SEMA News—December 2014


Newsflash: Rich Marketing Content = More Profits. Is Yours In the SEMA Data Co-op?

Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO We’re pleased to report that the SEMA Data Co-op has surpassed critical mass and is rolling! Your industry-owned product data repository now has more than 350 brands covering more than 2.7 million live part numbers. Every week, we see thousands of data exports pulled down by data receivers—our industry’s resellers and retailers. That means that more products are getting more exposure, leading to increased sales.

That’s great news. Meanwhile, the marketplace continues to evolve. These days, more than 50% of all sales begin with online research, and studies show that a product listing that offers an image is more than twice as likely to sell as one with no image. Rich data—images with multiple views, video files, audio files—is reported to be as much as 17 times more likely to prompt a sale.

Given that we are moving into an age in which the Internet is the primary source of product information, high-quality “rich data” is essential to your company’s success. These days, a photo is worth a thousand words and a video is worth a million.

Make no mistake, building rich data assets does require investment in time and people. But building rich data should be the target moving forward, and it should be in every company’s marketing budget. If you’re already shooting new products for a catalog, look into shooting 360-degree views or adding an audio or complete description of the benefits. With just a little more effort and investment, manufacturers can provide consumers with more reasons to buy and have that investment pay back in multiples.

Where to begin? A good start would be to download the “Digital Asset Best Practice Guideline” for the automotive market. This document was assembled and updated by the Technology Standards Committee of AAIA, now known as The Auto Care Association. It outlines industry best practices for producing audio, video and product images, and it details how to maximize return on the investment. Anyone in the industry can download the free report by going to and clicking the link for the Digital Best Practices Release found in the “library” menu under “data standards.”

Rich digital assets are even more valuable now as the SEMA Data Co-op rolls out a tremendous new tool for the industry, SEMA Search. You can think of SEMA Search as the online encyclopedia of automotive aftermarket specialty parts. It’s designed for use by salespeople in the trade to access product information housed in the rapidly growing SEMA Data Co-op database.

Through SEMA Search, products are made visible to more receivers and their customers. With rich data to accompany year, make and model information, the buying proposition is much more compelling.

SEMA Search empowers salespeople to match customer inquiries with a broad array of product choices. Tapping into up-to-date information in the SEMA Data Co-op means less chance of ordering errors and fewer returns. And end users—the ultimate beneficiaries we all work for—will find it easier than ever to find the parts that feed their enthusiasm for aftermarket upgrades.

It’s clear that we’ve reached an age where data quality is the key to success. For those SEMA Data Co-op members who haven’t yet begun to take advantage of the selling opportunities provided by enhanced product imagery and marketing copy, now is the time to gear up. For those whose products are not yet represented in the SEMA Data Co-op, it should be obvious: Now is the time to get in.

—Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO

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