Case Studies

Hebert’s Town and Country Success with Badges

The Problems

 John Bartle, Digital Marketing Manager of Hebert’s Town & Country, sees things that many people miss. He sees increasing commoditization in the digital marketing of vehicles. Everyone runs from the same basic playbook, powered by the same small handful of approved website vendors. On top of that, merchandising of both used and new vehicles focuses primarily on just two things: pictures and price. A consumer can go to numerous dealers to see the same car for sale, with the same rebates. Bartle also sees, just as every dealer does, market data about their vehicles that customers historically haven’t had access to: how quickly cars sell, supply in their local market, and popular attributes of vehicles. 

The result of this commoditization and lack of transparency quickly devolves into price negotiations without a true understanding of a vehicle’s unique characteristics and place in the market. 

Throw in a global pandemic and the merchandising of used vehicles just got even weirder. How can a dealer effectively communicate special rebates, sanitization procedures, and a “shop online” experience that mirrors or exceeds the quality of those advertised on TV by the major players? 

Enter Badges

TradePending built Badges to solve the problems of commoditization and lack of transparency between consumers and dealers. Each night, we evaluate a dealer’s inventory, and automatically apply badges to every vehicle. Those badges showcase local market demand, supply, popular and rare attributes. Dealers can also customize the badges individually or in bulk to merchandise special financing options, unique rebates, new brakes, new tires, etc. 

An “Aha!” Moment

 When Bartle first saw TradePending’s Badges product in February 2019, “I had this “a-ha” moment! I realized that we could now advertise and merchandise so many unique and different things about our vehicles, their rebates, and value-added services”. 

When Bartle looked around at his competitors, he noticed that his best marketing tactics were frequently copied, and their sites all looked eerily similar. With Badges added to each vehicle, “Now we stand out. We’re different. We highlight what makes each vehicle unique, and that’s been big in helping us hold our price prior to the pandemic, and continue to justify our price the past year. When a consumer can see what we see, specifically that there is only 1 of their desired car within a 300 mile radius, we have an honest and open conversation about the price. We’re building trust, and creating urgency with the buyer”. 

This increased engagement also plays out in their Google Analytics data, as we pass in “event” data to make it easy for marketers to measure the impact on website behavior. 

Hebert’s website visitors that click into and view the Badges become hyper-engaged consumers. They spend 146% more time on site, look at 52% more pages per session, and return to their website 387% more often. 

The Next Level

Bartle really began to capitalize on the power of Badges during the pandemic in two different ways. 

“We have these very specific rebate and financing options. Whereas most dealers don’t have a great spot to advertise these effectively on each vehicle, Badges makes this easy for us. It’s really an excellent way to differentiate ourselves.” 

While many dealers came to the opinion that cars are selling themselves right now and don’t require any merchandising, Bartle doubled-down on Badges in another creative way. 

“We’ve used Badges to heavily promote our inventory sourcing strategies. We’re putting “We Want to Buy Your Car” badges on every VDP and SRP. That’s been a big contributor to our success in keeping our lot full while other dealers are struggling to source vehicles.” 

This approach is also a very successful counter-punch to the aggressive vehicle acquisition strategies and marketing campaigns from CarMax, Carvana, and Vroom, proving any dealership of any size can compete with the largest players. 

Bartle sums up Badges with, “How valuable is a billboard or a banner ad? Badges delivers that but so much more. It’s easy, it’s attractive, it helps us hold our price, it helps us source more cars, and it makes it easy for our customers to see what we see.”

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