Dealer Spotlight: The Palladino Auto Group

In today’s digital age, recent studies from AutoTrader.com and ThinkWithGoogle.com have shown these car shopping behaviours which have proven that vehicle merchandising is more important than ever:

  • More than 70% of their time is spent shopping online before visiting a dealership
  • 75% say online video has influenced their shopping habits or purchases
  • Listings with custom photos vs. no photos get 239% more VDP views.

The Palladino Auto Group located across Ontario has been one of our loyal clients since 2016. Our clients within their group include: South West Chrysler, Laurentian Chrysler, Palladino BMW, Subaru of Sudbury, Palladino Mazda, Forest City Mazda and Mercedes-Benz Sudbury.

We are honoured that they have chosen us as their #1 choice for inventory photography services! They are currently using Car Media 2.0’s CAR PICS 2.0 Self-Serve product for their used inventory.

Courtney Bourque, Palladino Auto Group Director of Marketing

We have been fortunate enough today to meet with Courtney Bourque, Director of Marketing for the Palladino Auto Group, to have a chat about why they chose us for their inventory marketing needs, what they love about working with us and the success that their dealerships using our services has received by being part of the Car Media 2.0 Team.

Q: If you could summarize your experience with Car Media 2.0, how would you describe it?

A: The quality of leads that we’re getting are people that are actually serious about coming in. The fact that our lot damage is down, time to get vehicles online is down too. We’re no longer having to chase people down to move their vehicles or delaying shooting because it’s gloomy outside, it really has helped to speed up the process, so overall great success! Lindsay, our Account Manager, has also been a great resource. She’s always been really easy to communicate with and I really appreciate that.

Q. Let’s start at the beginning…how did you first hear about Car Media 2.0?

A: I heard about it probably about 3 years ago when researching online, we wanted to up our photo game, so I started googling around looking for options. We wanted to do our own backgrounds on our photos but we were finding it took so long for us to do that. I started out as a photographer for the group and it was taking me so long to do everything and my editing skills are not as superior as Car Media 2.0, so we stumbled upon it and we thought, “This is a great option, we should look into this.” Once we took over Laurentian Chrysler, they had a not-so-nice building and a small parking lot, so it was really difficult for us to get consistent shots every time. So we thought about Car Media 2.0!

Q: How did this fit in with The Palladino Auto Group’s current operations and goals?

A: It worked out so well for our photographers because they didn’t have to worry about getting customers to move their vehicles out of the way. We were able to go to the back of the parking lot where there’s no risk for lot damage, take the car there, take the pictures and upload them. It was really really easy. We didn’t have to worry about having a pretty background anymore. If we could build every dealership brand new, we would…but sometimes when you take over a dealership, you’re just given what you’re given and you have to work with what you have. So, it’s worked out great and we have 7 stores with you now!

Q: How do your photographers feel about our CAR PICS 2.0 Self-Serve product?

A: We’re pretty hands on at our dealerships so it’s been great for us that we have the option to have our own photographers in-house to shoot the vehicles with the guidance of Car Media 2.0. We can work with the detailers to set things up and there’s this nice constant workflow for them.It’s been great that we’ve been able to use the self-serve package you guys offer but still get the benefits of your full-serve photography services.

Q: What were you doing before Car Media 2.0?

A: We employ a photographer at each dealership dedicated to shooting only pre-owned vehicles, trying to get that nice consistent picture by shooting the vehicles in front of the building. We were trying our best, but the difficult issue with that was that there would always be customer cars in the way or service vehicles or things like that which didn’t make it feasible to edit out the background of every image to make it look consistent. There’s also always possibility for lot damage when you’re moving around vehicles. It was slowing down our process trying to get people to move their vehicles out of the way so we could get our proper shot. It was just such a longer process than it needed to be. So, it’s nice we can now get our photographers to shoot wherever they want to get the correct angle and away we go!

Q: Would you say that Car Media 2.0 has satisfied all of your needs for used vehicle photography?

A: Yea! Especially with used vehicles, there’s always that rush to the time clock. Once a vehicle lands, they need them up as soon as possible. It’s great that the pictures are delivered within 24 hours to our inventory management system, we really appreciate that. The fact that we’re getting a good quality product out to our customers, it makes it that much better. We don’t have people submitting leads that just say “Hey, can I get more pictures?” or “Hey did you miss this? Can you get this? Can I have a picture of that?”. We’re getting GOOD QUALITY LEAD customers because they can absolutely see everything. In our opinion, it’s worth taking a bit more time, maybe a 12 hour delay to make sure we’re getting good quality stuff up.

Q: Have you used any of our other products beside CAR PICS 2.0 Self-Serve?

A: When we took over our other stores in London, Forest City Mazda and South West Chrysler, when we decided to get onto Car Media 2.0’s platform, we wanted to get all of our inventory re-shot. We signed up for CAR PICS 2.0 Full-Serve and it was really nice because we had your guys come in to assist our photographers to get everything done a little bit quicker. He was even able to train our own photographers in the process.

Q: Is there any feedback or suggestions improvement that you or your photographers have for us?

A: No complaints – So that must be a good thing!

Q: Did you have any concerns about using our products and have we resolved them?

A: You know what’s funny…one of the concerns we had originally was: Are people actually going to think these are the real pictures? Or are they going to look like they’re too fake? And they DON’T! It’s a good mix of it looking professional without it looking re-touched. And that’s what we like about it. It still looks like the vehicle is on our lot. The package that we have, Carbon Plus 5, has the background replacements on the exteriors, but when you look at the interior images, you can tell that this vehicle is on our lot so I think the customer appreciates that. We haven’t had any complaints that they’re edited or not live on our lot, so I think that’s really great.

A special thanks to Courtney Bourque from Palladino Auto Group for taking the time to share their story. We’re so happy that we can be a part of their dealership group’s improved processes and quality lead generation!

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