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8 Show-Stoppers

Web-based tools ruled the aisleways at NADA 2011. Here are some solutions that caught the magazine’s attention.

March 2011, F&I and Showroom - Feature

by Justina Ly

NADA 1011 attracted a crowd of more than 18,000 attendees to San Francisco’s Moscone Center, where they were greeted by 368 exhibitors.
NADA 1011 attracted a crowd of more than 18,000 attendees to San Francisco’s Moscone Center, where they were greeted by 368 exhibitors.

Tools to help dealers rule the Internet were in abundance at this year’s NADA Convention and Expo, set inside San Francisco’s Moscone Center — where 363 exhibitors vied for the attention of more than 18,000 attendees.

Solutions that allow dealers to tap into today’s mobile marketing phenomenon were prevalent, but so was an emerging strategy that allows technology providers to deliver their solutions through the Web. The idea is to allow dealers to select the Web-enabled device they’ll use to access these new solutions — which could spell savings for dealers.

Here’s a look at some of the products that caught our attention at this year’s show:

DealerApp Vantage: Going Mobile

The company showcased an upgraded version of its mobile marketing tool, DealerApp Vantage Pro. Dealers can now build their own dealership app that displays inventory in real time and sends service appointment reminders. The tool also allows dealers to personalize the apps for their customers based on the vehicle they currently own.

The app builder comes equipped with a “Toolkit” feature that provides one-touch dialing for roadside assistance. Other features include a gas price finder, parking assistant and a database of owner’s manuals. The app can even turn a mobile device into a working flashlight.

Dealers can also load the app with dealership promotions and event information. The app also allows customers to get price quotes, schedule service appointments, make payments, order parts and contact any department at the dealership via one-touch dialing.

The app-building tool also allows dealers to take advantage of RSS feeds so their customers can receive dealer and manufacturer news and recall alerts. Dealers can also manage their store’s social media sites and Websites via the app’s back-end management tools.

The “lite” version of the company’s mobile builder is available for $19.95 a month. The “pro” version is available for $49.95 per month. Consumers can download the lite version of the app for free on their Android and Blackberry mobile devices, and both versions on their Apple devices. For more information, visit www.dealerappvantage.com.

@utoRevenue: Manage What They Say

The marketing services arm of Autobase CRM rolled out PRIME Response, a new online reputation management solution that allows dealers to profile, track and influence what’s being said about their dealerships online.

The solution’s “profile” controls provides dealers with the ability to manage their online profile and distribute content to third-party sites. Dealers can promote their store’s car-buying experience, send coupons, promote events, post videos and more.

The tool also boasts a “track” feature that allows dealers to follow what their customers are saying about their store — and their competitors. It does this by monitoring data streams in social networks, RSS feeds and indexed search results. Additionally, dealers can track their stores’ ratings and consumer reviews. 

PRIME Response also offers “influence” controls to help dealers get their customers to write online reviews about their store. These reviews can then be directed to third-party Websites, as well as other consumer forums. Users also have access to an @utoRevenue reputation specialist to assist them with their marketing efforts. For more information, visit www.autorevenue.com.

eCarList: Level the Playing Field

eCarList’s TrueTarget Mobile App was designed to offer dealers an answer to the Carfax report-wielding consumer. The software provider has equipped its mobile solution, named the most innovation solution of 2010 by Drivingsales.com, with a direct connection to Carfax’s Vehicle History Reports.

Dealers can use TrueTarget to access pricing and appraisal insights from their mobile phones, as well as manage, photograph and market their inventory on vehicle listing sites. The app includes retail market data from online marketing sites like Cars.com, AutoTrader.com and eBay. Dealers also can access wholesale pricing data from NADA, Galves, AuctionNet and more. More importantly, the app allows dealers to filter, organize and view data geographically. Dealers can even flag pricing from competing dealerships.

The app, which can work on the iPhone and Android-based mobile devices, is available to non-Carfax subscribers starting at $75 per month. For more information, visit www.ecarlist.com/TrueTarget.

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