THE judges for the Car Dealer Ewards 09 in association with Autotorq.com make up the great and the good of the online automotive retailing world.
Here are the details of the experts that will be casting their eyes over your websites and deciding who gets the gongs in 2009.
Clive Jackson [NEW JUDGE]
Autotorq founder: 020 7384 8510, autotorq.com
I’ll be looking for websites that are not only well designed, but are providing a return on investment. I want to see evidence that the web is working for your business, that you’re measuring success and utilising this information in innovative ways that keep you one step ahead of the competition. Any business on the web today must blend presentation and brand values with actual performance.
G-Forces marketing director: 0845 055 9040, gforces.co.uk
Innovation, execution and results are what I will be looking for. Innovation displays a forward-thinking attitude and a willingness to embrace new technology. Execution is about how well everything is put together; how well it works and how simple it is to use for the visitor. However, results are key to success and the Eward winners will have to demonstrate a significant positive impact on their business from their website.
Black Horse Motor Finance MD: 0131 311 2127, blackhorse.co.uk
We’ve all come across websites which miss a trick and suffer from being out of date, difficult to navigate or just plain ugly. The Ewards are all about celebrating the very best current examples so I’ll be looking for websites which have excellent functionality, search engines and engaging designs which ideally demonstrate innovation. The winning websites should serve as effective tools to drive their owner’s bottom line.
HPI automotive director: 0845 300 7543, hpi.co.uk
I’ll be reviewing websites to see which offer a shop window to a range of products and services, from finance and insurance to service and warranty. But, as ever, how this is delivered will be key to influencing our decision. How you publish your stock for sale is just as important as the cars you have on your forecourt, so look, feel, navigation and level of information available to buyers will be evaluated by me and my team.
Really Good Domains marketing manager: 0161 482 7650, reallygooddomains.com
I’ll be looking for websites that actually do more than just look pretty. Websites need to capture enquiries and generate business. So, while eye-catching design is important, we will pay special attention to how intuitive and easy to use the website is from a user’s perspective. Clear navigation is key, but the best websites are those where users enjoy their visit so those offering that little bit extra will score highly with us.
Visit Cars MD: 08717 502 495, visitcars.co.uk
I’ll be looking closely at the customer journey, design and usability of the website. Capture points that call the visitor to action and good search engine optimisation for lead generation will be key as well as regional and localised targeting. I’ll be measuring speed of response, openness on pricing and financial information as well as the ability to deal nationwide. And finally I’ll be looking for a unique selling point in the winners.
Codeweavers MD: 0870 443 0888, codeweavers.net
I’m looking for innovation. I’m sure every entrant will believe their site is pleasing on the eye and has good navigation, but the real question is what does it do? Will it keep the user informed with quality content, video and vehicle information? Does it allow them to interact by personalising their vehicle using tools for finance and insurance? Are there calls to action and are they effective? If the answer’s yes, it’ll get my vote!
BCA group marketing manager: 0845 600 6644, bca-europe.com
There are two key things I’ll be looking for in this year’s Eward winners: integration and return on investment. Today, more than ever, internet propositions and e-marketing need to be integrated with CRM and offline activity. Integration is vital because while the web can be a great shop window, the follow through to transaction may often be offline. Investment in internet activity needs to provide strong ROI and be seen to generate real value back into the business.
Compucars, Marketing manager: 0845 667 6000, compucars.co.uk
‘My key focus will be on two distinct areas. The first will be how efficiently does your website promote your used car stock? Are they prominent, well described and easily seen? My second area of focus is how well you use your website for upselling value added products and services, capturing customer details and using your web technology to create long term partnerships with your customers.’
HOW TO ENTER…
Submitting your website couldn’t be easier. Send an email to [email protected] and in the subject box type the Eward category name you’re entering. So, if you’re a franchised dealer, write ‘franchised’. In the email, include the following details:
1 Your name and position
2 Company name
3 Website address
4 Name of the agency who designed the website, or if in-house, state this
5 Finally, 50 words saying what makes your site an Eward winner
If you entered last year, that doesn’t mean you can’t enter these Ewards, but you will need to send us details again.