Google Likes Videos Because Their Customers Do and Automotive Advertising Agencies Need to Know It

Automotive advertising agencies are struggling to keep up with new Internet based technologies and applications being developed to maximize the R.O.I. for their auto dealer clients automotive advertising budgets and video has surfaced as the media of choice. Conventional automotive advertising focuses on maximizing the reach and frequency of a consistent message to a qualified consumer while minimizing the cost per impression and the same wisdom apply to the Internet. A challenging economy has resulted in shrinking sales volume and margins in the retail auto industry which dictates that automotive advertising agencies must leverage online resources whenever possible. The most obvious solution is to listen and learn from the search engines whose role in the process is to provide consumers with filters that provide efficiencies in their online shopping experience that promise increased relevancy and transparency in the sites that surface in their initial search results.

Search engine optimization, S.E.O., is a fluid science that is dependent on changing algorithms designed by the search engines to insure that their customers needs are met. Search engines like Google have little concern for the interests of the automotive advertising agencies who are struggling to keep up with the rules to insure that their auto dealer clients show up on page one. The trick for automotive advertising agencies to stay ahead of the search engines is to focus on the one constant that exists in both the real and the virtual world – human nature. People are creatures of habit and recent generations have grown up watching T.V. or more recently following videos on You Tube. People would rather watch an entertaining video than read copy or even listen to an audio track so common sense suggests that video is the delivery method of choice for automotive advertising agencies trying to deliver their messages on the World Wide Web.

Video has earned a weighted value on Google in response to experienced consumer preference and a comprehensive S.E.O. plan must be extended to include vS.E.O. with several new automotive advertising vendors taking advantage of the opportunity. SiSTeR Technologies Video CarLot is an example of a new video production platform that provides a scalable solution for automotive advertising agencies to place an auto dealership’s new and pre-owned inventory on the first page of a local Google search. They are able to access the pictures already posted on an auto dealer’s website and then convert them into a professional looking feature/benefit video with human voice and integrated video footage posted onto the auto dealer’s website. More importantly, the videos are interactive with multiple schema layers offering relevant information on the vehicles and they are fully indexable with dealer selected key words and Meta Tags. In addition, SiSTer uses their dedicated API with You Tube and direct links with all major third party websites to push the vehicles onto the Internet Super Highway with individual URLs. The resulting increase in online exposure form the sourcing auto dealer is obvious and it satisfies the goal of Google to offer their online customers relevant information in the media of their choice.

Several established third party inventory based websites have recognized the leveraged exposure offered by videos on the Internet and they have extended their platforms to include an optional video production application. A new website – ronsmap.com – with an expected launch at the pending 2010 NADA Convention in Orlando Florida is rumored to be planning to offer a video solution as well as a direct link to social networking media through their proprietary vBack application. Social networking has recently been named by Google as having a weighted value in their algorithms similar to video with real time postings drawn from Face Book, Twitter, etc. which suggests that Rons Map is ahead of the curve by integrating both video and social media into their automotive advertising platform.

Another use of video on the Internet that warrants honorable mention is offered by a new customer interaction patform provided by Argistics with their AutoTransaXion application. AutoTransaXion is being used by AutoNation to support their recent push to accommodate online transactions through AutoNation Direct. The solution allows an online shopper to engage in a real time two way video conversation with a personal shopper from AutoNation. The application has complete push/pull capabilities that allow the consultant to provide the same material that a customer would expect in a real world showroom to allow the customer to purchase the vehicle online and have it delivered to their home. The video portion of the application has been found to enhance the ability of the dealer’s personnel to build a relationship with the customer that was not previously possible given the obstacle of the glass wall between the customer and the dealership’s staff.

The value of the Internet has been established with statistics that support the fact that 93% of today’s car shoppers prefer shopping on the Internet Super Highway over driving to their local car row. The growing use of video and the diverse applications on the Internat that have integrated it into the online sales processes suggest that video will have a role and forward thinking automotive advertising agencies must learn to implement it into their online marketing plans.

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Auto Partnerships Resulting In Top Automotive Technology

Back in the days automotive companies would focus on their own individual projects. However, lately the trend is for major manufacturers to work together either with one another or with software companies in order to develop innovative new technology. The result are cars that are more efficient and technology that is more cutting edge than ever before.

A good example of partnership creation in order to open new markets is what has happened in China. That country, with the largest population on earth, became a major target of auto manufacturers in the U.S., Europe and Asia. At the same time, the Chinese government was taking major steps to develop that country’s own auto industry. Each side knew that they could help the other. So major partnerships were created between Chinese and European, American and Asian auto manufacturers. The auto manufacturers from Europe, America and Asia used the Chinese companies as a conduit to sell their cars in the Chinese market. In return, they assisted the Chinese auto makers to develop their own vehicles. Today China is the largest auto market on Earth and just about every major brand of car is sold there.

Next came the issue of new technologies. In the old days the auto manufacturers developed their own technologies. Now they are creating partnerships with such companies as Microsoft, Gracenote, NAVTEQ, Nuance Communication, Sony Corporation, TeleNav, ViaMichelin and others to help them create new technologies. The result, for example, are infotainment systems like the Ford Sync and MyFord Touch which was developed through a collaboration between Ford and Microsoft. Microsoft has since developed partnerships with other car manufacturers to help them create their own infotainment systems. These infotainment systems are using technologies developed by Gracenote, NAVTEQ, Nuance Communication, Sony Corporation, TeleNav and ViaMichelin. Gracenote is providing upgraded music entertainment, NAVTEQ the maps, traffic and location data for the navigation systems, Nuance Communications is offering the voice recognition technology so that the driver can control elements of the car via voice command. Audio manufacturers like Sony are creating the super sophisticated audio and audio-video systems that are now appearing in cars. TeleNav, known as the largest global wireless navigation services provider, is supplying the technology that connects navigation in the car to GPS. ViaMichelin makes the Michelin hotel and restaurant guides accessible to drivers and their passengers.

Auto manufacturers also have to tackle the development of new technologies that assist in improving fuel efficiency. So they have formed partnerships or joint ventures among themselves in order to share the cost. So we are seeing Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, partnering with Chinese battery and auto maker BYD to help in the development of electric vehicle technologies. PSA Peugeot Citroen is known worldwide as an expert in diesel technology. It has partnered with Japanese auto maker Mitsubishi to produce electric cars. Volkswagen partnered with Porsche to help the luxury car maker develop high performance engines that meet environmental regulations. Later Volkswagen acquired Porsche.

When auto makers finally decided to develop electric cars, partnerships were formed to develop the technology. General Motors and Ford joined with South Korean battery manufacturer LG to develop and supply them with the next generation lithium-ion batteries used to energize electric cars. Moreover, General Motors and Reva have partnered to produce a zero emission car for India. In addition, Daimler became the first major auto maker to buy a stake in Tesla Motors, an electric car manufacturer.

Volkswagen has purchased a percentage of Suzuki and Suzuki has acquired shares of Volkswagen in a move that is helping both companies. Suzuki is getting access to VW’s technologies and Volkswagen is using Suzuki’s expertise to enhance its small car production.

As a result of the recession automotive companies are working together and the results are spectacular. Let’s hope that this trend of team work will continue in the future.

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Automotive Advertising – Audio And Visual Advertising Sells The Car

Automobile publicity is an important marketing strategy that can sell a car even before the model has been released. Take for example the models due for release in 2012. All the customer has to do is type in the specific car brand and model due for release the next year and get the results, fast.

The automobile advertising include videos and audio advertising. A vehicle can even be viewed according to the color. All the customer has to do is click on the colors below the image of the vehicle and immediately the color of the vehicle’s image changes. Customers can only drool and say “aahhs” in wonder and obsession. Even before that specific car is released, the customers are already planning to make a purchase or at least make inquiries.

These same automotive advertising online include options for dealership advertising. The advertising page usually have options where brochures and information can be sent to the specific car dealer should they care to want them. These same brochures and write-ups can be used as car dealer advertising that customers can take home and drool over.

The automobile advertising agency in charge of the advertising is usually one that has been used by the specific car manufacturing company. These are the agencies that the manufacturers trust to get their cars out there and sold. The agencies use every manner of advertising technology they can muster to get the customers grabbing those cars.

Just how successful are these automotive advertising going? Think of it this way: despite the global recession, there is a surge in demand for vehicles all over the world. More and more are clamoring to have the best and most efficient cars in their possession and these consumers depend on the advertisers to give them the most accurate information on the car of their dreams. The trend these days is fuel efficiency and this is what the advertisers are focusing on. Of course, the visuals do help a lot and they are very successful in selling the cars using the effective visuals.

Taking a glance to the TV unit, there is a car flashing by and the car is just too delicious to resist. The beauty of the car is enhanced by the way the camera caresses the exteriors as it flashes by and then it focuses on the interiors that are to die for. This is the type of personal impact the automotive advertising strives for and they are very successful at it.

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Today’s Automotive Engineer – A Technology Guru With Connectivity Solutions

Technology gurus are hiding in a variety of places these days. Say, for instance, the automotive industry.

The automotive industry has produced some of the most advanced and user-friendly technologies publicly marketed in recent years. We can now not only operate our cars without keys, but we can also map our next trip, download information from our desktops onto a “carputer,” assess the state of the vehicle, watch movies, arm a security system inside and out and be alerted when others are in our blind spots.

Take, for instance, an entry-level map-based integrated navigation radio, which uses a flash-based secure digital card color map database to provide high-performance navigation. A single, state-of-the-art navigation kernel and map data compiler used in the European market help shorten Original Equipment (OE) innovation cycles, and a range of options allows for entertainment and ease-of-use features. Integrated into a single unit, a map navigation system can be used in parallel to the audio system.

Such a system can include AM/FM radio, navigation tools, playback mechanisms like compact discs and MP3s, and connectivity options for portable electronic devices. Of course, customers can add nearly anything a techy heart could desire, like a digital tuner, USB, touch-screen interface, voice recognition, steering wheel control and audio codec options.

And that’s just the basic model. Touch-screen navigation radios are full-featured audio and navigation systems in one unit, using onboard computers that interact with the Global Positioning System (GPS), vehicle sensors and a DVD-map database. Such personal travel assistants minimize travel time, make travel more convenient and increase peace of mind. Benefits include multiple functions in one compact unit, the ease of a touch screen, voice prompts, entertainment options, state-of-the-art navigation, the ability to remap locations if the driver misses a turn and intersection views for detailed maneuvering guidance.

Active safety systems, like active night vision, lane departure warning systems and infrared side (blind spot) alerts, are other excellent examples of automotive engineers’ ability to connect advanced technologies in a manner that makes the driving experience both safer and more enjoyable.

Active night vision uses near-infrared headlamps to illuminate the road scene ahead and displays an enhanced image in the vehicle. This system provides high-beam visibility without blinding oncoming traffic. Components of the active night vision system can be shared with other safety features, such as a lane departure warning system.

When lane departure warning systems utilize a camera, the camera can also be used for multiple features, such as active night vision, pedestrian recognition, rain sensing and intelligent headlight control. The lane departure warning system uses a monocular camera mounted behind the windshield to track lanes in front of the vehicle. Accompanying software estimates lane width and road curvature, and determines the vehicle’s heading and lateral position within the lane. When the driver strays from his or her own “dotted lines,” an audible, tactile or visual alert is issued. According to an automotive magazine, ninety-five percent of all vehicular accidents involve some degree of driver behavior — such as swerving. Systems like lane departure warning provide hope of reducing the approximately one hundred deaths that occur every day on American roadways, as reported by the Public Broadcasting Service in 1995.

Side (blind spot) alerts provide the same hope. These systems help drivers be aware of vehicles in side blind spots when changing lanes and making turns. Sensors integrated into mirrors, taillights and side fascia measure the adjacent lane temperature over time to detect if vehicles are entering the side blind spot. If detected, the system provides visual indications within the mirrors. If this proves ineffective and a turn signal is activated anyway, an audible alert follows. These warnings give drivers more time to react and, hopefully, help avoid the more than 200,000 lane change accidents that occur every year according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

It’s amazing how easily they hide those geniuses of technology. We never hear their names, see their faces, or even, in most cases, acknowledge they exist. Yet it is the knowledge, safety and connectivity solutions of automotive engineers that are helping save lives and helping make sure the rest of us don’t get hopelessly lost on the way to that next great adventure — at least not too often.

Mike Trudel, Freelance Writer.

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Buying From a Car Audio Store Versus Online

For the car audio enthusiast, there is nothing as satisfying as owning a car that has all of the latest sound accessories installed. With these various gadgets you can get the premium sound performance that you have always dreamed about. Many car owners want a great sounding audio system. How do you separate yourself and find just what you need when you start your car sound search? How can you tell the audio store you find is right for you?

As going from store to store, this can be bothersome. Instead you can utilize the internet as a research medium. Just type in the keywords “car audio” and “car audio stores” into your favorite search engine and it will display many different pages that are filled with links that you can access. Also consider using industry jargon and terms associated with high performance audio. Add brand names to your searches will give you more detail about specific vendors that specialize and are licensed by that automotive audio product manufacturer. Most search engines now have mapping and locator services that can find and show you the store locations nearest you. Visit their home pages and you may be able to shop online or even check stock levels before you leave.

Now even though you are initially going to do some research on the internet, you may be tempted to buy online. Avoid this! It is important with audio products to visit and listen in person. To avoid this you should know a few facts about different car audio systems. With this information you can make informed choices for your car sound to be really great.

Once you have looked at the various car audio stores, you should retreat back to the Internet and check out a few car audio reviews to see what other customers have to say about the different car sound systems. Their comments can help you to avoid sound systems that can give you problems. These facts can really come in handy at the various car audio stores that you will need to visit.

So what should you do once you reach these various car sound stores? Well the first thing that you should do is to browse the various systems that are available. You should find a sales assistant who can help you out and answer various questions that you may have regarding the different car audio system that you seek. Finding a knowledgeable person can really help you in making an informed decision about the pros and cons of each audio component. Just make sure your audio consultant is not paid on commission as their interest may not be yours! Among the many questions that you can ask should be the specifications of these car sound systems and the price range of each.

You should wait until you have visited a few more audio stores before you decide on which sound system you want installed in your car. And before you make your final decision, decide if you are going to install this yourself or have it professionally installed. This can be another negotiating factor in your final decision. If the store you buy your system from also provides installation, you may get a better price bundled than buying separately.

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