Archive for October, 2012

The October Automotive Conferences: Who’s Where, What and Why?

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Let us know what you think!

Which automotive conference(s) are you attending? - Which speakers are you excited to hear? - Where’s the place to be?! Who do you think will win the DSES Best Idea Contest?


 First Up! DrivingSales Executive Summit, October 21-23, 2012 Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada.

 DrivingSales is being put on the map this year teaming up with J.D Power and Associates for an automotive weekend to remember. The event is for Dealership Executives and created specifically to fuel Dealership Operators with cutting edge strategies and peer-to-peer collaboration. DSES wants the automotive industry to become inspired and provides key networking opportunities with the industry’s most successful innovators. They even have a Best Idea Contest! Have you implemented a great idea into your store? Submit it to the DSES contest!

Sunday, October 21, 2012 opens the conference with Dennis Galbraith, Executive Director of DrivingSales Data, presenting “Big Data: A Look at the Growing Importance of Data From a DrivingSales Perspective” and concludes with Luke Wroblewski, author and former CPO of BagCheck and former Chief Design Architect (VP) at Yahoo! Inc., presenting “Mobile Websites & Consumer Behavior: How your world is changing in the palm of your hand.” 

Keynote and breakout speakers and presentations include:

  • Florian Zettelmeyer, Professor of Marketing at NorthWestern University,“Advanced Marketing: The Economica of the Internet Inside the Dealership”
  • Rand Fishkin, CEO of Seamoz, “The art and science of advanced search engine marketing”
  • Jim Flint, Local Search Group, “Moneyball: Extra Innings”
  • Billy Beane, GM of the Oakland A’s,“MoneyBall Metrics: Discovering value in your data and delivering profit building strategies”
  • …And more!

The DrivingSales Best Idea Contest takes place from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the first day of the conference. Participants will present their idea on stage and the winner and runner ups will be announced soon after! Prizes total to about $10,000. That’s some big money!

The Driving Sales Innovation Cup will happen from 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. on the same day. Just like the Best Idea Contest, The Innovation Cup participants will present their solution on stage and a panel of dealers will assess and determine the winner of the contest. Check out DMEautomotive’s Driver Connect Mobile App – It’s a finalist in the contest! Wish us luck!

There’s an incredible amount of opportunity at the DSES, and it’s jam packed with events and presentations. You’ll take away so many new ideas and have the driving inspiration and motivation you need to achieve your company goals!

Visit the DSES website for more information.



J.D. Power and Associates Automotive Marketing Roundtable, October 23-25, 2012, Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada.

This October conference, previously called Automotive Internet Roundtable, is a also a three-day occasion and one of the industry’s most significant marketing events. With over 1200 attendees last year, this years attendees will have the chance to collaborate with major automotive professionals, ranging from companies like Facebook, Google, Ford, MINI USA and Pandora, through Question and Answer sessions, networking gatherings and catered receptions.

To kick off the event, Tom Salkowsky, Head of Marketing at MINI USA, will share the awesome achievements and experience the company has embraced in the last 10 years. Supported by a non-conventional marketing approach, you can find out how MINI USA has thrived with the help of the digital and social world.

Events proceed through 9 p.m. that day.

The following day, Wednesday, October 24, 2012, presentations include: 

  • Taking on the World with Art & Science
  • The Multi-Screen Conundrum: Creating Brand Experiences that are Platform Agnostic
  • Integrating Entertainment and Technology while Preserving Safety in Vehicles
  • Are Automotive Brands Now Social Media Companies? Content Best Practices for Social Media Platforms
  • Eight Insightful Data Presentations
  • …And more!

Presentations and panels continue into the night.

To start off the morning on Thursday, October 25, 2012, J.D. Power will highlight trends, challenges and opportunities that the automotive industry faces in 2013. This is an important presentation to attend. Dozens of presentations and panels fill up the rest of the day. At 2:30 DMEautomtive’s CMO, Mike Martinez, is speaking on the panel, “Connecting with Millennials – The Next Generation Auto Consumers,” make sure to check him out! Lots of good info there.

The Marketing Roundtable concludes with “Deconstructing the Mobile Sound Byte” moderated by Sharon Knitter, Senior Director of Mobile at, and discussed by four panelists, representing companies that range from Hooklogic to Mediacom.

With such a wide variety of Automotive, Social Media and Web based companies and professionals, you’re sure to leave this 3 day conference with some serious insight, data and hopefully some awesome connections. As the phrase goes, “it’s all about networking.” So get out there people! 

For more information visit the J.D. Power and Associates website.



 The 13th Digital Dealer Conference and Exposition, October 23-25, 2012, Mirage Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

With over 100 sessions, workshops and case studies, Digital Dealer is dedicated to Internet and technology solutions for franchised dealers and managers. It is the biggest technology-specific event for dealers and managers to learn how to use technology and the Internet to sell and service more vehicles, more profitably. 

The morning of October 23, 2012, begins with a Peer Networking Roundtable for dealership attendees only. An intro session, “Intro to the Fundamentals of Online Automotive Marketing: A primer for those who are in catch up mode,” is also taking place at the same time. The session is presented by the Manager of Industry Education at, Tori Morandi.

Digital Dealer also offers “Innovation hours” which are product demonstration set up in dating style and focused on the benefits that new solutions, applications and technology offer your dealership. Attending this session will inform you about 10 new products in just a matter of hours – sessions like this can help determine what products might be right for your store.

Digital Dealer sessions officially begin at 1:30 p.m. and run through 5:20 p.m. Sessions include:

  • How to Hook Shopper Online and Buyers on the Lot
  • The Seven Needs of online Buyers
  • Case Study: How JM Lexus is Using iPads in the Sales Process
  • Igniting your Service Department
  •  5 Simple Strategies to Sell More Cars Now
  • …And plenty more!

General Sessions begin much earlier on Wednesday, October 24, 2012, starting at 8a.m. Sean Wolfington. Chairman and CEO of The Wolfington companies will present a Case Study: How Dealers Integrate Traditional, digital, Social and Mobile Marketing to increase Sales and Service. He will reveal best practices of the most successful dealers and how they integrate multiple marketing mediums to sell, service and retain more customers for less cost.

Dozens of back-to-back sessions will continue after the General Sessions.

The final day of Digital Dealer is full of insightful and important presentations, from “Data Do’s and Don’ts,” “Rev Up Your Internet Advertising ROI” to “Real World Case Studies on how Dealers are Dramatically Increasing their Loyalty and Retention to Increase Service and Repeat Sales.”

By the way, Digital Dealer does a great job of implementing YouTube videos of the Digital Dealer Conference Presenters speaking about what you can learn in their session. Check it out on their website above the session details tab for each individual session.

Key speakers at Digital Dealer include:

  • Joe Castle, Founder and CEO of  SocialDealer, Castle Automotive Group, AutoCare Warranty Cooperation and Castle Capital Management LLC.
  • Jim Dunn, VP/GM of South Florida-based JM Lexus (The #1 Lexus dealership in the world).
  • Chris Ice, VP of Products at Xtime.
  • Todd Kinzle, CEO and co-founder of Auction Genius
  • Sta Zalud, Director of Dealer Services for NADA Used Car Guide
  • …And many more!

Visit the Digital Dealer Website for more information.

How is your company connecting, on a scale of 1 – Facebook?

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Facebook has definitely made a legendary impact on the growth of Internet use across the world and set the highest standard for social media as we know it, but how can your company capitalize on the accomplishments of this social phenomenon?

October 4, 2012 was a seminal day in Facebook history. The company officially hit over one billion users, and that’s not just accounts, its people actively using the site. Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, posted a statement to his page thanking users for this honor.

With over 6 million people subscribed to Zuckerberg’s page, more than 500,000 people “liked” the post in the first day alone. And the number is growing by the minute.

Only hours after the announcement of this break through, the company released a brand video, made “to express what [Facebook’s] place is on this earth.” And if I must say so myself, they come to some massive conclusions (Click here to view the video).

They compare the website to tangible structures that pull people, and the world, together by saying chairs, doorbells, basketball, airplanes, bridges, dance floors and the most impactful of all – the universe – “are like Facebook.”

The video shares a fact that we build great nations because, as the human race, we want to feel apart of something. And if you feel alone? Don’t worry – you’re not, because there’s Facebook. Ultimately, through the power of Facebook, the universe can now connect.

However, it wasn’t just the words of the young narrator that provoked a powerful response, it was the cultural images portrayed throughout the entire video. A man reading on his front porch, a man smoking outside his home in the Middle East, a man sitting in China, children playing in the street, dancers performing in studio, family and friends gathered around a dinner table, all connected through the simple commonality of a chair. Facebook used this idea to honor and connect with the everyday objects that unite the people of the world.

Through these simple, yet profound, sequences, Facebook is touching life – relating to individuals spread far across the earth – and letting the world do the talking.

Over 168,000 people have “liked” the video so far.

With over 70 percent of the U.S. web audience on Facebook (and growing), about 50 percent of 18 to 34 year olds checking the site right when they wake up and 28 percent of the population checking Facebook on their smartphone before they’re even out of bed, you can finally be one of the first things people think about in the morning.

You have the opportunity to communicate with the most gigantic audience out there, reaching new demographics and new populations that you’ve never had the chance of influencing before. Facebook allows your company to create an image and a brand beyond your typical marketing approach. It’s about real time interaction outside the normal workspace.

So with the number of Facebook users increasing by the day, are you as connected as you should be? Or are you missing out on a whole population?


Pre-Paid Maintenance Plans and the Stage 5 Clinger

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

With the rise of the Internet, the rapid increase of the mobile revolution, even showrooming, and dealers, aftermarkets and independents all vying for the attention of the same consumers, it’s safe to say that your customers just aren’t as easy as before. And with that, cue the “stage 5 clinger.”

Inspired by the comedy, Wedding Crashers, a “stage 5 clinger” is typically a person who is attached, slightly obsessive and just won’t disappear at the end of a relationship. Now does that sound like the kind of customer your store could use?

Recent DMEautomotive research shares that pre-paid maintenance plans keep your consumers sticking around even after the expiration of their plan. Nearly 3 in 5 consumers reported they are likely to continue servicing at the dealership after their pre-paid plan expires – compared to average dealer post warranty retention rates of 22% – 40% (depending on vehicle make and age). The bottom line is that increasing your sales of pre-paid maintenance programs has the potential to double your service retention and therefore your service profits.

Once you cement that bond with the consumer, by implementing a pre-paid maintenance plan, it’s important to keep working at the relationship. While the majority (69%) report using their plan for “all” scheduled maintenance, a surprising 25% have only used it for “some” of their covered services. So even though a free or paid-for plan is in place, your customer is choosing to service somewhere else.

Winning the heart of your customer in the beginning can turn your connection in to a long-term commitment.  The key is getting the consumer to cling. How much your consumer uses their plan, and whether they exclusively service with your dealer, correlates with a significantly higher likelihood to continue service with you post-plan. For instance, 62% of those that use plans for “all” service are likely to stick with your store. And nearly two times the consumers in that group report they’re very likely (30%) to return to you – but those that only have “some” maintenance performed under the plan are 13% less likely to return.







Overall, 56% of those with a maintenance plan report they’re likely to keep servicing at your store when the plan expires (with only 1 in 5 claiming they’re unlikely to). So there you have it. If you’ve been searching for this long-term customer relationship, implement a maintenance plan, and keep your consumers clinging– Stage 5 Clinging.