was not worried and stood out above the rest of Online Reputation Companies because we identified and implemented a method allowing the consumer to share with the world about their positive experiences immediately. In fact, we have posted several blogs that our clients loved while these guys hated us pulling down the curtain.  When most of these companies had to close shop or make up an excuse to their clients about why the reviews were being scraped, DeliveryMaxx's client base grew 300% overnight.

As one can imagine, other marketers are not happy with our methods or how we share them with the world because they do things wrong or unethical.  DeliveryMaxx practices what we preach and that is to provide a great product or service coupled with outstanding customer service.  In return, we and our clients have a strong customer loyalty.

Now, the issue with Yelp and its label of being an extortion site.  First, let me state that I have no problem with a company saying they will not post business reviews without that company paying to be on their sites.  This is a true "pay to play" business model, and there are some good service sites that consumers utilize to make their purchasing decisions.  The Better Business Burea (BBB) identified a need for the consumer to rate companies on the business and services provided.  The BBB investigates and allows a response from businesses and then makes a judgment for all to see.  According to the BBB's website: "Fulfill all licensing and bonding requirements of applicable jurisdictions; provide all license and bonding information upon application for BBB accreditation; and provide periodic updates upon request of BBB" and "If a business has been accredited by the BBB, it means BBB has determined that the business meets accreditation standards which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB accredited businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public."  Clearly, this is a pay to play evaluation for businesses.

However, Yelp has been criticized over the fairness of both negative and positive reviews on the site. A competitor can easily write an anonymous review with either extreme in mind. Yelp states that it will not censor reviews, but will remove suspicious reviews. Reviews are filtered for accuracy and reliability by an automated process that is intended to be neutral. The Oakland, California based East Bay Express published a 2009 story highlighting businesses that said that Yelp salespeople offered "to hide negative customer reviews of their businesses" by paying for advertising sponsorship contracts, and that positive reviews were removed and negative ones appeared when the business refused. In February 2010, two law firms filed a class action lawsuit, later dismissed by a federal judge, accusing Yelp of "extortion" on behalf of a veterinary hospital in Long Beach, California that made similar claims. Partially in response to these allegations[not in citation given] and in a move to increase transparency, Yelp added a feature that shows which reviews were filtered by its filtering algorithm. Nonetheless, Yelp continues to receive criticism over the filtering system as well as accusations by business owners of review manipulation.

Like every Web site that depends on consumer critiques, Yelp has a problem with companies trying to manipulate their results. So it set up a sting operation to catch them. The first eight businesses — including a moving company, two repair shops and a concern that organizes treasure hunts — will find themselves exposed on Thursday.

Now businesses caught soliciting favorable reviews are increasingly running the risk of getting slapped with a badge of shame like this one:


Is this right?  At first glance, I don't mind cheaters being punished if they are wrong.  I loved what Lance Armstrong overcame to win an unprecedented seven Tour de France races.  However, he cheated.  No matter how much I enjoyed seeing him dominate his sport, he did not play within the rules and his accomplishments are now erased from the record books.

The same should go for businesses that practice obtaining fake reviews.  However, the question still remains to the businesses that are judged and virtually hanged in the virtual courtyard of consumer opinion without much recourse to clear their name.

In today's world:

  • 66% of consumers use the internet to research an item online before their purchase
  • 89% of consumers research vehicle reviews online before they make their purchase
  • 62% of all consumers read consumer-written product reviews online (with the highest percentage coming from 22-35 year olds (82%) with 36+ at 45%)
  • 69% of consumers who read reviews share them with friends, family, or colleagues, thus amplifying their impact in consumer behavior
  • 82% of consumers say their purchase decisions have been directly influence by the user reviews, either influencing them to buy a different product other than the one they had originally been thinking about

The facts are businesses have to get positive published online reviews in order to sustain profitability.  They have to find mediums to share these positive experiences with the world.  The consumer is all to willing to share there bad experiences which is not a bad thing.  The fact is that consumers are not as willing to share great experiences online.  This is where the problem is created.

So my question to the reader is this.  "Is it wrong to allow EVERY consumer to review a businesses product or service immediately whether the review is positive or negative?"  If you say "no" than what is the best method?  I am of the belief that Google, Yelp, Merchant Circle, Yellow Pages, CitiSearch, Yahoo should allow the consumer to write a review immediately, and not punish the business for providing this opportunity within their brick and morter confines.  Unfortunately, there are cheaters.  If review sites like Yelp catch the cheaters, that is a good thing.  But should good ethical businesses that provide exceptional goods or services be punished for identifying methods that allow reviews to be published immediately?  DeliveryMaxx has been very successful in providing our clients with published positive reviews on all of these sites.

Ultimately, the consumer will provide the answer.  Our enterprise system will prevail.  The consumer will find the flaws in the review sites that don't have correct filters and stop trusting those sites.  They will also find the sites that are non-biased and choose to research information and make their purchasing decisions accordingly.

Finally, if a business wants to succeed then they must provide a great product, and outstanding customer service.  Some things will never change.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New DeliveryMaxx Video - Total Automotive Marketing Solution

DeliveryMaxx the industry leader in Automotive Social Media Marketing (SMM) has perfected the science of maximizing the exposure for automotive dealers on the Internet. Utilizing our proprietary software and years of expertise, we can increase your market share and brand exposure through portals such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, Flicker and more. We have revolutionized Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Local Search Engine Optimization (LSEO) and Online Reputation Management (ORM).

In today’s marketplace it is vital to have command over your public Brand Image while acquiring and retaining customers. DeliveryMaxx helps you dominate the World Wide Web utilizing your customers as Social Media Billboards which increases your brand share as well as turning a “one-time customer” into a "Customer For Life".

ClubMaxx - Automotive Employee Retention Program

ClubMaxx - An exclusive program designed by DeliveryMaxx that rewards your sales team for their job well done. Once you are a DeliveryMaxx, Images of Success customer, your sales team can choose to join ClubMaxx.

This program motivates your sales team to higher performance levels, promoting increased sales and 100% compliance in the vehicle delivery application.

At no cost to the dealership or the salesperson, points are accumulated each time a sale is made and awarded to the individual sales person. The sales person can redeem their points for merchandise rewards by signing onto the ClubMaxx web site, at, registering and becoming an exclusive member.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

DeliveryMaxx Produces New Customer Video for Southwest Kia Mesquite

As part of our Images of Success Program we include a short video for our clients that can but played in the dealership. People always feel good when they see themselves on the WideScreen.

The typical dealership spends millions in advertisement for that “one-time sale.” Why not make an investment in the customer, so the customer will invest in the dealership?

DeliveryMaxx utilizes modern innovations, cross-talking technology, and traditional techniques to allow the customer to show off their new purchase while providing a positive published review of their experience to the world.

Imagine - the power of your customers sharing positive reviews through the world-wide web with their friends and family about the great sales and service your dealership provided to them before leaving the dealership.

Envision - the positive impact to your customer retention, increased sales, and higher CSI by simply providing high quality sales and service and allowing your customers to do what they do best- that is, telling others how much they appreciated the way they were treated and how they got the best price on a great product or service at your establishment

Realize - the scope of this technology along a vast horizon of possibilities for a fraction of the cost of what traditional forms of media and advertising saturation used to cost your store but with limited success.

This is how the Deliverymaxx Images of Success program helps our customers see certain and immediate measurable results. There is no better way to increase referrals and repeat business than this because your customers are doing the advertising for you through their own positive expressions! The internet, social media, blogs, and web-based communities have given ”word of mouth” a whole new meaning; Deliverymaxx will help you harness that momentum.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Social Media - what and how to use it

Social media marketing is the process of promoting your site or business through social media channels and it is a powerful strategy that will get you links, attention and massive amounts of traffic.
There is no other low-cost promotional method out there that will easily give you large numbers of visitors, some of whom may come back to your website again and again.
If you are selling products/services or just publishing content for ad revenue, social media marketing is a potent method that will make your site profitable over time.

Those who ignore the efficacy of social media usually fall into three categories;

  • those who don’t know much or anything about social media

  • those who are interested, but don’t know how to use it

  • those who don’t believe in the value that a social media strategy can bring to any site or business.

The Value of Marketing through Social News Websites:

For those who don’t understand or see the value of social media websites, let’s take a look at the benefits of creating viral content and effectively promoting them through social media channels.

Developing link baits and successfully getting it popular on various social media websites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Digg and YouTube will lead to multiple benefits for any website:


    Primary and Secondary Traffic. Primary traffic is the large amount of visitors who come directly from social media websites. Secondary traffic is referral traffic from websites which link to and send you visitors, after they come across your content through the social sites.

  • High Quality Links. Becoming popular on social news websites like Digg or Reddit will get you a large number of links, some of which may be topically relevant, some not. A good story can realistically acquire a large number of high quality editorial links, most of which cannot be easily bought.

Now let’s translate this into tangible benefits for your website: 

Links = Better Search Engine Rankings.


    When a website receives a large number of natural, permanent links from trusted domains, it develops authority. Search engines trust it. If you optimize your linkbait and website structure properly, you can easily start ranking for competitive keywords, which will in turn bring in search engine visitors.

    Do this often enough and your search traffic will undoubtedly increase. In a sense, you are obtaining these quality links through borrowed trust. Many bloggers and webmaster still think that if an article is on the WordPress or Blogger homepage, then it’s probably worth checking out and referencing through a citation link.

    A new website may find it difficult to gain links from a critical mass that is not familiar with it but a trusted social news resource makes it easier for links to come in, because the community and buzz has somewhat ‘certified‘ the value of the site. Note that the actual strength of the article is still of utmost importance for all.

Primary + Secondary Traffic = Community/Supporters.

    Some people claim that social news websites only send useless traffic, visitors that will often just view a specific webpage and click away. Yes, that’s usually the case. Sites like Digg are notorious for their poor bounce rates: many visitors drop in for the article and then leave after reading it. StumbleUpon is much better in this aspect.

    But don’t mistake this with a lack of interest. Your subscriber figures will often take big jump up and then stabilize after a few days. If your entire site is relevant to the general interests of the social media website, there will always be a handful of social users who will start to track your site in order to submit future content.

    Detractors also ignore the power of ultra targetedsecondary traffic. General sites or blogs in the same niche will link to a story that’s popular on social sites, because it adds value for their readers or users. This is done naturally on a daily basis for many.

    While primary traffic usually comes in a larger volume, one could argue that secondary traffic is more valuable. Why? Because links from other websites bring visitors who are very likely to be interested in your content. These citation links demonstrate recognition of your site in the eyes of others. It builds your brand.


    Think of the social news site as a platform or a soapbox. As something that gives you a chance to be heard or read, even for a brief moment of a few hours. The people who are drawn to your message will visit your site and recommend it to others.

Four Reasons to Practice Social Media Marketing

Why bother exploring social media as a marketing channel for your website or business? After all, you could stick to link exchanges, search advertising or the purchase of banner and editorial ads on relevant sites.

Here are some reasons why you should consider using social media:

  1. It’s natural. Not only do you get natural links without any discernible pattern, your website is exposed to large groups of people in a spontaneous fashion. This differs from paid advertising which has overt commercial overtones.

  2. It’s defensible. Once successfully mastered, social communities can be a great source of web traffic on top of any traffic you are already receiving from search engines. While you can’t easily increase your search engine traffic, social media traffic can be very easily controlled through strategic marketing.

  3. It’s low-cost/high returns. If done by yourself, costs are limited to only time and perhaps the expenses involved in hiring a freelance programmer/designer. The benefits will often exceed the cost. It would take you thousands of dollars to buy many links; social media has the ability to give you that for free.

  4. It complements other efforts. Social media optimization and marketing is usually community-specific. It doesn’t interfere with any other methods of getting traffic to your website. It can and will fit perfectly with an advertising campaign targeting other websites or search engines.

So How Does Social Media Help Me to Make Money?

It doesn’t, at least not directly. Every site or business that wants to expand and become profitable, needs a core group of supporters who will be willing to make purchases or recommend the site to others. Your site needs to perpetuate itself.

The more supporters you have, the faster word spreads about your site. Social media marketing is an excellent way to get people to come into your site to take a look at what you have to offer. You will grow when there are a group of loyal visitors ready to always act upon what you have to offer.

Because social media websites can be leveraged for links and better search rankings, they can greatly increase your site’s income potential. For example, you will be able to price ads higher or generate revenue from any paid business models.

Why Bloggers Should Learn How to Use Social Media

There are many ways to build a popular blog and many methods to promote your website. For example, you can start leaving comments regularly on many high traffic blogs in your niche or perhaps, consider guest posting on other bigger blogs.

My marketing strategy for blogs is very simple. I don’t comment actively, hold contests or write guest posts. I’ve never done any of that for any blog I’ve ever set up. Some people might enjoy doing it but it’s just a little too tedious for me.

What I do instead is strategic. I focus on creating just oneexcellent blog post, which I will then push through social media sites and email pitches to other bloggers. This is straightforward and I don’t have to run around many blogs putting up my URL and thinking of something insightful to say.

Think about it. Why write 50 guest posts for 50 different blogs when you can easily just write one article and get an equal amount of links and greater traffic through the use of social media? Guest posting builds relationships but I reckon there are many more powerful ways to network with others.

It isn’t just about creating articles and then promoting them on social sites as an afterthought. It’s about putting social media in the center of your marketing strategy, optimizing your site or content and making it an attention magnet.
  • LinkedIn might serve your needs more effectively. There are also smaller social networks targeted to very specific niches (webmasters, photographers, etc.). There’s no reason to try to “do it all.”

  • Understand the numbers. Don’t join a social network simply because they say they have X number of members. Those numbers mean absolutely nothing. What you should care about is not the total membership, but instead the “active” membership (and those specifically within your target audience - it goes back to targeting).

  • Get to know a network’s policies on promotion, as it applies to your plans. The last thing you want is to be labeled a spammer. Understand that these tools are more about networking, building relationships, and communicating than blatant promotion, as in marketingand sales.

  • No matter how deep you decide to delve into social networking and / or microblogging, always make sure you’re making the best use of your time, and reaching your intended targets.

The Bureau

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What SEO & Online Reputation Management Companies are NOT telling YOU

DeliveryMaxx has acquired an insider who is an expert in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Local Search Engine Optimization (LSEO), Online Reputation Management (ORM), Pay per Click, and Social Media Marketing (SMM).  This individual has over 30 years of success in the automotive industry including running internet programs for publically traded companies, and owning dealerships.

We are choosing not to identify him publicly at this time because the information he is about to give to the public will upset a lot of the “big boys” who continue to charge dealerships for services that should not be charged for.  DeliveryMaxx is a growing company which was founded by people who have been executives in the automotive industry.  We make it a practice to hire experts who enjoy helping the automotive industry become familiar innovative ways to market and talk to today’s consumer.


Below is an excerpt from who DeliveryMaxx is calling “The Bureau”.  Have fun with the read, and stay tuned for more to come:
'Before I climb onto my Soapbox I want to clear something up. SEM is Search Engine Marketing not Pay Per Click (or even paper clips) SEM is the art (yes art) of utilizing the search engines (SEs) for your business’s advantage which can include PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns.


Now give me a moment to climb on to my soapbox.

For years now we have heard that PPC was an absolute to be successful in any business in the Market Place. There is some truth in my opinion in this statement but do you really know what you are getting for your advertising dollars?

You just think you do!

Think about these points:
• How many impressions does my PPC ad get?
• What search engine do my impressions come from?
• What is the position are my ads displayed on the search engines?
• What time of day do my ads display to the public?
• Do my ads show on Mobile Devices?
• Are my PPC Ads pointed to a proxy website or my website?
• Is a Proxy Phone Number displayed in the PPC Ad?
• Is a Proxy Phone Number on my Local Area Listings?
• Do I have access to a real reporting tool so I monitor my ads?
• How do I know the reports on my ads are not skewed?

This list could go on and on but this should be enough to raise some pretty interesting conversations with your marketer or marketing company. Be prepared to see the “Deer in the Head Lights” look. I can almost guarantee it.

1. Let’s start with Ad Impressions… Impressions are how many times your ads were displayed on a search engine, right? Well there is a bit more to it than that. What if your ad is in the number 8 position on Google. Which most of the time is below the fold (the fold is the bottom of the webpage before you scroll down). If your ad is not in the top 5 then you LOOSE! You will receive an impression, but not receive the benefit of it being viewed by the public… this skews the reporting numbers - Marketing 101 right here.

2. Impressions and Search Engines. Most people assume (remember that word assume) that their Marketer or Marketing Company is placing ads on Google and Maybe Bing or Yahoo…. WRONG! To get cheap clicks most Marketers and Marketing Companies place your ads on Second Tier Search Engines such as 7Search, Lycos, Kanoodle and Enhance as well… Never heard them, of course not, but Marketers or Marketing Companies know about them. These clicks can cost as little as 2 cents, but produce nothing other than cheap click… now here is the kicker… Many Marketers and Marketing Companies don’t report the impression from these Search Engines, which elevates the click thru rate…

3. What is position of my PPC Ad? – Do you know, have you looked… if they tell you we can keep you in the number 2 position all the time, you better call them out. Because all PPC campaigns work on a bid system there is no way they can guarantee position. You might be number 1 at 10:00am and number 10 by 11am… and if your campaign contains several hundred word and 10 to 20 ads… well do the math… It is not possible… that’s why they get you an average position report at the end of the month.

4. What time of day do my ads display – We hope during business hours, Right? Most of the time your ads are gone by 2 or 3 in the afternoon do to budget restrictions… most marketers or marketing companies don’t advise their clients properly and give them an accurate estimate of a daily budget. A Car Dealership in a major metropolitan area can easy spend $300.00 per day in real money (not their marked up budget) on Google alone to stay in the top 5 during business hours. (Remember most Marketers and Marketing Companies keep 55 to 60% of the PPC money you spend)

5. Mobile Devices – Some Companies do not turn this feature on for their clients, because it can burn thru cash very quickly. Which in turn can have you dark in a matter of a few hours, that means your ads will not display because your budget is depleted for that day.

6. Proxy Websites – This is a great one – Most Companies use proxies (mirrored image of your site, but you don’t get organic credit for it because it sit on their server) because they say it is the way from them to get an true report on how your marketing dollars are spent. NOT TRUE, this the way they skew the number to their benefit to keep you as their client. Ask them if they ever hear of Java Script Source Tracking.

7. Proxy Phone Number – This is the same thing as Who’s Calling, Call Source or Call Bright… they are recording the calls to justify the ad spend. The real question it, where do these calls really come from? Once you read number 8 you’ll realize how they skew these numbers as well.

8. Locals, Places and Area Network Sites – You will know them as Google Places, Yahoo Local,, City Search, YP and so on. Do you know most marketer and marketing companies create these listings for you and place their Proxy Phone Numbers on these sites to enhance their call reporting… Have you ever noticed that you may have 3 or 4 or even more duplicate listing in some for these places and you can’t understand why…. Well here is the reason… if you have worked with several PPC companies of the years… there is no doubt you have duplicates spread across hundreds of sites.

9. Access to Real Reporting – As you can see there is no such thing with Marketers or Marketing Companies… think about… Have you ever called your buddy at another store and ask how many cars they have out… how accurate do you think that number is? Same thing here, only they package it up for you with bright colors and cool charts and graphs. We all know how Car Dealers love Bright and Shiny things!

10. Reports are Skew – After all of this I think is fairly accurate to say if you don’t manage your ads and use a Marketing Company the reports are skewed in one fashion or another.

The reason I wrote this today is I read a blog from an Automotive Marketing Company that was singing praises for SEM while talking about PPC… and I thought … These people are misleading (I had to edit misleading from stealing) the dealers with their nonsense. I my opinion again this company is clueless and people are buying into it…

I’m not saying at PPC is not something a dealer shouldn’t invest in. What I am saying is be very careful and pay attention to what they are reporting to you. Ask and have them prove to you they are a proven company or better yet, hire someone that can manage these types of functions for you. Believe it or not with some basic knowledge of how Digital Marketing works and with the implementation of some best practices it is not that hard. It is common sense!

Now let me climb down off my soap box….

I’m sure you are asking yourself “Who is the guy”? I have spent 3 decades in the car business starting in the 70s as a lot boy (for you younger set that’s what we called porters). I have developed some of the largest Internet Departments in the country and have worked for several Major Dealer Groups at the Regional or Divisional Level. Matter of fact I would bet several of you are using some of my old customer reply templates that I developed in the 90s. Several of the major CRM companies are using them in one form or another still today.

I have retired from the car business several years ago to have a life with my family and just now starting to remerge after discovering I really enjoy the car business. (Who I’m I kidding… I miss it). I’m not going back to retail or corporate, but I would like to help the dealer navigate their way through all the garage so they choose a marketing concept that really works for their dealership.'


The Bureau

DeliveryMaxx is an innovative leader providing dealerships with solutions to increase CSI Scores, improve public branding and online reputation, dominating the world wide web through social media, add additional revenue for fixed operations, and provide real results for sales both repeat and referral business.  DeliveryMaxx’s business is turning the potential one-time customer into a raving fan for the dealership creating “Customers for Life”.

To find out more, please visit our website at