Marketing Exec Leads Internet Site Panel in Discussing Price Transparency

Price negotiation for most consumers is often described as one of the most arduous parts of the purchase process, according to Joel Ewanick, managing partner of Global Automotive Systems, Inc. The former GM chief marketing officer led a panel discussion about “Vehicle Price Transparency” with four third-party website executives at the October J.D. Power Automotive Marketing Roundtable (AMR) in Las Vegas, NV. Excerpts from the panel discussion are highlighted in this post.

Moderator: Joel Ewanick, managing partner, Global Auto Systems, Inc.

 Panel Members:

Seth Berkowitz, president and COO, Edmunds.com

Larry Dominique, executive vice president, TrueCar, Inc.

Jared Rowe, President, Kelley Blue Book

Alex Vetter, senior vice president, Cars.com

Third-Party Website Leaders Define Business Models

Joel: I see that companies like yours are trying to help the consumer through the process. Can you explain what you do, what your business model is, and then we’ll start to compare and contrast?

Seth (Edmunds): “At Edmunds, we’re working through a major transition. For years, we’ve been an information and pricing authority. We probably have the largest repository of automotive information on the Internet with somewhere in the neighborhood of 3.5 million pages of content. We’ve decided that being this comprehensive encyclopedia of automotive information isn’t enough. . . We’ve decided to make car buying easier. We are going to do this by fostering trust—which is at an all-time low— between consumers and dealers.” Continue reading ›

Multiple Platforms, Screen Sizes Drive Major Changes in Automakers’ Websites

Arianne_Walker New

Arianne Walker

The explosion of tablet ownership among new-vehicle shoppers in 2013 and the different approaches that shoppers now use to access information during the new-vehicle shopping process is challenging automakers to improve website functionality across platforms, according to our 2013 Manufacturer Website Evaluations Study (MWES)–Wave 2.

Results in Wave 2 of the semiannual 2013 MWES find that tablet ownership has climbed by 145% from just 20% of new-vehicle shoppers in Wave 1 of the 2012 MWES, to nearly one-half (49%) of nearly 10,200 new-vehicle shoppers in Wave 2 of the 2013 MWES.

Among the tablet users, overall satisfaction with the usefulness of auto manufacturer websites during the shopping process remains nearly flat at 815 (on a 1,000-point scale) vs. 818 points in Wave 1 of the 2013 study. Average satisfaction with automakers’ websites by desktop PC users is slightly higher—823—since most manufacturer websites are designed specifically for a desktop. Wave 2 finds that satisfaction among tablet users is lower in two of the four key measures: navigation and speed.* Continue reading ›

Satisfaction with Auto Insurers Remains Stable despite Rise in Filed Claims

Jeremy Bowler

Although there was an increase in auto insurance claims in the U.S. during the fourth quarter of 2011 due to weather-related damage—which led to higher volumes at repair shops and longer repair times—overall customer satisfaction with the claims experience remained stable, according to our latest 2012 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study—Wave 1.

In fact, overall satisfaction with the claims experience averaged 855 (on a 1,000-point Scale) during the fourth quarter of 2011, based on our sample of more than 3,500 insurance customers who filed an auto claim in the past 6 months.* This compares favorably with an average score of 854 in the third quarter and 848 during the second quarter of 2011. Continue reading ›

What Lies Ahead for Automotive Marketers in the Age of Digital Marketing

The world of marketing is rapidly growing with a new age of marketers who will need to keep up with the changing environment. This new age of digital marketers will have a different mindset, tool set, and approach to digital marketing as exhibited in an interesting scenario.

There are seven new-age marketers ready to compete with their ideas for what is called the “Ultimate Marketing Championship” or UMC13, suggests Jason Deal, executive vice president and digital group account director at Initiative USA. He presented a fantasy portrait of these new-age marketers at this year’s 2011 Automotive Internet Roundtable. Continue reading ›