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FINAL UPDATE:

I spoke to Mike Roscoe today and he shared his perspective on what can now be dubbed "The Situation" of the automotive world (Fitting since Brian Pasch is from Jersey!). While it is clear we share different opinions on the what, the who and the why, I appreciate that he took the time to debate. Beyond that I have nothing to add as I agree with Mike that some things are best left between two men and not for the general public. In short, we agree to disagree... ;)
Thanks Mike for speaking with me today... Back to moving some iron. 
UPDATE: 
Mike Roscoe called me to schedule some time to talk. In keeping with the principle's of the 7 habits, I will refrain from commenting further until I can seek to understand. Perhaps nothing will come of it and I may remain of the same opinion. But it is through discussion, debate (even vigorous debate) and sharing that progress and change can be made. In that light, I view this post and the discussion that ensued, a huge success. Mike, I look forward to speaking with you next Tuesday.
Thanks to all who read and participated in this post!
Many people know I have worked in Automotive Digital Marketing since it's inception. Having been born into the car business like so many others I began working retail at age 14 and have seen many familiar cliche's and stereotypes come and go through the years. There has always been a lot of propaganda over the years for or against new strategies to increase dealer profitability or volume. The list of the various products and techniques that have come and gone are too many even for it's own dedicated blog post.
The last 15 months have shown me that education and commitment to strong first principle's is neither a stereotype nor a cliche. That following correct principles backed up by knowledge through education will always best the latest greatest snake oil or widget. Initially, looking back at 2010 I made the mistake of attributing Marlboro Nissan's tremendous success in that year to a new, effective marketing strategy and while that strategy was incredibly successful, the strategy itself was born on the back of my continued commitment to correct principles and education.
Prior to NADA 2010 I committed myself and another Marlboro Nissan employee to attend Brian Pasch's SEO Bootcamp. Little did I realize what a commitment I had made until it's commencement. The level of knowledge that was shared and available at this event was unlike any other I had attended. So much so, that NADA left me feeling unimpressed in 2010. In comparison NADA that year was relatively poorly attended even in context to the ghost town it was the year prior due to the economic collapse.
In the fall of 2010 I again, committed myself and another Marlboro Nissan employee to attend the Driving Sales Executive Summit. Again, I was amazed at the quality of the speakers, educators and even the selected vendor's who attended and shared at this event. The level of detail and professionalism was too impressive for adequate representation in a "lowly car-guy's" blog post.
Recently, I again committed myself and another Marlboro Nissan employee to attend Brian Pasch's Digital Marketing Strategies Conference prior to this year's NADA. The conference had doubled in size from their bootcamp of the previous year and the event was truly top notch in terms of the quality of the information that was shared.
I want to address that for a moment... QUALITY OF INFORMATION. We've heard time and again: Garbage in, garbage out. How many of us have attended keynote speeches over the years that were 5 minutes of what you already knew followed by a 2 hour sales pitch? That is NOT quality information or education.
Those who know me know I am a HUGE believer in Franklin Covey and the 7 Habit's of Highly Effective People. I strive everyday to ensure that everything I do comes from a principle centered approach. So when I learned that Digital Dealer was demanding that anyone wishing to participate in their event not attend Brian Pasch's 2nd Bootcamp I was both shocked and appalled at the gross lack of commitment on the part of Digital Dealer to their dealer attendees. Limiting valuable information for the sole purpose of trying to usurp authority over another entity out of fear is unacceptable. The following e-mail describes this:
"Brian Pasch's "Automotive Marketing Bootcamp" is in no way associated or affiliated with the 10th Digital Dealer Conference & Exposition. Pasch did not discuss this event with anyone at Dealer Communications. But we have heard that some people think the two events are connected due to his promotion, such as Pasch referring to the two events as "The dynamic duo of spring events" and hash-tagging "Digital Dealer" and related words/terms to co-opt the Digital Dealer name/brand and piggyback on our event and our marketing and promotion.

Don't know if this is their modus operendi, but there was an "Automotive Marketing Bootcamp" immediately prior to NADA in San Francisco this month.  We have received reports from sponsors and attendees that there were as few as 50 attendees...and as few as 11 of them were dealership attendees. These are people who were THERE and have no reason to inflate or deflate numbers.
There is nothing wrong with being creative. But the timing of this event is a blatant, hostile attack on the Digital Dealer Conference, using DD 10 and the Digital Dealer name/brand and marketing and promotion to build their own event. Make no mistake, these are NOT complimentary events. This bootcamp appears to be a mini-Digital Dealer conference...without an 80-company exhibit hall and hundreds of dealership attendees to network with. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but we take these attacks very seriously.There are 365 days in a year...is it a coincidence that this event is the three days immediately prior to Digital Dealer...and in the same city?

We need to be clear that there is no affiliation between the two events, and that includes NOT having speakers at DD10 who speak at at Pasch's event. If you intend to speak at Pasch's event, please inform us so we can remove you from consideration. No hard feelings, and there's always next fall. It is not our intention to put speakers and potential speakers in the middle of this. We announced the dates of DD10 with 51 other weeks of the year for others to hold their events. But without even mentioning to us, someone decided to bandwagon on DD10. Digital Dealer needs to separate itself from others' events that are intentionally scheduled before or after and in the same city as Digital Dealer. We simply cannot allow for dealers and vendors to mistakenly believe there is any connection between Digital Dealer and other events that piggyback on it. We hope you understand.
If you have already been selected to speak at DD 10 and you have told Pasch you would speak at his event, please contact Michael Roscoe asap at mroscoe@Dealer-Communications.com. There is more you should know before deciding at which event you would most benefit from presenting. But at this point, you most likely understand why we can't have DD speakers at both.

Also, early next week we will be announcing Digital Dealer Academy, the OFFICIAL bootcamp of the 10th Digital Dealer Conference & Exposition. This event will take place the two days before the Digital Dealer Conference, April 17th and 18th, and will be held at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort, the same venue as DD10. We have meeting space for 200 dealership attendees and rooms reserved for 200 dealership attendees at the same rate as DD 10. Attendees of both Digital Dealer Academy and DD10 can check in once attend both and receive a $200 discount on DDA. Why would they go anywhere else?

Thank you, and please don't forget to contact Michael Roscoe if you would rather speak at Pasch's event.

Liz Birch
In-House Graphics, Inc.
412-548-3954
Design • Illustration • Website"


One aspect of "Effective People" is in operating from an abundance mentality, which this statement is in direct opposition with. Liz did make one correct statement, "There are 365 days in a year..." and as a dealer, I appreciate that Brian Pasch would schedule his event in conjunction with an already existing one. I was committing even more of my staff to attending bootcamp and Digital Dealer 10 this year and it is a tremendous savings not to have to book additional flights and accommodations and traveling expense. Apparently, Digital Dealer is not interested in saving money for dealers or making it convenient for us to leave our stores for educational advancement.
Perhaps Digital Dealer didn't realize that we lost nearly half of the dealer body in the economic collapse and that many of us have cut "fringe" expenses like travel and conferences as well as staff in some cases. Perhaps Digital Dealer thinks that we don't really work for a living and can just jet set around the country on any whim to attend events and seminars all year since there are "365 Days" in it. Or maybe they just didn't get the memo that Car Dealers and their staff work 72 hour work weeks, not 40 hour ones...
This is not a new MO for Digital Dealer either, but I have kept quiet as it has never directly effected me before. But enough is enough. They have banned key industry educators from speaking at and even attending their events and this level of thinking must be avoided at all costs. As car dealers we often cling to bad mindsets built on old habits. We cannot afford to subscribe to the teachings of more bad leadership under the guise of "new" technology.
NADA has it's place. And while we're on the subject, they made a quantum leap forward this year in the quality of speakers and events. I'm ok with purple inflatable gorillas and car washes. They all have their place. And when I go to a carnival I expect to see a bearded lady. But you know what, I don't REALLY need to attend ANOTHER event! Especially when it is notorious for the 5 minute tease of education followed by the 2 hour pitch.
I really owe Liz and Mike Roscoe thanks! They saved my company 20 nights stay at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort! This year Marlboro Nissan is sending 4 employee's to Brian Pasch's bootcamp. I'm really glad this happened before I booked my trip!
My recommendation is simple. If you can't get enough of the mass e-mails trying to sell you something, if you can't get enough random phone calls in the middle of a staff meeting trying to sell you another widget, then digital dealer is for you. We all need to start some where and Digital Dealer is a great event for very entry level information and a plethora of stuff to buy.
If you are interested in learning how to empower your own staff and have a great opportunity to network with the best known car dealers in the country and get real world advice from the best industry leaders in a more hands on environment, I would recommend Brian Pasch's bootcamp.

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Tags: 10, bootcamp, brian, dealer, digital, pasch, seo

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Comment by Philip Zelinger on February 22, 2011 at 8:32am

Rather than waste your time searching for the reply that I am taking credit for -- here it is:

"My real point is that the unique dynamic of the viral component of the WWW keeps the argument going well past the close and I often advise my dealers and online friends to take a heated argument off line and re-surface with the solution vs. perpetuating the problem."

Comment by Philip Zelinger on February 22, 2011 at 8:30am

I find it interesting to note that great minds think alike!  If you review my replies you will note that I suggested that the best process to resolve this disagreement amongst friends would be to take this conversation of to the side of the road vs. on the Internet Super Highway.

No cash prize or recognition for my shared observation is warranted or expected.  I'm just sayin-- what are friends for! 

Comment by Timothy Martell on February 22, 2011 at 8:11am
See the final update on "The Situation"!
Comment by Layton Judd on February 19, 2011 at 7:18pm

Digital Dealer is the gold standard of how technology conferences should be run in this industry.  There are others but nothing brings vendors and dealer operators together like the digital dealer franchise.  As a vendor I support Mike Roscoe and what he is doing for our industry and I know that there will be many great things happening at the upcoming DD conference.  Besides my booth of course, the expertise of talent speaking at the conference is by far the best conference in our industry.  DD is a must attend event.

 

  

Comment by Philip Zelinger on February 18, 2011 at 11:38am

Ok, now the conversation is turning from the destructive to the productive which is the end result that should be our shared goal!  I hope that the next "update" will reflect a dialogue between Mike and Brian stating that they have resolved their issues and they have come to some terms that would allow them to monetize both of their events with a better R.O.I. for them and their participants!

 

After all, what are friends for!

Comment by Timothy Martell on February 18, 2011 at 11:00am
Please see the update to this post!
Comment by Keith Shetterly on February 18, 2011 at 10:52am
Stan, you have a new name:  Threadkilla!  :)
Comment by Stan Bradbury on February 18, 2011 at 9:53am
Comment by Timothy Martell on February 18, 2011 at 9:46am

I am suggesting other people of like mind to my own do so... possibly for the same reason.

 

For the record Steve, 8 of my 19 years of retail experience was outside the family business. ;)

 

Also, Steve, as a patriot, I thank you for your service to our great nation!

 

Ralph! Parasitic!? NO!!!! Symbiotic! Parasites take something away from their host. Sybiosis occurs when two benefit each other... Bootcamp doesn't take away, it adds value. It is a shame that this has happened because it COULD have been a HUGE win-win.

Comment by Timothy Martell on February 18, 2011 at 9:46am

The feelings are mutual and for the record, I never thought you were an asshole! 

 

I don't know that I am going for a "kindler gentler Tim" but I always seek to improve myself. For how can I hope to lead and mentor others if I can not recognize the need for and continually improve myself?

 

We do disagree and disagreement and debate is healthy. From your last post I again disagree and question your understanding of the 7 habits and what win-win is really all about. Knowing the buzzwords and actually understanding and actualizing them are vastly different.

 

I believe what Brian has done IS in keeping with win-win. Having a conference that is timed in alignment with another conference for the reason of bringing MORE value IS Win-Win! It's the real world exemplification of win-win. Those dealers that want EVEN MORE can come out early and attend both, just like I did at NADA this year.

 

What Digital Dealer has done is submit an ultimatum. Forcing choice... WHICH IS THE REAL WORLD EXEMPLIFICATION OF WIN-LOSE! Brian's conference does not suggest that dealers choose to attend his and NOT DD10. Yet that is precisely what DD is doing by now announcing the launch of their own bootcamp as a "counter-measure". That is small minded, win-lose, reactionary, fear centered thinking. We can debate wether you think that is important or not, but I question the sanity of anyone who would argue that reality.

 

That is not to say that there will not still be value for those who attend DD10. That isn't to say you can't get good results from a product offered by a company who's principles are not in alignment of my own. I offer a reason why NOT to attend and support DD. I choose not to support companies who operate in the way that Digital Dealer has chosen. I am suggesting ot

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