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An Internet Sales Manager wears many hats. They manage marketing, CRM, vendor relations and even some computer repair. Your position is seen as techie and smart, so you will often get stuck with anything digital. Thankfully, that’s a good thing. This is where you can put a big stamp on your impact at the dealership. That all starts with having the skills needed to make that impact.

1a. Sales

As an Internet Sales Manager you will be spending time selling. Either you will be doing it yourself, if you are at a smaller dealership, or you will be helping your team sell vehicles. That means that you need to be great at prospecting, needs analysis and the rest of the car buying process.

1b. Negotiating

The second most important thing you need to know is how to negotiate. Knowing how to get the most of your budget is going to be essential for your success. That’s why it is listed as 1b, and not 2. The Internet Sales Manager is often in charge of the CRM, Websites, Email Marketing, Social Media, SEO, SEM and more. Knowing how to negotiate with vendors is going to have a big impact on how you are perceived, and what you achieve.

3. Marketing Laws

As the person most involved in digital marketing at your dealership, it is very important that you know various marketing laws and guidelines. The most important parts are proper disclosures and media usage rights. You need to know how to properly disclose incentives to be compliant to both the FTC and OEMs. Media usage rights determine your ability to use various videos, audio or photos. There are businesses all over the nation getting popped with image usage violations, with bills being north of $10,000.

Social media marketing laws are going to be next big frontier. Facebook deletes pages without fear every single day, so doing the wrong thing can leave you without a Facebook page. The same goes for personal profiles. The FTC is getting their footing on monitoring social media advertising, as well. Improperly disclosed affiliations, which I see multiple cases of daily, are going to be the biggest issue. However, not properly disclosing terms and guidelines are going to be big in the auto industry. Those penalties can be as large as $10,000 per day.

4. Google Analytics

Google Analytics is your data hub, and where you can evaluate your various marketing mediums for success. Without in depth knowledge on how to use this tool you are leaving yourself throwing money at the wall, seeing what sticks. Being able to use Analytics is far more than seeing how much organic traffic is being generated. You need to check your various funnels to see which ones are successful, and which ones need to be improved. Getting granular is essential.

5. Social Media

While social media has been around for many years, most dealerships are still struggling to make a true impact on social media. On a daily basis I will often see 2-3 different people asking for advice on how to have a bigger presence on social media. The two biggest things you’ll need to understand to do well in social media is your target audience and how to pick engaging content. Video is going to be essential, especially with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram introducing tough algorithms. If you consistently get poor engagement you will quickly disappear.

6. Search Engine Optimization

There is far more to SEO than creating custom content for your homepage. Understanding how content, links and website design impact search results will be extremely important for the success of your SEO campaign. In fact, your ability to generate links will be one of the most differentiating things between you and your competitors. Without links you will struggle to compete with the big boys and girls.

7. Google Adwords / PPC

The metrics I most often see on PPC reports are impressions, CTR and clicks. The reports focus on the big picture, total impressions and average CTR. However, there is far more involved with PPC advertising. You will need to have access to your Adwords platform, and be able to deep dive all the way down to the keyword level. Down here you will want to see the individual stats on click through rate, quality scores, cpc and conversions. You will likely find that certain keywords are doing nothing to generate conversions, and may even produce very poor web visits. Without knowing how the system works you will be leaving the door open for poor results.

8. Writing and Copywriting

Every marketing medium should be utilizing landing pages. So, you will need to know how to write well, or at least how to delegate writing. The bare minimum number of pages I like to see on a site are 5 per month. Your ability to write effective, engaging content is going to be a cornerstone of your Social and Search success.

9. Website Design

Now, you won’t be needing to build a site from scratch. However, you will want to have a good understanding of what makes a good landing page, and how to create one. Some website platforms are easier to use, but that shouldn’t limit you. You will need to develop some web design skills to create better landing pages, and to convert more customers.

Your ability to become both a digital marketer and a salesperson will determine the impact you have at your dealership. Being able to combine both will allow you to grow personally and professionally, and lead you to a bright future.

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