April 2014

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Exclusive Report 32 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | April 2014 that people behave on a commercial dealer's web page to really understand how to design an effective website," said Lan Tran, product marketing manager, Equipment Web Services. Through their partnership with VisiStat, they use a tool called Touchmapping to analyze web pages and make design and website structure decisions based on consumer behavior. Open Houses and Events: Dealers Value Them, But What About End-Users? Events showed up strong in the AED/EDA Marketing Study. Thirty-eight percent of dealers surveyed rated open houses and other events as "very effective," while 55 percent found them "somewhat effective." However, on the EDA/Equipment World end-user survey, only 14 percent of respondents indicated dealer events/shows were a preferred way of getting information from dealers. SEO: Increasingly Important to Get Found Online Search engine optimization (SEO) was also rated high among dealers for effectiveness. Thirty-seven percent of dealers found it to be "very effective" while 57 percent of dealers found it "somewhat effective." SEO is an area Titan Machinery aims to improve through a new website and other digital marketing initiatives. "If you are not on the first page of the search results you may as well not be there," said Hall. "Search engine marketing supports all your other initiatives," added Tran. "When someone responds to traditional advertising, they typically head to Google to find more information and if your website is not search engine optimized, [or] you don't have a social media presence, [or] you haven't listed your business on Google Places, or you don't have a paid search campaign, people aren't going to find you." Video: Effective but Underutilized Among the dealers who used video, 35 percent find it "very effective," while 57 percent find it somewhat effec- tive. However, video is only employed by just over half of dealers who responded (55%). "We find video very effective and well worth the time investment," said Gayle Humphries, chief financial officer, JCB of Georgia. Dealer salespeople give customers virtual demos with their iPads. Other videos are shot at customer jobsites. "Customers don't want smoke and mirrors. They want to see how machines work in the real world." Despite recognizing its effectiveness, some dealerships struggle to find the time to create machine videos. "We know for a fact it helps you sell equipment," said Hall. "The hard part is getting people to execute." Dealers appear to be missing an opportunity when it comes to video. "There's huge value in it," said Tran. "When you think about the way you shop online, you want rich content and rich media because it builds confidence in what you are buying." E-mail Marketing: Effective and Preferred by End-Users Virtually all the dealers surveyed (97%) rated e-mail marketing as either very effective (28%) or somewhat effective (69%). E-mail is utilized by a high percent of dealers (84%). End users find e-mail useful as well. Sixty-two percent of end-user respondents typically get information and offers via e-mail, compared to 49 percent who typically get their information from a dealer rep. E-mails are the preferred communication method for 64 percent of the end-users surveyed, compared to 48 percent for dealer reps. "E-mail marketing requires consistency," advised Frakes. "Dealers aren't usually selling through an e-commerce site, so their e-mails are a necessary reminder that they are the local experts, ready to help in any way with your equipment. The chances of being able to attribute business directly from e-mails are slim, but I've seen people stop sending them with disastrous consequences to their business." Print Advertising: High Usage, Dif´Čücult to Track Effectiveness Print advertising, while used by 93 percent of dealer respondents, was seen as "very effec- tive" by just 16 percent of dealers who used it. However, 60 percent found it "somewhat effective." Tracking ROI from print has been a challenge for marketers. Both ADI agency and Winsby are seeking ways to more effectively track response via unique landing pages or ad-related phone numbers. ("Marketing Maze" continued from page 31) 30_Marketing_feature_KP.indd 32 3/27/14 4:30 PM

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