I remember when it was revolutionary for an inventory syndication company to take still photos and convert them into stitched photos videos.
Then we evolved to video walkarounds where an actual video of the vehicle is used (rather than still pictures put together) which increases engagement because the consumer can see the vehicle almost as if they are on the lot.
This also enables the dealership to produce their own custom voice-overs whereby a salesperson describes the features and benefits just as they would if they were doing it in real-life.
And then we moved on to taking personalized videos of vehicles for a specific customer, answering their questions then emailing the video to them. Take it up a notch and we are now able to use individual shopper data to change the viewing experience for each individual shopper based on their viewing habits and report each viewing experience back to your CRM in real-time
Then we graduated to real-time Livestream video to communicate with customers on mobile devices, whether that be for purchasing questions or simply to let the customer guide the salesperson while doing a virtual walkaround (or virtual test-drive) to show them what they want to see. Imagine a salesperson being able to communicate with a customer just as if the salesperson were standing in the room with them!
Now we get into the Star Trek zone…
The Cirque de Soleil show, Michael Jackson One, in Las Vegas, has an awe-inspiring feature -- Michael Jackson himself appears as a hologram. And the recent Digital Dealer Conference featured an ENTIRE CONCERT with a hologram of Whitney Houston. Let me tell you, it looks like these departed celebrities are really there. They’re dancing next to real-life dancers and singing their songs. It is certainly very engaging.
The point is that video – as well as technology in general – continues to evolve. The technology to bring people in various locations together so they can engage with each other in meaningful ways will only continue to progress. What is the thread that drives all of this? It’s video. And that is how important it is for engaging others.
What’s the next step? Perhaps we’ll be able to just transport a salesperson and a vehicle into the customer's living room (with their permission, of course.) Now, beam me up, Scotty!