Ford Finally has a Fully Electric F-Series Pickup Truck in Development

Ford Finally has a Fully Electric F-Series Pickup Truck in Development

Ford is one automotive manufacturer who’s never been afraid to push the boundaries when it comes to building their vehicles.

It’s one of the many reasons that they’ve been able to stay popular with customers for so many years.

They’ve recently proved this once again after revealing their newest innovation.

The car company- who’s perhaps best known for their pickups- is going to make both a hybrid pickup, and a fully electric pickup.

Ford’s President of global markets, Jim Farley, announced these exciting plans during an event in Detroit. Farley’s revelation also included the fact that the F-series were the pickups being targeted for making one fully electric. A bold choice, indeed; but it definitely piqued the interests of many who heard the announcement.

Given the fact that Ford has previously invested in the electric vehicle market, Farley’s revelation really should not be surprising. Moreover, Ford is arguably one of the most popular car manufacturers in existence. So, taking this bold step will no doubt help them stand out from their competitors when it comes to electric pickups.

This announcement has already stirred up a lot of excitement from both customers and car experts alike. However, there was no hint given as to which model will become an electric vehicle during Farley’s announcement. This is in stark contrast to a hybrid pickup- the model in question there is the F-150. That project has been in the works in North America since 2015. But perhaps the recent announcement is hinting that it could come out sooner than later.

 

But car experts believe that an electric Ford pickup truck won’t come out until sometime in 2020. Should that turn out to be the case, the model year for these innovative new pickups would be 2021. However, all of that is merely speculation at this point. Whether it actually happens this way or not still remains to be seen.

Needless to say, it will be very interesting to see when Ford releases their hybrid and electric pickup trucks.

Sources: Engadget; Popular Mechanics

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Ad Formats Aren’t Strategy

Ad Formats Aren’t Strategy

Ad Formats Aren’t Strategy

It’s disappointing to discuss marketing with people who don’t know the difference between ad formats and strategy, but should. Not everyone understands the finer nuances of marketing; however, those who hold the position responsible for marketing in a dealership— be it internal or external— need to understand the process behind creating the marketing strategy. If they don’t, then you need to take a serious look at what they’re spending your money on. Whether it’s your dealership, the agency you’ve contracted to do your marketing, or the OEM feeding you marketing content, they should understand the fundamentals behind the process

With that in mind, it’s time for an audit. Perhaps not an overhaul, but rather a test to determine whether or right you’re marketing is going in the right direction.

In fact, your marketing should always go through a periodic review to ensure that your dollars are being used efficiently, and your message is effective.

Step 1

Can all of the members of the marketing team reliably describe your goals and objectives? It should be simple and if they can’t, then perhaps you could lead them here. Understanding your goals is the first step in any plan. Without them, all of your creative is nothing more than art.

 

Step 2

Is there a feedback mechanism to ensure your message is resonating? You need metrics to tell you how long someone remains on your site, or if there are certain concepts and messages that affect your client’s purchasing cycle. You can’t determine whether you’re reaching your goals or not if you don’t measure your process. Besides, throwing ads up on the screen has no real method of measurement.

Step 3

Can you further segment your audience?

You may not realize when you start out that there are subsets of your audience. After a while however, your message will resonate further within certain smaller groups of your audience. If you’re using Facebook, you have the opportunity to split them apart and apply new language to certain groups. But if you just have a bunch of ads— whether they are a dynamic inventory slideshow or a canvas ads, without understanding what you’re hoping to achieve— you won’t know if it matters to split those groups.

Does the Message Still apply?

Once you’ve completed your audit and you know whether your marketing is still on point or whether it needs to be adjusted, you should take a serious look at how it started to drift.

1. Were your goals not clear enough?
2. Did you leave it to someone else to set your goals?
3. Should you change your goals or reset your message?
 

The last thing you should do when looking at your audit is to determine what you’re paying for. Do you have an agency selling you on the prospect of a strategy and delivering only ad formats? Ad formats are not strategy. When creating an ad campaign, you have establish your goals and objectives and target your audience before you begin to develop your creative. Don’t get trapped into throwing up creative with no reason or audience.

 

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more content.

Cheers,
Jason Harris

 

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Tesla No Longer Closing Stores, But Will Increase Car Prices Instead

Tesla No Longer Closing Stores, But Will Increase Car Prices Instead

On Thursday, February 28th of this year, Tesla had revealed their plans to close all physical stores. They will instead rely solely on online sales from their customers. Making this massive move would mean that Tesla could sell the Model 3 for $35,000USD– a six percent decrease of its original price.

But oh, how things can change rapidly.

It was only a few weeks later when Tesla revealed in a new blog post that their remaining stores will no longer close.

That being said, 10 percent of locations had already closed their doors by this time.

However, Tesla admitted that those specific locations were on track to shut down in spite of their previous announcement. Tesla explained in their blog post that the change in plans came about after they spent two weeks evaluating all of their store locations. They added that some stores that had been closed before would open again, albeit with less employees than before. 20 percent of stores would remain under Tesla’s review for the next several months. This is so the company can decide which will close and which will stay open.

So, what will Tesla do instead? Their plans are to raise the prices of their vehicles by three percent around the world. The $35 000 Model 3 was the only vehicle not affected by a price increase. The same could not be said for the pricier Model 3, the Model S, and Model X. The change went into effect by Monday, March 18th.

Tesla’s blog post didn’t explain why they did an about face on their initial decision, leaving customers curious about the situation. However, customers were able to learn that keeping physical stores won’t stop Tesla from continuing to sell all their vehicles online. Those who work at Tesla dealerships will now show customers how they can order a Tesla of their own right from their phone. In addition to this, what’s been described as “a small number of cars” will be available for any customers itching to buy a Tesla as soon as possible.

 

For those who follow the car company closely, this decision will leave many wondering if this change will be what they needs to improve their numbers. With Tesla refusing to elaborate further, it’s truly anyone’s guess whether it will work or not. This is one situation that will be monitored closely by car experts, customers, and Tesla fans alike to see what happens next.

Source: The Verge

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4 Things Car Dealerships Can Learn From Amazon

4 Things Car Dealerships Can Learn From Amazon

4 Things Car Dealerships Can Learn From Amazon

E Commerce for Your Dealership

It’s a good thing you can’t buy new cars on Amazon.

The online merchandising giant does an amazing job with the purchase journey. Not only does their marketing support the sales, but the online shopping experience is easy. When you view an item, you first get images often from different angles, inside and out. Once you narrow down your choices, you find comments and reviews— social proof that the item works as advertised. Then in your final stages, comparing accessories and pricing is almost too simple.

If Amazon sold cars, dealerships wouldn’t exist other than to offer test drives. 

In a cart-before-horse race, spending too much capital on an e-commerce solution before your dealership is ready is like buying a cash register before you have retail space. Worrying about how people are going to pay you before you have something for sale will be costly.

So, what can we learn from the Amazon?

Start small

Amazon didn’t always have everything from A to Z. They started in 1994 by selling books from a garage. Your dealership has cars. Start there, and don’t get caught up trying to have a massive virtual warehouse with nothing in it.

Invest in a Shopping solution, not just a shopping cart

Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, wanted his creation to be more than just an online retailer. That’s why he added a review system early on so he could build his online community. If you don’t have enough content on your website to shop, then why do you think someone would go through the process of buying anything at all?

Take the time to build a solid website first with backend software that can be easily modified later.

 

Merchandise everything

There is a science behind merchandising, and everything Amazon does keeps this in mind. Look at their logo, and you can see the effort that they put into even the small things. There is a smile that goes from the A to Z to imply that they’re willing to deliver anything to anywhere.

Everything— from product placement and colour to the amount of information that’s available for product support— is important to the sale. You do this for your physical retail space already; now you need to emulate that online. This includes comments, reviews, and most importantly, the clear cost of the vehicle.

Support without sales

We’ve said it before; the sales journey is changing. Car buyers don’t want pushy salespeople jumping on them. You need knowledgeable sales advisors available to support the client with anything they need. It takes 15 seconds to find the customer support section on Amazon, and then you’re presented with several options to solve your issues. This process is fast, friendly, and efficient. Your website should offer that same service— whether it’s via email, telephone, or chat interface.

E Commerce can be an amazing sales generator, but it is not always the best answer.

Don’t get caught up in the e-commerce revolution— build the sales portal before you have something for sale. Protect your dealership from the shady operators who arrive with flashy sales pitches offering the newest tools or solutions. Much like your marketing plan, which we have discussed before, spend your time in the earlier stages to understand the problem first.

 

Grab people you know; your family, your friends, even your mother, and send them to your website to shop. After they spend time on the website, test them for what they learned. Do they know the difference between a standard and limited model? Can they qualify themselves? Do they want a moonroof or winter tires?

Create a website that supports the purchase journey, and don’t waste money on the backend if you have no front shop. When you have the support in place, you can develop a solution that’s best for you and your clients so they can complete that journey on their terms.

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Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more content.

Cheers,
Jason Harris

 

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