Digital Intervention: Buying a Car in Your Pajamas

  • By Spencer Bradshaw
  • 20 Nov, 2017

When is the last time you bought a car? Was it a year ago? Five? Ten? Unfortunately for me, I’ve purchased three cars in the last six months. Not because I wasn’t satisfied with the car I had. I was actually quite fond of car number one. However, shortly after I bought it, my wife and I got into a bad accident, and the car was a goner.

We got another one, same make and model, a couple weeks after the accident. Not even two months later, my wife was hit on the interstate, leaving that car totaled, as well. Finally, we realized that particular make and model wasn’t right for us, and two weeks later we picked up car number three.

Personally, I’m a car junkie. I love cars. I love the buying process, the selling process, the research, the test-driving, the whole deal.  But in the midst of all my shopping, I was amazed at how simple the process seems to have gotten thanks to technology. In fact, by the end of it all, I ended up purchasing a car without ever changing out of my pajamas. Has it always been this easy for everyone, or had my misfortune turned me into a pro? Well, it turns out that studies have shown you don’t have to go on a car buying frenzy to do it efficiently and quickly.

As a matter of fact, according to a study done by DME Automotive in early 2014, the vast majority of today’s car buyers know exactly what vehicle they want to buy, how much they ought to pay, and what deal they can find nearby before ever getting off their sofas. Thus, eliminating the need to hop from dealer to dealer in search of the right deal.

The study surveyed 2,000 people and found that a whopping 68% of recent car buyers reported that they visited two or fewer dealerships before making their purchase decision. Even more shocking, 40% of that group only visited one single dealership (Webber & Hartwell, 2014). Therefore, this study is evidence that people, in today’s connected age, have all the information they need from the web, allowing car buyers to drastically reduce the amount of time they have to spend outside shopping and kicking tires, and get a head start on putting that car to use. In fact, of the car buyers that were surveyed, 16% admitted that they didn’t even feel the need to test drive the car prior to purchase and bought it before even starting the engine.

I know what you’re thinking. It’s all because of millennials! These results are all skewed because banks are making it so easy for young folks out of college to buy a car with practically nothing down and a loan that stretches close to a decade. Though that is a valid point, it’s actually totally false. Sure, banks have made it pretty easy to get a car these days. You see, when most of us were young, we learned our purchasing behaviors from our parents, and Mom or Dad always taught us to comparatively shop. That meant that when making a major purchase, get three quotes and weigh the pros and cons of each option. However, it appears that today quite the opposite is happening.

 Today it seems like the young guns are the ones teaching the older folks how to make purchases. Just two months ago, I introduced my dad to Amazon Prime, showing him how he can buy everything from electronics to toiletries with the click of a button! The same is being done in the automotive industry.

Need some proof? My pleasure! Allow me to introduce my boss, Patrick — or Pat as we call him— who shared a pretty interesting story with me before I purchased car number three. Pat is your typical suburban dad with two kids on varsity sports teams, and other similar extra-curricular activities. In fact, he is such a suburban dad that one day he decided he needed a new car that could haul his teenage kids around with their gear, tow the boat on weekends, and still look good in the process. So what does Pat do? Pat opens his computer, finds a price point that will work with his budget, and begins looking at different vehicles that fit his search criteria.

After a few weeks of reading reviews, recalls, specs, and keeping his eyes peeled on the road, Pat decides that he wants to by a new Chevrolet Suburban. Pat happens to have a friend who bought the same car a couple months ago, and he even borrows i t for a weekend, solidifying his decision on that specific make and model. All of a sudden, we have a car buyer that has done research on different options, checked out available colors, and even done research on recalls all before stepping foot onto a new car lot.

To take it a step further, Pat goes back to his computer, enters the exact specifications, and orders the exact Suburban that he wanted, and even had it delivered to his house. Pat truly bought a car without ever leaving the house, the entire process was done over the phone and the computer.


You see, we live in a time where everyone has access to an immense amount of information on just about anything by way of the Internet. This fact rings especially true for car buyers. No longer do they have to have a trusted brand and a trusted salesman from which they never stray. Now they can simply identify their basic needs in a vehicle and do the research themselves, without ever having to feel pressured from a salesman. In fact, the same study mentioned before reports that a mere 21% of all car shoppers who participated in the survey claimed that they actually trusted their salesman (Webber & Hartwell, 2014). That means that 79% of car buyers felt that they could not trust their salesman, and that means that they instead trusted the research that they did prior to walking on the lot. After all, everyone hates pulling up to the car lot and seeing six salesmen get off the golf cart they were sitting and begin swarming your car like you’re nothing more than a commission check for them. In fact, when I was shopping for car number two, the salesman literally broke the ice by saying, “ Look, you folks look like nice people and I’m positive I have the right car for you, but I’m looking at bonus territory right now so I need this sale like a dead man needs a casket! ” Needless to say we turned around, went home, and browsed their inventory online.

Although platforms like Autotrader and Cars.com can be useful tools for comparing vehicles across different lots, dealerships hate it because of how much they have to pay them to host their inventory online, right next two all of their competitors. From what I’ve observed, dealerships would much prefer an advertising platform that builds their own brand, with their own inventory, and invites shoppers to their own websites. That’s where the beauty of social media comes into play. You see, when users start aggressively shopping for a new car online, they display shopping behaviors, which the all-knowing social media gods pick up on. In fact, through Facebook advertising platforms, advertisers can so much as refine the inventory in the ad based on a user’s expressed preference in vehicle color! This morning, in Chattanooga alone, Facebook has identified over 100,000 of its users that have shown enough shopping behavior to suggest that they plan on purchasing a vehicle in the next 13 weeks!

 So my question is why in the world would dealers still spend money in mailers, print, radio, and billboards when the vast majority of people that receive those messages have absolutely no intention of buying a car this year. Why not instead invest money into platforms that can narrow your audience down to only the people that intend to buy a car in the next thirteen weeks?

This blog post was originally authored by Philippe LeMaitre. He is a Digital Media Consultant with Flypaper in Chattanooga, TN.

Webber, M., & Hartwell, C. (2014, April 15). 1 in 6 Car Buyers Skip Test-Drive: Nearly Half visit Just One (Or No) Dealership Prior to Purchase. Retrieved November 15, 2017, from www.dmeautomotive.com/announcements

By Spencer Bradshaw 20 Nov, 2017

When is the last time you bought a car? Was it a year ago? Five? Ten? Unfortunately for me, I’ve purchased three cars in the last six months. Not because I wasn’t satisfied with the car I had. I was actually quite fond of car number one. However, shortly after I bought it, my wife and I got into a bad accident, and the car was a goner.

We got another one, same make and model, a couple weeks after the accident. Not even two months later, my wife was hit on the interstate, leaving that car totaled, as well. Finally, we realized that particular make and model wasn’t right for us, and two weeks later we picked up car number three.

Personally, I’m a car junkie. I love cars. I love the buying process, the selling process, the research, the test-driving, the whole deal.  But in the midst of all my shopping, I was amazed at how simple the process seems to have gotten thanks to technology. In fact, by the end of it all, I ended up purchasing a car without ever changing out of my pajamas. Has it always been this easy for everyone, or had my misfortune turned me into a pro? Well, it turns out that studies have shown you don’t have to go on a car buying frenzy to do it efficiently and quickly.

By Spencer Bradshaw 11 Aug, 2017
Many small business owners and senior decision-makers worry that online marketing takes too much time and money — without a tangible return on investment. Do you think the founders of Amazon, eBay, Etsy and many other internet success stories felt that way during their early formative years?

These days, if businesses aren’t getting and retaining a large percentage of new prospects through online methods (aka digital marketing), they are likely to miss out on  potential customers or lose current ones to competitors swooping in at the right moment.

Here are 5 "R's to Remember" about Online Marketing for Small Business.  

REALITY.
 A huge percentage of your potential prospects are not using conventional media sources, and spending much more time in the digital world. Especially within the younger demographic groups and prime spending ages of 21-35  , people are now getting their information from other sources beyond TV, radio and newspaper. Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, Amazon and many other online venues are becoming increasingly more utilized as primary sources of information for people who are ready to buy.

Takeaway :   If a business doesn’t consistently place its marketing messages where people are regularly and actively searching online for information, it’s a logical conclusion those people will NOT buy from that business.

RELEVANCE.   The landscape for marketing messages is much more blurred and intertwined now, which unfortunately also raises the overall level of marketing noise. A 2014 study by Media Dynamics found that adults are exposed to an average of 360 advertising messages every day in five conventional media sources (TV, radio, Internet, newspapers and magazines). Of those messages, adults only note about 150-155 on average, and even less of those ads convey an impact strong enough to be recalled and to make a sale. With all that excess advertising noise, people quickly tune out information they feel doesn’t directly relate to their specific needs.

Takeaway :   In a 2016 report, Wordstream found that 72% of consumers who did a local Internet search then visited a store within five miles. That means a local business needs to show up in a buyer’s search results — or social media stream — by connecting with key terms and messaging images that are relevant to those buyers who are searching online. If not, then that local business often never becomes an option to that prospect.  

By Spencer Bradshaw 08 Jun, 2017

In January, I got the grand idea that I’d travel to Ireland after spending my evening binge watching Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown . I spent most of my night hurling comments across the room to a friend about how nice life must be for the ex-chef turned travel guide who has created a cult following from being undeniably relatable and brash.  I am normally not quite so impulsive, but within 30 minutes I had booked my flights, found an Airbnb in Dublin, and secured a rental car for my impromptu adventure.

While this wouldn’t be my first trip overseas, it would be the first time I handled all of the details and logistics of the trip. So once done, I started to think about a little travel agency that has sat at the corner of McCallie and Georgia avenue since I first came to Chattanooga as a student.  Even then, the pictures of cruise ships, smiling families in front of the Hoover Dam, and palm trees that wallpapered their store front were peeling, faded, and acted as artifacts from a period of time I knew almost nothing about. I actually spent many years believing it was abandoned before running into the owners via their other business years later.

The reality that I was experiencing was that life has quickly changed for us all in relatively short order. We are far more autonomous, educated (just ask Siri), and accessible year after year.

How we interact with social media, brands, and each other seems to evolve year after year. It’s possible that some of us speak to Alexa or Google Home before a human in the morning. We can experience new places and cultures through virtual reality. And pretty soon, we will have the option to give up our driver’s licenses to self-driving cars.

By Spencer Bradshaw 19 May, 2017
In 2010, Google announced page speed as a rank factor for websites. It may not have had a direct impact on SEO at the time, but consumers and Google alike want the web to be faster and more efficient - especially for mobile users. With smartphones sitting in our pockets that are millions of times more powerful than all of NASA's computing power in the 60s, we expect any and all information whenever we want it. Whether we are ordering a pizza, shopping for shoes, or looking  to buy a home  the need for speed is real. 

So if you are thinking about paying closer attention to your SEO, continue to address your keywords, title tags, etc. However, there might be a silent killer lurking in the shadows. Here are 10 big facts you need to know about page speed:

1) Users spend 70% more time, and have 60% more page views, on websites that load quickly.

2) 77% of websites take more than 10 seconds to load on mobile.

3) 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.

4) As page time goes from 1s-5s probability of bounce increases by 90%. [ Source ]

5) 52% of online shoppers claim that quick page loads are important for their loyalty to a site. [ Source ]

6) When faced with a negative mobile shopping experience, 43% of consumers will go to a competitor’s site next. [ Source ]

7) Publishers whose mobile sites load in 5 seconds earn up to 2x more mobile ad revenue than those whose sites load in 19 seconds. 7 [ Source ]

8) Sites that loaded in less that five seconds on mobile saw 70% longer sessions and 25% higher viewability than those that loaded at the current common average of 19 seconds. [ Source ]

9) PageSpeed can have a direct impact on your Adwords campaigns and Quality Score.

“If it takes too long for your website to load when someone clicks on your ad, they’re more likely to give up and leave your website. This unwelcome behavior can signal to Google that your landing page experience is poor, which could negatively impact your Ad Rank. That’s why you want to make sure your landing page load time is up to speed.” [ Source ]

10) According to Google, “speed equals revenue.” [ Source ]

Flypaper can help you identify if your website meets Google's requirements for page speed, and give it the tune up it needs. Reach out to your local Flypaper team for more information. 

READ MORE:  https://www.dudamobile.com/blog/10-incredible-stats-facts-need-know-pagespeed/








By Spencer Bradshaw 11 Apr, 2017
We work with over 500 businesses across the nation, and many of the questions we receive each day remain the same. There are prevailing concerns about whether or not customers are actually on social media and if there is a need for professionals like Flypaper to handle what sometimes seems like is just for pictures of dogs, trendy food, and selfies.

However, businesses across all industries have found ways to discover new business, build brands, and engage with their current customers on social media faster and more efficiently than ever before. Flypaper is the catalyst for you to accomplish the same, but in the words of  Reading Rainbow's  LeVar Burton, "You don't have to take our word for it." Here are 10 mind blowing social media stats that speak for themselves:


By Spencer Bradshaw 03 Apr, 2017
There seems to be a growing concern that reviews online are fake, not useful, and caught up in the clutter of all the information available to us online. Turns out, however, that online reviews are affecting a staggering amount of business each day and play a critical role in the buying process.

For instance, I recently purchased a mattress. Having never bought a new mattress before, I first went online to discover my options. Over the course of a couple weeks, I began to narrow my options down to three "bed-in-a-box" companies that had begun retargeting me through social media and elsewhere online (chances are you've seen at least one of these companies yourself named after a popular friendly ghost we all know about).

After speaking to a couple of people in our office I discovered that two of them had actually purchased from one of the companies I was considering. That evening, I immediately went online to compare reviews of each side by side. After pairing their recommendation with many other glowing reviews, one stood out amongst the rest. Two weeks later I was sleeping in my new bed.  

So what does this all mean? Understanding the buying process, and how the internet plays it's unique role in your industry is something Flypaper can help with. Although roughly 15 percent of reviews online do seem to be fake, consumer confidence online continues to rise. Here are some numbers for you to chew on:
  • Sixty-one percent of consumers read reviews before deciding whether or not to buy (Econsultancy).
  • Consumer reviews are trusted up to 12X more than manufacturer product descriptions (eMarketer).
  • After seeing how a brand responds to reviews, 71 percent of consumers change their opinions about the brand (Bazaarvoice).
  • Customers who view user-generated content show a 133 percent higher conversion rate (Bazaarvoice).
  • 79 percent of customer trust online reviews as much as personal reviews (BrightLocal).
Having a smart, genuine review system in place like the one Flypaper offers through our Reputation Management solution provides a considerable opportunity to increase both new and reoccurring business by building trust with your customers. If you're interested in learning more start the conversation with us today. 

READ MORE
http://marketingland.com/fake-online-reviews-killing-consumer-confidence-194239
By Spencer Bradshaw 22 Mar, 2017
It's true. There are 7 billion people in the world, and 5.4 billion of them own a cell phone - a startling number if you compare it to the 4.2 billion that own a toothbrush.  This is the very reason that Google has put a premium on mobile websites , and in 2015 news outlets coined it "Mobilgeddon". The move from desktop to mobile has even gone as far to have seen a steady decline in app downloads year to year. Causing businesses to focus on retention of their online visitors rather than just acquisition. So what does that mean for your website or your business?

There are a number of implication including Google's intentions to move from a desktop-first index to a mobile-first index that could dramatically affect how your customers find you online. Get yourself ready and you could pick yourself up in the rankings. Talk with someone at Flypaper today to if your site is ready. 

READ MORE
http://marketingland.com/report-pc-app-boom-207857
http://searchengineland.com/know-mobile-crawl-site-looks-like-270220
By Kiesha Doss 17 Mar, 2017
The foundation for an effective digital marketing plan is good SEO, and we believe that will never change. Keeping up with Google is still a full-time job and constantly has business owners stretched too thin. However, Google continues to give it's users more and more options. This has resulted in an increased need to know your options beyond SEO. 

At Flypaper, we stay up to date with all of the changes and make sure our customers are on the right path to succeed. We specialize in solutions that build multiple paths to your site and have one thing in mind -  your GROWTH. Call us to find out how we can help!

READ MORE
https://moz.com/blog/3-not-so-seo-friendly-trends
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