Articles

When a Plan Comes Together

Brad Cannon | 05/21/2020
As I sit here to write this, the world seems to have gone completely nuts. There’s a pandemic that has shaken up the entire planet, we’ve hunkered down and isolated ourselves, and yet I keep hearing about dealers who have had record months.

Go figure.

With all the isolation and social distancing talk, now seems like a great time to talk about websites.

We’ve always said that your website is your digital dealership, and nothing proves that more than recent events. With many brick and mortar dealerships shut down by mandate, websites have quickly become a go-to for information, communication, sales, and ultimately, survival.

It’s the anchor of your digital presence, and it needs to be efficient and effective at doing it’s job – generating leads that turn into sales. Anything less, and you’re wasting time and money.

Leads have to be generated, tracked, and followed up with every single day. I’m proud to say that PSM has a website platform that generates those results and provides leads every day – 24/7 for dealers better than the competition, and with the best customer service in the business. Don’t believe me? Read our reviews.

While a critical component, having a great website is really just the beginning. When you opened your physical dealership, did you just unlock the door and wait for floods of people to just come rushing in? Would that happen? Of course not. 

Anyone with half a lick of sense advertises, right? That’s why we developed our digital advertising program, partnering with Google (as Premier Partners), Facebook, and Instagram. Don’t sit back and hope for the best, we drive traffic to websites with SEM and social media marketing better than anybody in the powersports business.
We successfully run Digital advertising for hundreds of dealers across the country, but dealers who have a Firestorm website get to see the advantage of the seamless experience and premium performance of using an integrated suite of products to leverage additional performance above and beyond the competition – with less work.

For those serious about performance, we bolt on Firestorm email and website tracking. Visitors are identified – even if they didn’t fill out a form – and begin to receive messages encouraging them to come in and make a purchase. On top of that, regular emails with featured inventory, follow-up, birthdays, anniversaries, and many other important events can be created and deployed automatically. Yeah, it’s amazing. Oh, and all with themes (well north of 200) and graphics designed BY riders FOR riders. Not some cookie cutter platform that tries to be all things to all people. Riders are a special group that deserves special treatment. Oh, and some of that special treatment is a data hygiene program like no other in the industry, along with audience segmentation, that leads to the best delivery rate in the business. Check it out.


There’s really only one thing that is better than advertising. Word of mouth. And we have that covered in our suite of products as well. Our reputation management product has generated hundreds of thousands of positive reviews for our clients – and studies have shown that people make decisions about who they buy from based on both quantity and rating of reviews. Think about it. When you’re looking to make a purchase, do you look at the reviews for the product? Sure. And what about the business selling it? When it’s a big ticket item, of course you do.
 

So what if you want to buy a motorcycle, and you’re looking at two different dealerships – one has 10 reviews with a 3.5 star rating, and the other has 400 reviews with a 4.7 star rating? Which one would you buy from? That’s why our reputation management bolt on is so critical. It’s word of mouth from the internet. And a lot of it.
What is one of the best ways to communicate in a non fear producing way? Text. 

We have an app for that too. Literally. Customer Connections is our app that allows you to use your website (and dealership main phone number if you want) to text back and forth with clients. Texting has a ton of benefits for all departments, as it reduces phone calls, and allows for employees to answer as quickly as possible without customers sitting on hold and getting frustrated. It’s amazing.  And we keep hearing stories from clients who have gone through the entire sales process via text, with customers only coming in to pick up their new units. It’s crazy cool.

My point here is that if handled properly, using all the right tools, it’s possible to use your website and digital marketing to generate an incredible amount of sales. The suite of products we’ve created for you will do just that. We’ve seen it over and over with our clients. I’ve really only given the 30k helicopter view of how powerful these products are, but hopefully you can see how each of them can dramatically improve your dealership – even more so when used together. We’d love to talk with you about how these solutions can work together for your dealership. Give us a shout.
 
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Ask Tory - Have you heard of Customer Connections?

Tory Hornsby | 05/04/2020

A recent study showed that 87% of Americans experience anxiety when answering a call from a business or calling a business… that’s why customers don’t answer the phone anymore. And it’s not just anxiety stopping folks from answering. Not too long ago I called my 19 y.o. son. He didn’t answer, of course, but as I was going to his voicemail he sent me a text that said, “What’s up?”

That’s when it hit me. People simply prefer texting over a phone conversation. It’s the world we now live in, and texting will continue to replace phone calls the same way that email replaced fax machines.

This is good news for dealers though. In fact, I just bought a new Ram 2500 truck and didn’t talk to the dealership one time before showing up. If they wouldn’t have had texting capabilities I would not have purchased the day I did, and maybe not at all. I’m too busy to talk on the phone, but I do have time between meetings, webinars, helping clients and team members to reply to a text here and there. 
 

And think about it, you can only handle one call at a time, but you can handle lots of text conversations at once. Plus, customers get more frustrated when they’re put on hold, and at some point a phone call ends, but the nature of a text conversation is it always stays open. 

That’s why we built Customer Connections. It’s a texting tool designed for one-to-one communication, and there are 3 primary ways dealers use it. 

1. Number 1 is to increase incoming leads from your website. Website visitors are hesitant to fill out a form because they know it results in a phone call. They don’t want to talk, but they don’t mind texting. It’s their preferred way to communicate.  We place a Text Us button on your site to increase leads and provide a simple and efficient way to communicate with prospects. 

One of our clients in Mississippi had 329 text conversations in Customer Connections and sold over 60 units in a single month! Over 60 people showed up ready to do paperwork without ever talking to someone at the dealership, and it lead to a record month.
 

2. The second way dealers use this is to follow-up with customers. The Parts & Accessories department might text when a special order is ready to be picked up. Service might text a picture of worn brake pads and get a quick authorization to replace them, so this is great for upsells. And salespeople use it to follow-up with website leads and other customers to desk deals and get folks into the dealership.

3. The third way dealers use Customer Connections is through our mobile app. This app enables your team to quickly follow up with prospects without having to go to a desktop computer. Your staff can use their cell phones or tablets, without having to use their personal cell phone number. The app also enables them to use the Photo with Purchase feature, which is the third way dealers use the app.

Photo with Purchase sends a text to each customer with a picture of themselves smiling ear to ear with their new unit, which increases loyalty and CSI scores. And while they’re looking at their smiling face, we ask them to write an online review for your dealership. Then, the app posts their picture to social media and gets the customer share it with their friends in family. This boosts your social media engagements and puts your dealership in front of new prospective customers with every single unit sell. 


Dealers have a real love-hate relationship with Facebook. They know they should post customer pictures at the time of purchase, but when they do, it often only gets a couple of likes, so it’s an awful lot of work for very little return. Now, the reason dealers don’t get many likes or comments is because Facebook only shows a business’ posts to people who have liked, commented or shared one of their posts in the past. Customer Connections gets customers to engage with your social media automatically and grows your overall Facebook presence. Over time, your engagements grow in a big way. 


Plus, the app features an Employee Leaderboard that recognizes your dealership’s top-rated staff. It increases competition among your staff to use the app more frequently because it shows the number of conversations, review requests, and the number of Photo with Purchases each team member has sent.

 

If you’d like to increase your business in every department, you’ve gotta see a demo of Customer Connections. Call or text us at 770-692-1750, or visit www.customerconnections.io for more information.

 

- Tory
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Lesson Learned on How to Survive and Even Thrive in Difficult Times

Rod Stuckey | 04/02/2020
I’ve been working in this industry since 1993 and have certainly never experienced an opponent quite as mysterious as this invisible enemy we’ve all faced throughout the last couple of months. As I write this April is winding down and it looks like most dealers are figuring out a way to conduct business one way or another.  One of the positives throughout this situation has been watching how different dealers in different parts of the country have improvised, adapted, and overcome to do the best they can considering their circumstances.
Obviously, different dealers in different parts of the country have had to deal with different situations. Whether those be state and county restrictions or just the physical location of the dealership in proximity to the higher outbreak areas.


Last month I was talking to an OEM rep strong in the UTV segment who said they were actually running out of product because their rural dealers were so busy. Shannon Brown and her team at Road and Track Powersports have been absolutely killing it during April. I’ve spoken with Keith Johnston at Bobby J’s Yamaha and those guys out in New Mexico just keep on grinding and figuring out a way deliver units despite a closed showroom. And Curtis Sloan up at Sloan’s Cycle in Tennessee and his team are still rolling units, as are dozens and dozens of other dealers we speak with daily in nearly every corner of the country. 

But don’t get me wrong, I’m not sticking my head in the sand, because there are also dealers closing their doors, doing layoffs, and struggling to make ends meet.  Heck, here at PSM we just had the worst March and most likely April we’ve had in the last several years. How are we as an industry supposed recover when so much is out of our control, the enemy is invisible, and there are not really any dealerships who’ve been through this before that we can look to for wisdom. 

Well, maybe we haven’t been through this exact situation before, but our industry has had its share of trying times in the past and there are still lots to learn from those times. 
Back in the late 80’s through early 90’s this industry experienced 14 years of straight growth, 13 of which were double digit. We were hit by 9-11 in 2001 and that created a pretty scary dip, but we rebounded fast. But then came the recession of 08 and 09 and our dealer network shrunk by nearly half. 

So what was the difference between those dealerships who thrived and those who didn’t make it? 

Good times and a strong economy tend disguise a plethora of operations and marketing sins. The dealers I have witnessed firsthand not only survive, but even thrive in tough times are those who are willing to embrace change, and make the necessary adjustments required. 
We all have a choice. When can say “This sucks.. why is this happening to me? Or we can say “This is happening for me, and I’m going to learn from it and come out stronger on the other side.”
We can choose to learn and grow and challenge ourselves in difficult times, or we can step into fear and give up and squander the opportunities to learn. 
When we’re challenged, when we struggle, the harder things get, the more opportunity we have to make gains and learn.
 
If we stay hungry, we stay busy, and we stay productive, somehow, some way, we’re going to come out better on the other side. I have faith.
We hear about the American economy on the news and social media as if it’s one big category. In reality, the American Economy is made up of 3 very different sectors. There is the “Political” sector funded by us tax payers where Washington operatives, lawyers, lobbyists and lifelong politicians revolve around a fake money machine deciding how our money will be spent. Corruption happens all too often in this sector with city officials like former Detroit Mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, who with the help of his friends extorted city contractors and used public funds as his own piggy bank extorting millions of dollars.
  

Here’s how it was explained to me. There are 3 economies. One is the ‘Political’ economy where Washington operatives, lawyers, lobbyists, and lifelong politicians revolve around a fake money machine, much paid for by you and I, which is littered with corruption. Then there is the ‘Wall Street’ fake economy where industry insiders and researchers seek to capitalize profits in any manner possible, including fraud and collusion, to maximize personal enrichment. Then, of course, there is a conduit of systemic corruption and legalized bribery flowing between the two. 
 
The 3rd economy is Main Street America, where you and I live, in your town and mine. Where small-to-medium sized business drive the economy, do real work, and provide real jobs. In the first two economies, up is often down, and left is often right. No logic. However, in the Main Street economy honesty, hard work, and smart business reign supreme. 
 
This is important to understand, because only in the 3rd economy do the laws of nature have authority. In the first two, it’s a fantasy land. You and I have to understand where we live and work, in the Main Street economy, and not drift over into watching and copycatting those other two worlds which have no relevance to us. 
adversity we all have a choice. When can say “This sucks.. why is this happening to me? Or  we can say “This is happening for me, and I’m going to learn from it and come out stronger on the other side..”
 
We can choose to learn and grow and challenge ourselves in difficult times, or we can step into fear and give up and squander the opportunities to learn. 
 
When we’re challenged, when we struggle, the harder things get, the more opportunity we have to make gains and learn.
 
If we stay hungry, we stay busy, and we stay productive, somehow, some way, we’re going to come out better on the other side. I have faith.
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DID YOU KNOW? Firestorm Websites + Firestorm Email = Marketing Powerhouse

Tia Robinson | 03/31/2020
Did you know that the PRIMARY purpose of email marketing is to drive traffic to your website?  It sounds so simple, but that tunnel-vision purpose is what gives email marketing one of highest reported ROI consistently over most other media channels.
As I’m sure you know, at PSM we send a lot of marketing emails – both for our company and on our clients’ behalf.  So, we know how challenging it can be to continuously create emails that are engaging, compelling, and most importantly, drive traffic to your site.
That’s why we created the Firestorm Email platform.  Now this isn’t just any email newsletter tool.  It is the best in the industry for a few distinct reasons; here are just a few:
  1. It is simple to use – Big, clear buttons.  Lots of options that are simple and straight-forward.
  2. It is designed for the Powersports industry – nothing generic, lame or boring about the themes you’ll see in the Firestorm Email library.
  3. It has killer reporting – You can see who’s opening, clicking, what they are clicking on, and much more.
  4. It has email hygiene built in! – This is a feature that is not available with any other email platform, and it comes complementary with Firestorm Email. This keeps bad emails (fat fingered in at the service counter) from causing your email reputation to tank – and it keeps your emails showing up in inboxes week-after-week.
While Firestorm Email is an incredible email marketing platform in its own right, it gets SUPERCHARGED when bolted on to a Firestorm Website.  Here’s why:
Every single vehicle you have in stock on your Firestorm Website is already linked up, with images to your Firestorm Email account!
*insert mind-blown emoji here*
That means no more saving images from your site to your computer, then uploading them to your email, then copying the link from the website and pasting it into a hyperlink on your email.  We’ve done all that for you – automatically.  But, we didn’t stop there. We also connected all your homepage slider banner images to your Firestorm Email platform too….complete with links as well. 
So, by combining Firestorm Email to your Firestorm Website, we’ve not only made sending emails more reliable, better looking and easier to create – we’ve also automated the process that takes the most time and generates the biggest ROI – linking your emails to your specific inventory pages.  

Check out this video that shows you how simple this powerful feature is to use: https://youtu.be/x1kpxqen-e0


If you have a Firestorm Website and you’re not using Firestorm Email, give us a call today at 877-242-4472 to get this powerful tool bolted on to your site and watch your email marketing efforts drive a huge boost of traffic to your site (which ultimately results in more leads, more sales, more money!).
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70% of Your Database

Eric Pedretti | 03/16/2020

There’s a good chance 70% of your database (or more) didn’t give you a penny in 2019. Alarming isn’t it? The biggest reason for this is most dealers typically rely on Facebook & email only to communicate with their customers. Let’s look at some math on this to show you why this is such a challenge:

Email: The average dealership collects 40% emails at the point of purchase. An excellent email open rate is 10%. So for example, a dealership with 10,000 customers in their database will have roughly 4,000 emails. If they’re able to achieve a 10% open rate, that means they’ll reach 400 people out of 10,000. 96% + of this dealership’s customers simply are not hearing from them because they’re not getting the message…they don’t know about their Demo Truck, Spring Open House, Black Friday Specials, etc.
Facebook: Without boosting your post, only about 5% of followers will see it. So if your page has 5,000 followers, you’re talking about only reaching 250 people.

So it may feel like this dealer is talking to 15,000 folks but in reality, they’re only reaching 650. This is the biggest reason the average dealership has 70% inactive customers…they stop hearing from them, they develop a sense of apathy and they stop coming around.

 

This is one of the biggest challenges of marketing in the Powersports Industry; getting a message in the hands of the right folks. This is where the Sharp Shooter Program shines. We use up to 12 different, direct marketing strategies to guarantee your message isn’t getting delivered once, but multiple times per campaign. By simply giving customers more opportunities to respond, we drastically increase response.


The most effective media the Sharp Shooter Program utilizes is direct mail. It is the backbone of this SYSTEM because it guarantees the Right Message is getting delivered to the Right Audience. It also tells your customers you spent real money on paper, ink and postage to personally invite them into the dealership to have a good time. If you consistently mail your customers, more of them will walk through the doors more often and they will spend more money.


That’s the secret formula to the Sharp Shooter Program in creating predictable growth for your dealership…grow your active customers and increase your average, annual customer value. 

 
In an industry that is obsessed with finding ways to get Millennials to spend more time and money at their dealership, check out some of these stats from the USPS on how millennials respond to direct mail:

 

 

Many marketers think the only way to reach Millennials is through digital advertising; however the opposite is true. Many Millennials are fatigued from the constant bombardment in digitals ads, which leads to more then 50% of them ignoring digital ads. Because direct mail, which comes only once a day, has become a novelty to this audience, studies show Millennials enjoy receiving mail even more than non-Millennials. Millennial or not, consistently mailing customers will reactive them and increase the frequency in which they visit your dealership, leading to an increase in annual customer value. Consistency is key.

Check out the case-study below on a southern H-D dealer we worked with over 4 campaigns:

  • Campaign #1 They marketed to 5,000 past customers and 5,000 conquest customers resulting in 231 leads for Sales, Service & Parts for a 2.3% response rate. 
  • Campaign #2 They marketed to the exact same group of 5,000 past customers and 5,000 conquest customers driving 628 leads, resulting in a 6.28% response rate. After a second touch, we almost tripled the amount of completed surveys. 
  • Campaign #3 They marketed to the exact same group of 5,000 past customers and 5,000 conquest customers again, driving 1,783 leads, resulting in a 17.83% response rate! After a third touch, we had successfully multiplied the response rate by over 7 fold! 
  • Campaign #4 The results were so strong, they decided to market to only the 5,000 conquest customers in May (and remove the 5,000 past customers).

 

Remember, these are customers who had never purchased from the dealership. The Sharp Shooter Program drove 1,125 leads, resulting in a 22.5% response rate. 

For more information on how PSM can help you reactivate your lost customers and increase frequency of visits from your present customers so they spend more money with you in 2020, call me on my direct line at 877-242-4472 x 112. Happy selling.

 

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Putting it all together…

Brad Cannon | 03/10/2020
I’m writing this article having just finished up with our Marketing Boot Camp/User Summit here in Peachtree City, Georgia. Preparing for them is always a big lift. We work really hard to provide maximum ‘bang for the buck,’ trying to cram as much good information into as little time as we have together with dealers. When it’s all said and done, it never fails, at least one dealer (usually a couple) will say they want to come back because it’s like sipping from a fire hydrant. I love that. It means we’ve provided VALUE. And it’s not just lip service because we always have several repeat attenders at every single boot camp.

This one was a little different though. We bolted on a user summit to the last part of our time together, and honestly, it was amazing.
You see, for over a decade, we’ve been working hard to produce top quality marketing results for our clients, and it became pretty clear that in order to deliver on that, we were going to have to build a lot of infrastructure ourselves. The right tools weren’t out there yet, but we had a vision to make it happen.

This article will probably come off as a bit of a sales pitch, and that’s okay by me because I believe wholeheartedly in what we do. PLEASE stick with me to the end though, because I’d like for you to see the big picture that was very clear to everyone that attended boot camp this past week.
We began with our Sharp Shooter event marketing campaigns which drive a ton of traffic to dealerships and create leads for several weeks worth of follow-up and sales. It’s an amazing product that works as well today as it ever has. Totally kills it. 
Then we bolted on AdWords (Google Ads now) to our mix. We became the first company in our industry to become Google certified Partners, and our relationship with them has only grown over the years. They’ve paid for us to go out to Mountain View for a visit, and we manage millions of dollars in ad spend for our clients per year. We’ve been involved with AdWords for so long, you’d be VERY hard pressed to find anyone who can outperform us in this industry. I’ve never seen it happen.
We bolted on reputation management complete with review acquisition before anyone else in powersports. Nobody was even talking about it yet, but we had a way to systematically generate reviews for our dealers automatically. Holeshot on dealers competitors.
Next was a game changer – the Firestorm email platform. We built an email platform from the ground up, by powersports enthusiasts and dealers, FOR powersports dealers. Not just some plain vanilla email sending program, a feature rich platform that contains just about an feature you could want, from totally amazing graphic elements that are powersports specific, to tracking and analysis tools, custom email sequences, and even heat mapping to see where exactly recipients are clicking in your emails. It’s awesome, and we continue to improve on it almost daily. A good example is the extremely complex data hygiene process we’ve implemented to insure the highest levels of deliverability for our clients. The email landscape has changed dramatically over the past year, and we’ve worked very hard to make it easy for our clients to adhere to best practices.
After all this, it became clear in our leadership meetings that we needed one last piece to close the loop in our marketing circle. Websites. Enter the Firestorm website platform, and you guessed it. It’s our baby from the ground up. Arguably one of the coolest, most feature rich website platforms available. Designed with the ultimate goal of any website – to generate leads. Which our sites do better than the competition. We have the before and after data to prove it. And don’t even get me started on website tracking, the most amazing way to see WHO was on your site and WHAT they’re interested in. Yeah, it does that.
With the addition of sites, came the associated app that allows you to walk through the dealership taking pictures of units and IMMEDIATELY make them appear on your site from your phone. Flawlessly.
Most recently, we’ve added Customer Connections, which provides the ability to enable texting on your website. It also allows you to generate reviews for your dealership by taking pictures with purchases and automatically post them to Facebook for customers to tag themselves. Before and after pictures can be added to show off upgrades or awesome repairs too. Struggling to get approvals for service work, or contact to get customers to pick units up? Customer Connections handles that too.
If you’ve stuck with me – good. I haven’t even scratched the surface of what our products can do for a dealership. But here’s the thing, we’ve created a SUITE of products that work amazingly well as stand alones – but when bolted together are a juggernaut for your dealership. They communicate with each other, share a common data silo of information, and integrate with your DMS for a seamless transfer of data to fuel each component for maximum ROI. 
It was really cool to see all the pieces fall into place for our clients at the boot camp, as well as folks who hadn’t worked with us before. If you weren’t at this boot camp, don’t worry, we’re doing it again in the fall. If you’re interested in finding out more about the suite of products we have available, reach out. We’re happy to show you how we can generate leads for your dealership. If nothing else, you should be thinking about doing Sharp Shooters every month to supercharge sales this spring and summer. You won’t be sorry.
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Ask Tory – Email Deliverability

Tory Hornsby | 03/02/2020

There are two types of Email Deliverability…

1. Emails being delivered from one server to another without bouncing.
2. Making it to the inbox instead of the SPAM or Promotions folder.  

Typically, issues with bounces have to do with having a list of bad email addresses due to typos, staff entering fake email addresses (you know they do it), SPAM bots filling out web forms with bad email addresses and more.  The cleanliness of your list also plays a huge factor in your email reputation, which impacts inbox deliverability. If you’re constantly sending email to bad email addresses, ISPs (internet service providers) and ESPs (email service providers) know it’s happening. You develop a bad sender reputation and they send you to the SPAM folder.  

While the old email filter systems are still important, Google has been hard at work over the past year changing the way they filter email.  They released a big update to Gmail filters in September 2019 that places a high priority on user engagement. Engagement includes opens, clicks, replies and whitelisting. 
Google has always focused on giving people what they want with their products, starting with their search engine (which nearly 80% of all searches are done on), and now in Gmail. In their eyes, if a person isn’t engaging with you they don’t want to hear from you. Hard to argue their point. 

With all this in mind, we’ve been hard at work adapting Firestorm Email. We’ve made many improvements over the past few months, and recently released updates to the Firestorm Email platform. Here are a few highlights…

We still have over 200 themes to choose from, but no there only one pre-built template. Of course you’re free to add and remove sections and edit to your liking, just keep in mind that emails with more text and less images than you’re probably used to will get you to more inboxes. This industry has always been about bold graphics, but you want to be sure you have no more than a  65% image to 35% text ratio. In fact, be sure to add an all text email to your rotation every so often… they’re best at reaching the inbox.
 
When selecting lists, you’re now able to choose between active & inactive groups. Active means they’ve engaged with you within 12 months. Inactive means they haven’t. If you send your regular emails to those who don’t engage with you, you’ll notice an increasing dip in inbox deliverability.  Therefore, send your normal emails to your active group, and send text only re-engagement emails to your inactive group.  Focus on a reason to open, click and especially to reply. 
 
Firestorm Email now has an automate re-engagement email option as well. As soon as a person falls from active to inactive, we attempt to re-engage with them.  
For a demo of the new features call 877-242-4472 and ask for Tory. 
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Powersports Marketing Boot Camp and User Summit Recap

Rod Stuckey | 02/17/2020
We just completed our Marketing Boot Camp and User Summit here in Peachtree City, GA and as always it was great to meet new faces and reconnect with our longtime clients and friends.  It’s amazing just how fast the lay of the land continues to change in the world of marketing, specifically with Powersports Dealerships. As technology and innovation continue to evolve, we’re beginning to see a trend of dealers making less careless spray-and-pray decisions and instead opting for a more targeted and quantifiable approach. This has been a longtime coming and it’s exciting to see. 

Our format for this event was different than previous years, but very well received. Here is what longtime dealer Curtis Sloan of Sloan’s Motorcycles had to say via an online review: 
I wanted to say thank you for 2 days well-spent learning a higher level of marketing know-how than any OE dealer meeting seminar, 20-group, or media consulting firm that we've been exposed to in recent years! The venue, food, and time-away-from-the-store were excellent as well. It was especially worthwhile not only meeting the PSM team members that we interact with by phone and email, but the interaction with other dealers was priceless. At Sloan's, one of the pillars of our success is relationship-building with customers and co-workers, and PSM consistently demonstrates that same core value. I look forward to the next Boot Camp so we can send other members of our management team! -curtis sloan-

 

Regardless of whether you’re a current client, previous client, or not a client at all our goal was to build a live event that was relevant, beneficial, and interactive for all. We’re very different than the other website, technology, and marketing companies in this industry and wanted to showcase that during this boot camp.

First of all, we’re still a privately held owner operated entrepreneurial company. In fact, if I’m not mistaken, we’re the only website provider in the industry that hasn’t been rolled up under the umbrella of one of the 800-pound mega companies who love their lengthy contracts, legalese, and on-retainer team of attorneys.  While some may see it as a disadvantage to compete with the giants, I see it as the complete opposite.  That’s why we don’t require contracts and do our best to have real people answer the phone every time you call.  If you give us a try and it doesn’t work out, we don’t get mad, we don’t send ugly letters, we just ask for your candid feedback to learn from so we can get better and hopefully  win back your business in the future. 

We’re also different because in my former life I was a dealer. And everything we do is seen through the lens of the dealer and the dealer’s customers; first and foremost. It’s just how I’m hardwired, and if I wouldn’t spend my money on it, we won’t sell it. Next, before we ever built our first product over 15 years ago, we totally immersed ourselves into the research and study of all things advertising and marketing. We’re not only marketing purist, but we’re also practitioners. Every single thing we sell to our clients, we also do ourselves, just like this direct mail piece we’ve been mailing for the last 120 plus month’s give or take. We use our Firestorm Email software weekly, our own Firestorm Website daily, and are very pleased that our reputation management system has assisted us in earning over 500 reviews on www.psmmarketingreviews.com and over 177 on Google. 

This boot camp was designed to teach timeless marketing fundamentals and principles, and then understand how to apply those principles with real world tools and technology applications. 
We kicked the sessions off with a “Purpose of Your Marketing” presentation on branding, image, and TOMA (top of mind awareness) type of marketing as opposed to Direct Response, Lead Generation, Nurture and Relationship style marketing that is quantifiable. There is a BIG difference, and what most dealers have been taught is all wrong. 

From there we moved into what we call the four-legged stool. Right message, right market, right media, right timing.  You can get 3 out of 4 of these fundamentals correct and still waste every single dollar spent and watch the stool collapse. The sad thing about this is that the person responsible for neglecting one of the fundamental components is the same person who is quick to blame the media when it was set up to fail from the start. From there we covered Social Media best practices, Reputation Management, Google Ads, Email and Email Deliverability, Google My Business, Website best practices and more.

It was a LOT of content, and quite a bit of it was new based on recent algorithm changes, like the importance of email list hygiene and how that impacts deliverability, and how the new Google Map 3 Pack is a search engine results game changer. 

The last big point as to why we are different is because everything we build, test, and ultimately sell is designed with the aforementioned marketing purist fundamentals in mind, which most tech companies simply don’t understand. 

We’re looking to have another Boot Camp this fall, so stay tuned.  Today is the first day Tia is out for maternity leave and the only way we can pull it off is if she makes it back soon! Thanks for reading and as always give us a call at 877-242-4472 to learn more. 

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Ask Tory: Featured Inventory & Marketing Automation

Tory Hornsby | 02/14/2020
Firestorm Websites take Featured Inventory to the next level by combining an easy-to-use interface with a leading-edge marketing automation system.  You can Feature and Un-Feature inventory in our Back Office one-by-one, or in bulk in a matter of seconds. 
 
Once a unit is Featured, it’s immediately showcased on your website.
 
Plus, dealers who have access to our Firestorm Email system are taking advantage of PSM’s ‘Marketing Automation.’ Our system automatically sends a Featured Inventory email to their entire list (or list segments) in order to increase website visits directly to inventory pages, which increases leads!
 
You can adjust how frequently these Automated Featured Inventory Emails send out, how many units they include, which day they send, what time they send, who the email is from, and even more… All without having to lift a finger. Once set up, the system runnings automatically, saving you time and money while driving traffic to your site and increasing leads!
 
I’ve recorded a short video with some more details on this process; check it out at: https://youtu.be/jE2BTerjf_Y 
If you want to generate more traffic, leads and unit sales, consider getting a Firestorm Website. Give us a call for a quick demo at (877) 242-4472.
-Tory
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DID YOU KNOW? Firestorm Websites – Inventory Management – Adding Inventory

Tia Robinson | 02/10/2020
The Inventory Management System of a Firestorm Website is the most robust, flexible, and comprehensive system in the Powersports industry.  Dealers are able to have their inventory imported into the Back Office of their website through DMS Integration.  However, many dealers prefer to use a hands-on approach to their Inventory Management on their website to ensure the highest level of quality and accuracy.  And that’s where the Firestorm Website Inventory Management System really shines.
Dealers have 5 Quick, Simple Options for adding inventory to their website. Dealers can choose any one of these options or use them in any combination to best fit their preferences. This variety of options allows dealers to maintain complete control of their Inventory while easily aligning with their current internal processes.

OPTION 1 - Add By VIN: https://youtu.be/D0s1aabPEQg 
Add a vehicle to your Firestorm Website by using a valid 17 digit VIN. This is the simplest and most common approach if the 17-digit VIN is available in the vehicle database and if the dealership uses valid 17-digit VINs on their website.
 
OPTION 2 - Quick Add (Year/Make/Model): https://youtu.be/T6zgtVT_0tA  
Add a vehicle to your Firestorm Website by selecting the Year/Make/Model from the available vehicle database.  This database provides specifications and images for Powersports, Boats & RVs Model Year 2004 and newer.
 
OPTION 3  - Manual Entry: https://youtu.be/PAd-c3YQgc8  
Add a vehicle to your Firestorm Website that is not currently available in the vehicle vehicle database.  This database provides specifications and images for Powersports, Boats & RVs Model Year 2004 and newer. This feature would be best used for Vintage models or products taken in on trade that do not have a valid Powersports VIN (I.e. Trailers, Mowers, Automobiles, etc).
 
OPTION 4 - From Existing: https://youtu.be/JpVLlF-asz4  
Add a vehicle to your Firestorm Website by copying a vehicle that is currently (or has previously) been on your dealership's website.  This feature is best implemented when trying to add an identical Year/Make/Model and using the dealership images that were included for that vehicle previously to save time from having to take new images of the same bike.  This works best for NEW vehicles since Pre-Owned vehicles will merit updated details and images if they are being brought back into inventory.
 
OPTION 5 - From Model Number: https://youtu.be/rwbGhGlUp40  
Add a vehicle to your Firestorm Website by inputting the Year and Model Number.  This feature will add the vehicle specification and images for Powersports vehicles that are 2008 and newer model years.
 
If you’d like to learn more about the Inventory Management System of a Firestorm Website, give us a call at 877-242-4472 or visit us online at psmmarketing.com/Firestorm-Websites to schedule a FREE Demo.

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PSM Marketing

825 Highway 74 South
Peachtree City, GA 30269
Tel: (877) 242-4472
Int: (770) 692-1750
Text: (770) 692-1750

Questions?