I can't even begin to count the times I have been asked this question, or something like it. It's been asked of me by everyone from service advisors to outside sales reps. It is an interesting thing that we do, us "internet" people.
The title of the "Internet Manager" alone can generate so many definitions that a person that does what people like me do are left with out an identity to speak of. I guess you could call me a Director, or a Consultant, or even a Manager. The labor board defines a manager as someone who hires and fires. About.com defines it this way, "A Manager is the person responsible for planning and directing the work of a group of individuals, monitoring their work, and taking corrective action when necessary. For many people, this is their first step into a management career.....A manager may have the power to hire or fire employees or to promote them."
Although I may help in the hiring process and may reccommend an applicant, it is certainly not a significant portion of my job. It's not always easy when you have made yourself what you are to your dealership. In my case it alright though, cause I have a dealer who really "gets it". I am sure if it came down to it, he would hold on to me with a kung-fu grip. I am described as everything from product expert to IT person (which happens to be my least favorite of them all).
People who do what I do can effectivley train, teach, research, analyse, advise, consult, troubleshoot, sell, develop, refine, improve, and create.
As an Internet Manager (by common definition) your responsibilities can be endless, but when it comes down to it you only get paid when you sell a car. Is it fair for owners, general managers and the like to expect you to have the current service specials online, that car they sold last night removed from AutoTrader.com, the receptionist's mouse fixed, have that dealer trade secured for transport 200 miles away, and get three deals out by the close of business today? Can you fulfill all of this and still make a living when you are only paid for the latter of the bunch? Directors are faced with a similar challenge, except when they want to know why you can't sell more cars, you know the only way to sell more, is to do it yourself.
We alll know that it takes a strong internet strategy and process to sell more cars, not just one more able-bodied person to demo, sell, and close a deal. How can you accomplish all this in Department that only knows how to pay people on a variable basis, where no fixed expenses are allowed. All this even when your job extends far past the realm of the Sales Department alone.
This is where I come in, my job is to create more opportunities to do business, analyse it, alter it, and then perfect it. I also train and equip you to handle all the new opportunities and get all the other "stuff" out of the way so you can SELL CARS. So what do you call a person that does what I do?
I am interested to hear from those of you who do what I do, but only get paid to sell, and those who do what I do and actually have a Job title. Is there anyone out there who can "feel me" on this?