CIG’s New Senior Vice President Aaron Dyck continues to encourage dealers to consider how they are marketing their businesses.
In the five years since The Cannata Report profiled him for our Young Influencers issue, Aaron Dyck has continued to creatively and strategically market and promote the ever-changing services in our industry. We’ve watched him as he left his role at LMI Solutions as vice president of sales and marketing, making a couple of short stops at MWA Intelligence and Digitek Imaging Solutions, before landing at Clover Imaging Group in 2016.
Today, Dyck serves as Clover’s senior vice president of services and marketing. Catching up with him recently, it is clear Dyck’s passion for the industry hasn’t waned over the past five years. He remains avidly enthusiastic, and increasingly knowledgeable about marketing and its essentiality for optimal dealer performance and success. Unfortunately, marketing either continues to allude a vast majority of dealers, or they outright choose to ignore it. As a result, these dealers are paying a heavy price, whether they are aware of it or not.
Hence the importance of Clover and Dyck’s marketing mission. Dyck enthusiastically continues to educate the dealer channel about new and improved engagement opportunities with customers. Whether it’s touting MPS, an ERP, consumables, or Clover’s Amplify program, Dyck has an innate knack for marketing new initiatives and communicating with dealers.
He’s particularly knowledgeable about online marketing, something he’s been evangelizing to dealers for nearly 10 years now. During our conversation, he recalled a 2011 Canon dealer meeting where he spoke about inbound marketing, social media, and how dealers can use their websites to generate leads.
“I talked about how to bring LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to the forefront for their businesses,” said Dyck. “Honestly, when I had that meeting, 75% of the room were like, “˜Are you crazy? We’ll never let our employees on LinkedIn. We block all social channels on our business.'”
Dyck’s main goal at the time was to educate dealers on how to leverage different ways to connect and engage their customers beyond sales calls or mailing flyers to grow their businesses.
“At the time, I didn’t know all the ins and outs of how Google indexes content, so I focused on creating static marketing materials and creating engaging videos for dealers to put on their websites to tell their stories,” said Dyck. “Instead of having a bunch of written words, I said let’s use video, let’s use great engaging content, let’s leverage your website and get engaged on social. I saw that as a great way to stand out from the pack.”
Eight years after that Canon meeting, more dealers he speaks today now have a totally different attitude about online marketing.
“Today, people are like, “˜Yeah, I’m all in,'” said Dyck. “They’re thirsty for education and understanding how all these things play together with their businesses to connect and engage more opportunities and drive sales, because they know that is the No. 1 way to find new opportunities today.”
While Dyck acknowledges that sales calls are still important, online branding has emerged as one of the most influential ways to attract customers. Without a good online brand, without a voice, without putting out content people want to consume and read, dealers are limiting themselves, not just on the sales side, but also on the recruiting side as well.
“They’re not going to find the right talent,” said Dyck. “And the customers, if you don’t have content or you don’t stand out online, you’ll never be part of the conversation.”
Dyck estimates that 10% of dealers are doing a good job of online marketing. The rest are either attempting to do it and falling short, or avoiding it altogether because of the cost.
“The people that are doing it right partner,” said Dyck.
In his view, a successful online lead-generation strategy requires web developers, designers, writers, video people, and SEO specialists””people to drive the overall strategy of the business.
“Our industry is very sales heavy,” he added. “We’re very focused on outbound sales, but we aren’t investing in team of 10 or even five marketing people.”
According to Dyck, the larger dealers who are getting it have marketing staff to assist with those online initiatives. For the expertise necessary for website development, design, video, scripts, etc., that’s where a partner comes in to play. “It’s someone who can help them really amplify, so to speak, the things they are doing,” said Dyck.
Dyck is now seeing sales reps inside companies with a strong online marketing initiative use their websites as sales collateral, either showing or directing the customer or prospect to a video, blog post, or customer testimonials on their site.
Testing the waters, however, and going about this half-heartedly like doing one element or two, posting a couple of blogs, or a couple of social posts to see what happens, rather than a consistent ongoing strategy, is a recipe for failure.
“That’s not how this strategy works,” said Dyck. “This is a marathon, not a sprint. This is a 12- to 18-month project before you start to see results.”
In less than two years, Dyck reported, Clover now has more than 30 dealers using Amplify, Clover’s sales and marketing services program.
As our industry continues to change shape, especially as the pace of acquisitions and consolidation increases, Dyck doesn’t believe there is a ceiling for what he’s marketing, particularly on the Amplify side of the business.
“When I look at the latest acquisitions, I see companies coming together,” said Dyck. “I see companies having brand conflict in various geographic markets and looking for ways to streamline their voices, brands, and message. That’s exactly where we [Amplify] fit. We can come in and say, you just took over five dealerships. Why don’t we help you streamline your message? Why don’t we help you right-size your website and your content, so we can start driving sales leads in your respective markets and help overall grow your dealer acquisition strategy?'”
Dyck has clearly found a home in this industry, and his enthusiasm for Clover, Amplify, and this industry are certainly one of the keys factors in his success.
“I’m having a blast,” said Dyck. “Clover is a fantastic company, awesome people to work with, and the level of engagement that I’m having with business owners throughout North America is great. To be involved with multiple businesses across North America and help them grow and see the return on investment is pretty awesome.”
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