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A Surprising Winner in the Video Debate

In round 4 of Battle of the Big Cats, we're talking video adoption at the dealerships. We heard from both Josh Mitchell and Chris Leslie. Let's see what the judges have to say.


JASON STUM - Launch Digital Marketing

On a warm, early summer day I stood outside of the dealership I was working at and shot my first ever video for a customer (watch it here). Completing the video in just one take ('cause that's how I roll) I uploaded that video online and sent it to my customer. Later that evening, my customer arrived with her family at the dealership. Not too long after that, they were taking delivery of their brand-new minivan.

By god, I had done it. I used video to sell a car!

That happened in 2008. Two thousand and freaking eight!!!

When I got into the car biz, almost 10 years ago, the industry "talking heads" were just beginning to tout the benefits of using video in the dealership. Being a tech junkie and wannabe entertainer, I knew that I could use video to help me sell cars. For my entire car sales career (two whole years!) I used video just about every day.

Yet, here were are a decade later, and the industry "talking heads" are STILL going on about why you should use video in the dealership.

Look, I get it. Sometimes car dealers are slow to adopt - but they're not THAT slow. So, there has to be something else going on. I'm of the opinion that while video does indeed make everything better, it's also the hardest thing to implement inside of the dealership because there are multiple facets to it. Personally, I break down dealership video usage into three tiers:

1. Brand videos that are designed to build awareness and establish your USP's (for use on TV, YouTube & Facebook)

2. Videos to incorporate on your website to make it more relevant, engaging and sticky (For use on the Homepage, VDP's, Thank You Pages, etc)

3. 1 to 1 videos created by sales, service & BDC personnel for individual customers

Whether you're trying to address one of the tiers or all three together, it takes dedicated time, resources and processes to pull it off successfully. And quite frankly, many dealerships just don't have what they need to make it happen. And that's why we're still talking about video all these years later.

So for this round, I'm going to pick Chris as my winner.

If a dealership isn't intentional about incorporating video into their marketing strategy, then it's just another shiny thing that will get underutilized, unsupported and ultimately left on the back burner. And quite frankly, there's probably other aspects of a dealership's digital marketing efforts that need to be addressed that would create more lift and are easier to achieve (SEM, SEO, Email Marketing & Social to name a few).

Video is awesome. I love it. I swear by it. But it's the icing on the cake. Focus on making an amazing cake first, and once you have that down pat, then add on the delicious video icing.

BILL PLAYFORD - DealerKnows

First, I have to say I respect Josh’s “just do it” attitude. With so many tactics, scripts, templates, site design, and of course, videos, we have to initiate the iterate, fail, and learn cycle in order to grow. But, what’s it worth if it delays the follow-up process by hours?

I have to give the nod to Chris on this debate with a caveat. If your dealership is consistently responding to customers with pricing, availability, and answers to question in fifteen minutes or less, then do it in a video. If not, there are bigger fish to fry.

JENN DUNSTAN - FlexDealer

Chris’ gleefully sarcastic take on why you shouldn’t adopt video is missing one crucial excuse: You’re afraid. I know this because—gawd, I hated being on video and I know that I’m not alone. Marketing is fundamentally fueled by experimentation. Yet, one’s fear could justify any excuse to keep most people from taking that step outside their comfort zone.

My verdict: We unanimously agreed that a strategy as statistically promising as video, is not one to be overlooked. But I’m giving the point to Chris for the barrage of painful truths he delivered with impeccable precision.

Editor's Notes

The decision has been made. Chris Leslie has unanimously been declared the winner of round 4. It comes as no surprise that video should be a staple in your marketing strategy. Too many times we are behind the curve when it comes to fully adopting and implementing new technology. Whether it's video marketing or software to help you manager your floor, it requires time, a plan, and commitment to change.

Stay Tuned for Round 5!

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