Director of Digital Marketing
Kelly Auto Group
Boston, MA Area
AutoUSA: Can you tell me a little bit about your dealership and your background in the industry?
Mike: The Kelly Auto Group is an 8 store dealership group in the Greater Boston Area. The Boston market is one of the most competitive markets in the country and we have sold more Nissans, Jeeps, Chryslers, Infiniti and FIATs than any other dealer in New England. We feature (3) Nissan dealerships, Honda, Volkswagen, Jeep/Chrysler, Infiniti and FIAT. Founded in 1965 by Roland D. Kelly as a Datsun franchise, the business was purchased in 1982 by Roland’s son Brian D. Kelly. Over the years, the group has grown but our commitment to Roland D. Kelly’s founding principles of “Honest Sales and Excellent Service,” has remained the same.
I have been in the car business since 2001. I started as a salesperson and have held positions as a Sales Manager, Internet Manager, General Sales Manager and my current position of Director of Digital Marketing. In my current position, I am responsible for all Digital Marketing efforts as well as managing our 8 Call Centers.
AutoUSA: What is the size and structure of your Internet Department?
Mike: Our Internet Departments are structured as in-store Call Centers. This allows our Call Center Agents to work closely with our Sales Managers and salespeople. Our competitive advantage is the teamwork we have between these groups. Our common goal is to provide a transparent, customer focused process that makes car buying a user-friendly, streamlined experience. After experimenting with a centralized Call Center, it became apparent that we were losing business because of the disconnect that occurred when agents would build rapport with customers and then not be available when the customer visited the showroom. Having the agents in the stores has increased our Internet closing percentage by 34% over the last 18 months.
AutoUSA: Do you use independent lead providers? And what is your experience with them?
Mike: We use various independent lead providers and our results have been better than the typical industry averages. AutoUSA has always been an important part of our new car lead mix. We also use the AutoUSA Show Pro program to get more appointments and their PowerListings2.0 helps us with great exposure on Craig s List. For our group, the key to our success with leads has been our speed of response and persistence with long-term follow up.
AutoUSA: What types of marketing and advertising do you do to increase web traffic?
Mike: We use all forms of traditional marketing as well as Pay Per Click, Re-targeting, Display, Social Media and blogging to increase our website traffic. All of these efforts are constantly refined to improve our ROI. They key to running effective Digital Marketing campaigns is to avoid partnering with vendors who employ a “set it forget it” approach. All of these campaigns need to be tested and adjusted over time to determine what is performing well.
AutoUSA: What do you do to create a great customer experience?
Mike: Our customer experience, both in-store and online, are extremely important. Our goal is to provide a user-friendly experience that begins online and is carried through the showroom visit. When we schedule an appointment to visit our showroom, the customer’s record, last three emails and any pricing that was given is placed in a manila folder at the reception desk. When the customer comes to the store, they are instructed to check in at reception. The receptionist will introduce the customer to a Sales Manager who will review the customer’s file with them, select a salesperson to work with the customer and review the sales process with the customer and the salesperson. This gives the customer a clear understanding of what will take place during their visit and allows for the Sales Manager who will be working the deal to have an Early Manager Introduction and build rapport.