Why the Science of Automotive Digital Marketing is Exciting

July 20, 2015 - 3:40 am

Science of Chat

Over the years, the automotive industry has seen so many new technologies and fancy gadgets popping up that are intended to help dealers to sell more cars. In some instances, this is great as it reveals true innovations to the industry. However, most of them end up being a loaded with too much hype and buzz and not enough in the form of tangible results.

We’ve seen a recent rise in the world of website chat for car dealers where complex strategies and fancy gadgets are popping up to “disrupt” the industry. Without exception, the numbers have shown them to be bigger in the bark than the bite, but that’s not going to stop them from popping up. When compared with sound practices and a scientific approach to improving the quality of a chat service, the fancy stuff has a tendency to get more attention. As long as dealers keep buying into the concepts, many of the chat companies will continue to push them forward.

Don’t misunderstand – we’re not against innovation. It’s a part of our lives and something that we strive for everyday. For better or for worse, innovation in chat tends to yield the best results when it’s applied to improving on the basic concepts rather than releasing new components that don’t really work.

From the outside, the science of chat can be very boring. It’s about testing out different word tracks, improving integration, testing variations of the display, and following the trends of consumers. This isn’t the most appealing process to dealers who are looking for “paradigm-shifting chat features” (yes, there’s a technology that popped up last year that was billed with those exact words) or a secret weapon that will give them the edge over competitors. The reality is this: the changes brought about through testing within the scientific method is the best way to achieve constantly improving results in dealer website chat.

This may sound boring but it definitely isn’t from the inside. We get to see extremely interesting aspects of chat that help to make us unique. For example, when we first started the company, we all went through different models and selected the images we wanted to appear on the chat prompts on websites. Then, we compiled the data and created a system that would give us all the information we would need to determine which images brought the most attention. In other words, which pictures got the most chats initiated.

The results were rather shocking. Many of the images that we thought would perform the best turned out to be the worst and visa versa. One might think that it doesn’t make a difference which images are used as long as it appears to be a smiling chat operator. In fact, we’ve even heard this from other chat companies. The numbers tell a completely different story, especially when you look at the mass of data that we’ve compiled on the subject. The number of chats can increase by several percentage points based solely on the images used.

This isn’t exactly the most exciting aspect of chat on the surface. However, you’ve probably seen some well-marketed and hyped-up chat products or components come out over the past couple of years that go you pretty excited. As it turns out, we’ve seen the numbers when dealers switch to our service and we’ve been able to track back the effects of these shiny innovations. In most cases, the results were improved by very small percentage points. In a few instances, the results did not really change. In one particularly popular example, the fancy “chat innovation” demonstrated a decline in results.

The science of chat really is exciting. Bringing about new products can be fun, but it’s in achieving the highest level of results that a chat company such as CarChat24 really gets going and proves our worth to car dealers.

There are things that are fancy and appealing because they are new and then there are things that are effective, albeit “boring” to most. When it comes to success in the car business, results should always trump shiny and new.

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