Archive for the ‘Custom Graphic Designs’ Category

Are you viewing your website as the customers see’s it? 8 out of 10 times the answer is NO. Online shoppers are a breed of their own and if you don’t show them what you are made of (website) then you lose out on a valuable customer.

Our minds are so warped in sales we fail & forget to see what type of online presence we are giving to the consumer. Regardless if you sell cars, shoes, cosmetics and so forth. We are the seller not the consumer. Don’t forget that you are giving the impression of your business to the online consumer which still relates to the good ole’ saying “First impressions are the best impressions”. Why fail your consumers now?

During my time training dealers for website best practices & their website management tool, I asked them when the last time it was since they last viewed their website. The top 3 answers were “I am too ashamed to look at it”, “I don’t have time” & “That is the Internet Managers Job”. I lightly tread on the subject to have all the management including  sales to take a few moments a day to review their website as errors can be noticed that are overlooked. Your team can offer the feel of presence & most important of all critical feedback. Don’t prevent them from being involved.

Before trainings I would ask all the attendees to take a moment to step back out of their sales shoes & visualize themselves as a customer, A TRUE CONSUMER and clear their minds of sales. Our minds are so polluted with sales & are soaked up with Buy Buy Buy & Look at me I can sell a car but you need to take a step back. Having this clear mind approach while stepping into a website review can be beneficial not to yourself but most important “YOUR CONSUMER”.

Typing in your website address is one step, seeing your online image is another and the most impressionable one. Relevant images related to your home page is similar to a new customer walking into your showroom floor & seeing polished tiled floors, shiny cars, clean desks, spiffed up sales team and such. Giving that same impression to your online consumer needs to be the same.

Your website home page is more geared towards new cars & welcoming the consumer to your website. Keep those website images (banners) relevant to that specific profit center! For example if you sell cars and there is a banner with bananas for sale, a little over the top & exaggerated, however you get the point. Used or Pre-Owned needs to stay relevant to the pre-owned department only not posting new car ads to that specific page. Consumers are geared to relevant information & images for what they are looking for.  Confusing them will cause you to lose them!  This goes to the same for Finance; keep it finance geared along with Specials, Service & Parts. Don’t push them away for sales, sales, sales! They have a motive in mind; don’t force them to shut your website down & move to your competitor.

Keeping your profit centers separate for advertising will be beneficial to your consumer when they are viewing your website & looking for what they are searching for.

Below are valuable tips to help increase your impression to be the best impression for your online consumer.

Home Page: New car banners. Amazing finance offerings for the new car purchase. Why they should buy from you including the incentives they receive. (Customer Satisfaction, Free oil chances with new purchase etc)

Pre-Owned Page: Banners of aged inventory, anything that is over 60 days old on the lot, highlighting those specific vehicles can help turn that inventory over for the pre-owned interested consumer.  Certified finance offerings and / or finance offerings for pre-owned.

Service / Parts & Accessories: Banners with Certified technicians, rewards received for customer satisfaction, discounts on service, parts or accessories.

Finance: Banners that shows offers given by the OEM or for pre-owned, you can even include local credit union finance rates that are being offered.  Easy process for credit applications (applying online) and special finance offerings.

Specials: Banners specifically highlight aged inventory for both new & used inventory to help push them out and off your lot. Service, parts and/or accessories discount pricing, finance rates.

Why Buy or About Us: This page should have banners relevant to why they should buy from you. Why buy banners, incentives of being a new customer, Rewards, images of facility with customers.

Take a step back to view your website as a consumer can make a large difference that you may not realize at this time. Get your team involved with providing feedback as each profit center is online!

All views & opinions are solely based upon the author only. Jennifer Schrader


Have you taken the time to monitor who actually is on top of your content for your website? What I mean is the actual images/ banners that are placed on your website for weekly & monthly advertising / marketing.

Many website vendors nationwide provide the ability now for the dealer / client to control the uploading of the images as to what it was in the past.  Having this ability gives you the option to be creative and helps keep your consumer informed on a daily basis.

I would say, I am confident in saying this figure, 80% of dealers will not upload images weekly let alone monthly. You have the ability; why not take advantage of it? Most of the responses are “I am not creative, I don’t know where to start, I have a hard enough time trying to turn the computer on & such”. Don’t worry; you are focused on selling, closing deals and running a productive team within your dealership.

Here are a few tips to help you take advantage of being creative with your website.

Hiring External or Internal: There are many graphic designers around now since we have went digital. It may be more costly having an internal graphic artist however there are freelance graphic artist / designers that charge just for the job. Having fresh & enticing banners / advertisements can help your online audience be more engaged and informed of your promotions & offerings. Why keep the gate up?

Software: There are cheap & free programs out there that can help you if you want to challenge yourself and be creative the way you want to.  There is a program I have used which is very, very inexpensive and it is called SnagIt. You can go to and it will even offer you a Free Trial! Very easy to use and fun! Or you can go all out and grab up Adobe Photoshop which I have moved over too and it is a bit more complicated but there are many guides & tutorials online that can help you with creating an effective banner or advertisement for your website.

Be on top of it! That is the tricky part. Keeping consistent with adding different promotions / advertisements weekly or monthly on your website is very effective.  Your Branding / Franchise offers specials each month don’t they? Why not keep your online consumers informed? Be different from the other guy down the street. If you are looking the same each and every day, month in and month out; your competition has their advantage of you already!

Engage with your team: Getting your team involved at meetings and asking for ideas or suggestions is a big help. They will feel they are being involved with marketing for your dealership which will then boost their confidence & they will know what is going on all around.  I see it too many times when the team has no clue of the promotion or advertisement that is being currently ran. Keep them informed & involved. You would be surprised as one of your team members may have those creative skills with graphic design!

Be Creative! It is not hard when you refuse to be creative.  Just think of the items that capture your attention or TV commercials that pop out at you. The human mind is more attracted to, I will say this, Cheesy or Corky advertisements.  They grab our attention more than the corporate look and feel.  Reaching out to those clients in a fun, entertaining, happy way will create more engagement and involvement with your online audience. Just try it, you will be surprised on their reaction.

Images? Where? Google Images provides a large variety of images however to have them be royalty free you can get high quality images for very little money (which you can use repeatedly) at I have been using this company for over 2 years & get many of my images as they are a lot let expensive to buy credits there than any other I have come across. 

I hope this information helps with taking advantage of the flexibility you have on your website advertising.  If your website vendor doesn’t provide the ability to change images or banners, you may want to have a little chat with them since you are the ones selling to your audience.

All views & opinions are solely based by the author Jennifer Schrader (231) 360-0730

Brighton Ford leads by example in promoting local businesses and creating community events

On June 3, 2011, Brighton Ford held their 7th Annual Brighton Business-to-Business Expo. The Expo brings together hundreds of local businesses and promotes commerce in the Brighton area and is completely free of charge to both vendors and patrons. A pancake breakfast is included, cooked by the employees of Brighton Ford. The 7th Annual Brighton Business-to-Business Expo also joined with the American Red Cross to have a donation center at the Expo.


The consistent goal of the Brighton Ford Business-to-Business Expo each year is to keep money in the community and give local business the platform to meet, network, and support each other. The Business-to-Business Expo also allows the community to learn more about their surrounding businesses and encourages them to choose local when making purchasing decisions.


Initial planning for the Brighton Business-to-Business Expo begins three months in advance. Once all of the details are set, local businesses were contacted by Brighton Ford and given the information for the event. Registration began shortly after and table assignments were given throughout registration. Businesses were also informed of the American Red Cross Blood Drive taking place during the Expo. They were encouraged to make an appointment to donate.

Ignite XDS began all design work for the Expo shortly after all of the information was finalized. Flyers, signs, and Facebook images were created for the Expo and distributed accordingly. A web banner and static page were also created and posted on the Brighton Ford website, promoting the Expo, giving information, and allowing businesses to register online.

Two-weeks prior to the Brighton Business-to-Business Expo, Ignite XDS wrote and distributed press releases to community contacts, online forums, newspapers, television news, and radio stations. This press release focused on informing the media of the Expo and inviting them to come and cover the event. A second press release was written and distributed one-week before the event. The emphasis of this release was to encourage the community members to attend the Expo. It also promoted the blood drive and gave instructions on how to make an appointment. By creating a two-fold system for press release distribution, Ignite XDS was able to create a higher awareness of the Expo, while addressing different points.

Promotional efforts by Ignite XDS then became centered on the Brighton Ford social media outlets. Ignite XDS highlighted every participating business as they registered for the Expo on the Brighton Ford Facebook page. A paragraph was written about each business in the ‘Notes’ section and linked to their Facebook page if it was available. The ‘Notes’ were then posted on the Brighton Ford Facebook page and used as promotional pieces. This created interested content and cross-promotion with local businesses. It also gave the businesses an area where they could mention and specials they would have at the Expo for attendees.

An event was created on the Brighton Ford Facebook page, with its own unique, branded graphic. All of the Brighton Ford Facebook fans were informed of the Expo, encouraging them to attend. A separate Facebook event was created for the Blood Drive including details and instructions on how to make an appointment. Both events were then shared on the Facebook walls of local businesses and media.

On the day of the Business-to-Business Expo, Brighton Ford cleared their entire lot, setting up tables, chairs, and tents for the vendors. Photos were taken and used as interesting content the day of the event and as a follow-up to the event. Videos were also taken of local businesses, promoting both the Expo and the business.  


The 7th Annual Brighton Business-to-Business Expo was a great success. Over 225 local businesses were represented at the Expo; each bringing unique and interesting services and offers. Many patrons and vendors also enjoyed the free Pancake Breakfast. Over 1,500 people from the Brighton community and beyond were brought to the Brighton Ford lot.

John Payne, from Kelly Brothers, LLC, a participating vendor in the Business-to-Business Expo stated, “The event was well planned and orchestrated with competence. The customers we invited and attended were impressed at the event, and most certainly, will spread the goodwill that Brighton Ford exhibited in our community.”

Scott Spitler, of Brighton Ford, emphasizes the meaning of the Brighton Business-to-Business Expo to the Brighton Ford dealership, “Our passion is the people of our community and the Brighton Business Expo is a great way to celebrate that passion.

Through media and news contacts, social media outlets, and community interaction, Ignite XDS was able to create the press coverage and public attention needed to make the Brighton Business-to-Business Expo and Blood Drive a huge success.


Ignite XDS brings the auto dealership to Facebook, allowing dealerships to privately brand Facebook pages for deeper engagement and targeted campaigns. Through applications and dealer-specific content, Ignite XDS provides social media and web marketing solutions to car dealerships looking for efficient, effective, and measurable brand image and community engagement.

Jennifer Schrader
Ignite XDS
(231) 360-0730

Paige Plant
Ignite XDS
(810) 225-8350

5 Easy Quick Tips to creating a custom banner!

Taking on a new website provider or even if you have a current one, you may have asked yourself where do I start to create banners for my new or current website?

Keep in mind your banners are a first initial point of advertising to the consumer when they land on your dealership website. If there is nothing there that captures their attention, you are going have a high chance of losing them & most importantly their interest of your virtual dealership.

Before receiving my degree in Graphic Design, I had to pull in resources to help myself with creating simple custom banners. Here are 5 quick tips & resources to help you with creating a banner.

Step 1: What Software do you need? If you don’t have a software program like Adobe CS4 or 5 you can resource to software called Snagit.  This is inexpensive software that you can keep for life! Less than $55.00 and provides you with a large amount of tools and features. Grabbing up images from the web, start fresh with a custom sized banner, adding text on the fly & images!

Step 2: Where to get the images from? If you are a franchised dealer, your OEM provides you a large amount of Ad Planners / Marketing Images and much more at your finger tips. If you don’t have those available to you, taking images of your dealership, staff, inventory is ways you can start incorporating images to a banner.  I personally use Dreams Time for my images. They offer a large variety of images, royalty free, and at a very low cost to help you get a high quality image for your banner.

Step 3: Where do you start? Here are a few ideas to help you get started once you get your software, images lined up to start your banner.  What promotion are you running this week or month? Make sure you incorporate that into the banner you are creating.  Placing inventory on a banner will help you move that inventory faster (aged inventory works well). Why should they buy from you banner, is a great one that helps the consumer click on the banner and link to an about us page or why buy from you page. Creating unique content that is relevant to the banner will help you get more recognition within the search engines also.

Step 4: How do you get them to click on the banner? That is simple. Creating calls to action which are readable and catchy on the banner will help the consumer click to see more. “Click Here” “Why Buy” “Find out more” “Contact Us” and so forth. This again, with a custom banner will direct them to where you want them to go and capture their attention & interest.

jen schrader designs call to actions

Step 5: What do you save them as? JPEG or a PNG or depending on what your website provider recommends the image to be saved as.  As listed the most common ones are a JPEG or PNG file image. Once you upload them, make sure you double check the links to ensure they go to where you want them to link to. Make sure they are also readable, it’s not attractive to have a banner up & you cannot read the text or the images are fuzzy.

Having your work colleague’s review them, friends, family etc. will help you get the feedback you need. Once you do that it will help you create a visual impact for your dealership and for your online consumer experience.

I am here to help, if you need me to provide more ideas, tips & tricks; I would be more than happy to lend a helping hand!

Jennifer Schrader
(231) 360-0730

Taking the “Service” away from “Customers”… What do you expect?

I posted an update on Facebook today in regards to this exact subject as it is a touchy one in my mind. This is an answer I received which really made sense:

“You get customers creating an unorganized mess of a particular area they know nothing about…”

When taking away Customer Service to a client that is paying you for the services can hit home to many of us from a simple Cell Phone company trying to resolved their bill, Requesting assistance from your local resource center to find where to donate clothing items etc.. The list can go on. 

Take a moment and just think how it would be with no one there? No one to pick up the phone, No one to answer your questions? But to only have an automated message asking for your feedback… OUCH!

Customer Service is not just an part of me however it is a part of life when purchasing services & or products from a company regardless of what the company is offering or selling.

Not having that Customer Service can create a lot of angry customers, disgruntled customers and loss of major business. 

Customers & or Clients are looking for help in areas they are not familiar with, best practices, reviews, what is the other guy doing and so on.  Why take it away when they are the ones that makes your monthly payments each month.

Just my thoughts escaping me again!