Ruth’s car was stolen and she dreaded buying a new one. Edmunds.com gave her all the confidence she needed with car reviews, TMV pricing, and easy-to-use dealer quotes to buy a new Honda Civic from Rick Case Honda in Davie, Florida. This is her story.
April 11, 2013 — DAVIE, Florida - Richard Bustillo, General Manager of Rick Case Honda, the World’s Largest Full Line Honda Dealership, will be leading a panel discussion at the Automotive Leadership Roundtable (ALR) on Monday, April 15, 2013, at the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach, Florida. This is the second consecutive year Mr. Bustillo was selected to speak at ALR, an annual conference of leading automotive management executives.
Serving as General Manager of Rick Case Honda for the past five years, Richard Bustillo’s leadership of the dealership’s authorized Sales, Service and Parts operations has helped the Davie-based location earn American Honda’s highest honor, the President’s Award, on five consecutive occasions — the only Honda volume dealer in America to earn this distinction.
His strategies and tactics have propelled Rick Case Honda to set numerous sales records. They have also guided the Service Department to achieve best-in-class customer satisfaction scores, while cultivating a Genuine Honda Parts business that’s thrived throughout his tenure.
Now, Mr. Bustillo plans to share his some of his core management principles at Automotive Leadership Roundtable 2013. Amongst other topics – such as digital marketing and organizational leadership – Richard’s One Dealership Philosophy will be a main talking point.
“A cornerstone of the One Dealership Philosophy is ensuring all departments work together to provide each customer with a consistent experience — every time they visit. Regardless of if they’re interacting with Sales, Service or Parts departments, dealers must always deliver valuable experiential and transactional benefits to create loyal customers,” Mr. Bustillo began.
“It sounds simple, or maybe even obvious, in theory,” he continued. “But when you’re developing unique buying propositions at a strategic level for each department, and then implementing various tactics in a way that must function cohesively throughout a large operation, there are innumerable challenges that can derail the One Dealership approach before you even realize its’ benefits.”
While Mr. Bustillo is gracious for the prominent role he’s been selected to at ALR 2013, his main focus is on delivering useful, actionable thoughts to a peer group whom he deeply respects. “I admire the reputations and results that many of my fellow ALR guests and panelists have cultivated for themselves. I look forward to yet another humbling opportunity to learn from them, while sharing tips and insights myself that help ALR attendees gain useful industry knowledge.”
I’m a big fan of Columbo, the TV series starring Peter Falk. But, that’s not what I’m going to write about this week. Instead, I’m going to interview Richard Bustillo, who used YouTube TrueView ads to double the monthly trade-in vehicles at Rick Case Honda, resulting in a 12x return on investment.
Bustillo worked his way up in the dealer world, starting as a salesman. He sold 26 cars in his first month, making more money that month than he’d made the previous year. After working at several dealerships and boosting their performances, Bustillo was invited by auto industry pioneers, Rick and Rita Case to be the General Manager for Rick Case Honda.
Rick Case Honda has a 600,000 square-foot facility in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area that houses 1,500 new Hondas. The facility includes not only a showroom, but also a state-of-the-art collision center, a gas station, a County Clerk’s Office, and even a barber shop. Yet, Bustillo still saw opportunities to improve the store.
Since April 2008, Bustillo has helped Rick Case Honda generate record breaking sales, despite the tough economy. Much of this is attributed to an emphasis on cross-functional integration, on valued customer experiences, and on Bustillo’s push for Rick Case Honda to adopt better digital and video marketing strategies.
‘You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out’
In 2011, Bustillo attended the Automotive Leadership Roundtable, where he was exposed to a variety of digital marketing strategies. After returning from the trip, Bustillo started Rick Case Honda on a paid search strategy, before incorporating online video, reputation management, and social media. The marketing team soon found that video advertising converted four times as much as other advertising strategies.
After his early success, Bustillo was asked to speak at a number of automotive marketing conferences. He then met AJ LeBlanc, Managing Partner of Car-mercial.com, who told Bustillo about their unique and scalable video production offerings. Bustillo had already worked with a handful of video vendors and also produced video in-house, but realized Car-mercial.com’s video production capabilities were completely different, and offered an opportunity for growth.
In the fall of 2012, Bustillo and LeBlanc came up with the idea to create YouTube TrueView in-stream ads promoting the distinctive features of Honda to encourage trade-in. That same year, the 2012 Compete Google Automotive Shopping study discovered that 21 percent of vehicle shoppers find online video content about vehicle trade-ins useful for their research process.
After launching the TrueView ads, the dealership doubled the number of trade-ins from a competing make from 10 per month to 20 per month. Rick Case Honda was now earning an incremental $50,000+ for online videos that cost $0.20 – $0.30 per view. Monthly unique site visitors had also increased by over 18 percent. Bustillo says, “That’s targeted video that you can tie back and figure out ROI… You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out!”
‘We’re only scratching the surface’
Despite Bustillo’s continued success with digital, he recognizes that “we’re not where we want to be yet — we’re still evolving. There’s so much we can do and we’re only scratching the surface.”
Moving forward, Bustillo and LeBlanc are looking to test more online video ideas, including launching Spanish videos, and finding ways to integrate more video content onto the Rick Case Honda website.
Bustillo also emphasizes the importance of his website as a critical component in ensuring the success of his online video campaigns. He says, “It is important to make sure your website is user-friendly to make sure that when video pre-roll sends traffic to your site, users engage with your brand and then come to your store. It’s all interconnected.”
He adds, “You gotta look at it all the way down the road. When you integrate every department… everyone benefits from video pre-roll… If you only look at it from metrics such as views, that’s very short-sighted. You have to open your eyes and look at everything, so that you can see the full benefit of what you can accomplish.”
‘Oh, uh, a few more questions for my story, sir.’
Using my best impression of Columbo’s investigative style, I thanked Richard Bustillo for his interview and turned to leave – only to turn back at the last second as if I’d suddenly remembered something. Then I politely said, “Oh, uh, a few more questions for my story, sir.”
GJ: Can you tell us why you partnered with Car-mercial.com?
RB: It wasn’t difficult to realize that Video was the next evolution in internet marketing. We wanted to make sure we positioned ourselves with the best company in that space. We felt Car-Mercial produced OEM quality videos that could convert and they did.
GJ: After launching the ads, were you surprised that the dealership doubled the number of trade-ins from a competing make from 10 per month to 20 per month?
RB: I was very surprised. As a car dealer, we are always looking for ways to figure out our ROI. After a few months with Car-mercial.com, we started to notice that an increase in our conquest trades. That was track-able. Now we knew we had ROI.
GJ: Rick Case Honda is earning an incremental $50,000+ a month from online videos that cost only $0.20 to $0.30 per view. How many views do you typically need before you get a trade-in?
RB: When you take into consideration every dollar generated from a trade in (i.e. reconditioning, sale, etc.) we make that and more. What it costs to generate a trade in is another story. It depends on the time of month, the models we’re targeting and the Honda incentives, which varies.
GJ: How do you know monthly unique visitors to your site have also increased by over 18 percent?
RB: That information is based on Google Analytics. I know where everyone is coming from. It’s a simple and fantastic way to get your data.
GJ: Based on your initial success, what do you plan to do next?
RB: I am just figuring out this Video SEO and Pre-roll. Give me a couple of months and get back to me on that question.
Thanks, sir. Now, where did I park my car? There’s only three like it in the States. Oh, uh, I parked it in the shade because the sun ruins the paint.
Since the World Wide Web first became available to the general public in the early 1990s, much has changed in this vast universe we call the Internet. I’ve had the opportunity to see many of these changes unfold and impact business first-hand.
Networks are faster, browsers are more powerful, and website design and functionality has become nearly boundless. Topping it all off, almost everyone owns at least one device they can use to access the Internet — and people who own and use multiple devices that access the internet are becoming more common each day.
American Honda announced that Rick Case Honda Davie has earned the President’s Award for 2012. Rick Case Honda is the only one of the Top 10 Volume Dealers in the Country to receive the award an outstanding five years in a row.
The award is presented to Honda top-ranking dealerships across the country, based on their achievement of excellence in all areas of operation – customer service and satisfaction, sales, training, and facility. Only a few of the more than 1,000 Honda automobile dealerships won the President’s Award during 2012. The program award objectives are established annually to address the changing economic environment and to encourage dealerships to continually strive to achieve even higher levels of customer satisfaction.
“Since its inception in 1995, the President’s Award has been recognizing top dealers who are unwavering in their pursuit of excellence and customer care. The team members of Rick Case Honda have proven their dedication to their customers by achieving the rigorous standard established for this award,” said John Mendel. “We are extremely proud of the accomplishments of award-winning Rick Case Honda.”
Congratulations to Richard Bustillo and Team Members!
- Edmunds.com Customer Stories: Ruth’s Honda Civic from Rick Case Honda
- Rick Case Honda GM to Speak on Proven, Industry Leading Techniques at 2013 Automotive Leadership Roundtable
- YouTube TrueView Ads Provide Honda Dealer 12x ROI [Case Study]
- Resonate with Your Audience Through Website Branding
- RICK CASE HONDA WINS PRESIDENT’S AWARD 5TH YEAR IN A ROW
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