McLEAN, Va. – AutoTrader.com will present a workshop about online marketing trends at the 2011 NADA Convention & Expo, which will be held in San Francisco on Feb. 5-7.
Because of today’s tough economy, car shoppers are increasingly spending more time conducting online research and scrutinizing potential purchases so that they feel confident about their buying decisions, says Howard Polirer, director of industry relations for AutoTrader.com in Atlanta, Ga.
“Even though the economy is rising from the ashes of the fallout over the past couple of years and has rebounded to some extent, it has permanently changed shopping behavior, not just car shopping behavior,” says Polirer, who will be presenting the workshop, “Influencing Car Shoppers Beyond the Click.”
“The economy has made more car shoppers information seekers, and auto dealers competing in today’s marketplace need to ensure they are building value and becoming relevant online,” he says. “Today’s shoppers are less impulsive and more cautious about their purchases.”
Polirer says online shoppers not only want to find their perfect car, but they also want to find the best deal to ensure they’ve made the right decision with their money.
“Dealers can influence the decisions of consumers by addressing the inherent questions they have about buying a car,” he says. “Online shoppers want to see inventory on local dealer lots. They want to see cars posted online with prices and with lots of photos of the actual car, either new or used. They want to compare incentives online.”
The workshop, one of nine “Online Presence” courses offered by NADA University at the upcoming convention, will show dealers and their managers how to use the Internet to influence the decision-making process of car shoppers through video, chat, mobile and online reputation management.
And Polirer says the old standard of measuring click-through rates and e-mail leads does not accurately measure the influence the Internet is having on car shoppers today.
“The Internet is fundamentally an ‘influencing’ medium rather than a ‘direct-response’ medium, and as a result, car shoppers are heavily influenced beyond what online activity metrics indicate,” he says.
To convert online shoppers into buyers, Polirer says dealers need to align their advertising and messaging so that it resonates with the new mindset of today’s car shopper.
“Dealers need to implement tactics that will engage consumers in the online space and ultimately influence car shoppers to choose their dealership and purchase their vehicle,” he says. “Essentially, dealers need to ensure that their marketing message is being seen by as many in-market shoppers as possible, as much as possible and as efficiently as possible.”
“Online Presence” is one of 10 workshop tracks offered at the NADA convention.
Here are the other eight “Online Presence” workshops:
• “Blogs, Microsites and SEO” – Brian Pasch (Pasch Consulting)
• “Fixed Operations Retention in the Digital World” – Kevin Root (DriverSide.com) and Mike DeCecco (Dealer.com)
• “Increase Traffic and Engagement through Video” – Sean Bradley (Dealer Synergy, Inc.)
• “Insights into Consumer Behavior” – Michelle Morris (Google)
• “Perfecting the Online Lead Mix” – David Kain (KainAutomotive.com) and Anna Zornosa (Dealix, a division of ADP/Cobalt)
• “Social Media 101” and “Social Media 201” – Jared Hamilton (DrivingSales.com)
• “Web Analytics: Improve Your Conversion Rate” – Todd Smith (ActivEngage,
There are more than 100 workshop sessions covering 35 topics to help dealers and their managers get the most out of their businesses. For the complete list of convention workshops and schedules, visit www.NADAconventionandexpo.org.