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AdAgencyOnline.Net Directs Automotive Advertising Agencies To Social Networking vs. Conventional Media

Philip Zelinger, the President of Ad Agency Online, L.L.C., (AAOL), and host of the automotive advertising resource / networking portal http://AdAgencyOnline.Net , instructed his affiliated automotive advertising agencies to shift their focus from conventional automotive advertising media to social networking based marketing channels. Philip announced his organization’s decision to downsize their highly profitable radio, T.V. and print production divisions along with their conventional broadcast media placement services on his blog talk radio show – Lunch With Phil Discussing Automotive Advertising – that aired as an encore presentation today, Monday November 30th 2009 on the site’s blog talk radio station, WAAOL, All Automotive Advertising News All The Time.

Philip developed AAOL as an online communication / distribution system for a national network of independent automotive advertising agencies, production partners and select vendors that use the proprietary operating system to leverage their resources for their auto dealer clients. AAOL was ahead of the curve when they shifted their focus from radio, T.V. and print media to Internet based digital marketing and the same foresight is being applied with Philip’s recent announcement that social networking will be their marketing platform for the future.

Philip explained his position to his online audience of automotive advertising agencies and automotive advertising insiders as follows; “The Internet already attracts 93% of today’s auto shoppers. The consumer’s reliance on social networking sites to provide information sourced from “trusted friends” vs. an auto dealer or their automotive advertising agency has already been established. People have always liked to do business with people that they like and relationship based selling is not new. What is new is the ability for consumers to bypass an auto dealer’s website or online marketing message when purchasing a new or used vehicle in favor of a trusted third party social networking community where likeminded auto shoppers are able to share their shopping experience before, during and after their sale / purchase. Technology has always paved the road for automotive advertising agencies to reach their targeted audience however human nature has always been the driving force and the Internet Super Highway isn’t any different.”

“In today’s shrinking auto industry automotive advertising agencies must forego their own interests and short term profits realized by their in-house production and conventional media profit centers in favor of providing the maximum R.O.I. for their auto dealer client’s automotive advertising dollars. Auto dealers are demanding more for less from their automotive advertising agencies based on shrinking budgets and social networking sites are technically free. Of course the investment has shifted from the auto dealer’s money to the automotive advertising agencies time and effort however, a properly focused automotive advertising agency can accept their new areas of responsibility as a way to improve the R.O.I. on their retainer and provide job security at a time when auto dealers are looking to cut costs which might include their agency fees.”

Several automotive advertising vendors were discussed during the blog talk radio show along with some best practices in a problem / solution format. AdAgencyOnline.Net is recognized as “The One Stop Site For All Of Your Automotive Advertising Needs” and a number of preferred automotive advertising vendors were referenced which integrate principles of social networking into their applications. Specifically, FirstLook and their Customer Optimization marketing platform and SiSTeR Technologies Video CarLot - which provides enhanced relevancy with vehicle information through their automated video production platform and distribution process - were suggested to the online audience anxious to learn how they can use social networking to sell and service more vehicles.

About Philip Zelinger

Philip Zelinger is the President of Ad Agency Online, LLC and founder of AdAgencyOnline.Net. He invested 25 years as a General Manager and Dealer Principal followed by his last ten years in the automotive advertising industry learning from the teams that he built so he can now presume to teach on forums like AdAgencyOnline.Net. His role as a “Dealer Coach” is enhanced by his hosting a nationally recognized auto industry social networking portal and blog talk radio station – WAAOL, All Automotive Advertising News All The Time. As the author of two books on the auto industry, including “How To Sell A Car – a Career Guide to The Automobile Industry,” he is a recognized authority on market trends and developing technologies with the responsibility of selecting key vendors and applications for his dealer clients as well as forming strategic partnerships for his vendor clients to leverage their shared resources to help them bring their products and services to market.

About AdAgencyOnline.Net and Ad Agency Online, L.L.C.

AdAgencyOnline.Net reviews automotive advertising vendors and new technologies on several blog talk radio shows in addition to the Lunch With Phil Discussing Automotive Advertising. Other shows include “Lunch With Ralph Discussing Automotive Advertising” and “Automotive Advertising Experts.” The shows attract automotive advertising agencies, auto dealers, auto industry vendors and O.E.M. representatives that listen to WAAOL to find vendors, applications and technologies to maximize the R.O.I. for their automotive advertising dollars.

AAOL is a national network of independent affiliated automotive advertising agencies linked by an online communication / distribution system developed by Philip Zelinger. The proprietary operating system that powers AAOL was designed to reduce fixed and semi-variable expenses for full service automotive advertising agencies. The developing technologies that enhanced the performance of the independent automotive advertising agencies linked by AAOL has served as the role model for the solutions suggested on AdAgencyOnline.Net and represented by AAOL to their affiliated automotive advertising agencies when serving their auto dealer clients.

Ad Agency Online L.L.C is focused on discovering and representing new automotive advertising vendors not yet recognized by the mainstream automotive advertising industry. Recent automotive advertising vendors represented by AAOL include; Argistics - AutoTransaXion, EveryCarListed.Com, DealMaker.Com, CityTwist.Com, Bulldog Marketing Technologies, LeadConverter, Gumiyo, Kihon Media, CarFolks.Com, Ai Dealer, NeoSynergy, Laser Stream Video and Winked-In.Com; to name a few.

Previous guests interviewed on WAAOL include a growing number of automotive advertising experts. Past guests included, Clayton Stanfield from EBay Motors, Mark Boyd and Mark Dubis from CarFolks.Com, Jared Hamilton from DrivingSales.Com, Dale Pollak from vAuto, David Wassmann from NeoSynergy, Jerry Daniels from Automotive Broadcasting Network, (ABN), Terry Alling from Kihon Media, David Marod from LeadConverter, Brian Ferris and Spencer Sterling from DealMaker.Com, Mike Parsons from Laser Stream Video, Brian Hoecht from Ai Dealer, Ralph Paglia from ADP and host to the auto industry social networking community ADM, Len Critcher from, Tim Zierden from AAX, Jim Ziegler, motivational speaker and consultant to the auto industry, Jeff Kershner, ecommerce director for The Mile One Automotive Group and host of the auto industry social networking forum DealerRefresh.Com, Jeff Raab from the Detroit Trading Company, (DTX), Mike DeCecco from Dealer.Com, Ken Schwartz from CityTwist, Michael R. Spadafore from R. L. Polk & Co., Kevin Schwartz and Rick Rochon from AdSymetrix, Bruce Cerbone from Argistics, Scott Davis from Bull Dog Marketing Technologies, Matt Watson and Douglas Kinney from VinSolutions, Hal Howard and Don Pollock from New Wave Automotive, LLC, (NWA), Michael T. Fay from Colliers Abood Wood-Fay Real Estate and their C.A.R.S. division, Matt Brown and Zack Powell from TheDealerDashBoard.Com, Mark Burack from Liquid Motors, Pat Ryan, Jr. from FirstLook, Al Cantarella from, Michael Roscoe and Cliff banks from Dealer Communications and Steven Munyan from HireTheWinners.Com.

For more information on Philip Zelinger, Ad Agency Online, L.L.C., the use of social networking to sell or service more new and used vehicles or any of the preferred automotive advertising vendors previously reviewed on WAAOL auto dealers and automotive advertising agencies should contact Philip through AdAgencyOnline.Net. Automotive advertising vendors, automotive advertising agencies and auto dealers that would like to be considered as a “preferred automotive advertising vendor” on AdAgencyOnline.Net and/or to hire/join Ad Agency Online, L.L.C. to represent them can contact Philip Zelinger at, call him at 888-796-2228 or visit AdAgencyOnline.Net at To quote Philip Zelinger, “Help is only a click away!” ###

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Comment by Philip Zelinger on December 11, 2009 at 12:00pm
Hi Jack,

I trust that I have addressed your original concern that I was suggesting that social networking should replace conventional and digital marketing vs. my true intent which was to simply add it to the media mix. Frankly, the impetus for my post - as discussed in my blog talk radio show which is an open business meeting for my affiliated automotive advertising agencies - was to advise my affiliates of their need expand their services to their clients to include social networking as a growing marketing platform. I wished to point out that their present business model was perhaps motivated by their self serving interests to retain their internal profits on the production and media placement fees that they include in their retainers. I was trying to get them to expand their value added to their clients since social networking has high labor costs and their resources should compliment their dealers to preserve their own agency R.O.I. evaluations by their clients.

Based on your astute observations on the role of social networking as it was, and for the limited present as it is, I am curious to get your insights as to how I envision it will be given the new role of C2C in developing socially based brand positioning for auto dealers. Specificaly, the new ability to quantify results sourced back to social network generated sales and the opportunity to embedd customer comment initiators tied to the social networking communities from within an auto dealers vehicle postings and conventional digital marketing efforts as offered by several of my vendor client's applications being introduced at the 2010 NADA Convention.

Please review the following link on an example of an R.O.I. tool currently available and contact me at your convenience to discuss some of the solutions that I represent as I now value your opinion and I am anxious to resource your relationship with Google.

After all, what are friends for!
Comment by Philip Zelinger on December 11, 2009 at 7:30am
Ahmen Jack!

It is rare that I find a reply as intelligently phrased and positioned as yours and I value the obvious thought and time that you placed in it. I will reply with a reminder though that I operate a national organization of affiliated full service automotive advertising agencies with over 340 auto dealer clients within our network that we still provide radio, TV and print production service and placement for! My media partner, JL Media places over $500,000,000 in conventional broadcast media and I certainly didn't mean to suggest that we throw the baby out with the bathwater - as you may have summised.

My shift to "prioritize" social networking as a direction for future opportunities using currently developing technologies and shifts in Google analytics and consumer preference is based on my role within my community of friends and clients which is to platform solutions that may not yet appear in Automotive News or mainsteam advertising venues. I have always professed the need for diversification and not putting all of our eggs into any one basket - including social networking - so we agree more than your first reply or my response may suggest.

For example, please read the following articles regarding the shift to social networking that quoted the same post that you replied to and - when placed in the context of their article - you may recognize that I wasn't suggesting an all or nothing at all approach regarding new ways to monetize social networking:

Also, as a side note, I sent you a friend request since I believe that you have a lot to teach and I have a lot to learn to support my presumption to teach me and mine so please accept it and open a dialogue to see how we can help each other further the interests of our clients moving forward.

After all, what are friends for!

PS: I went to your home page on ADM and I tried calling you and your number didn't answer? Also, I didn't see any email or other contact info and looking up a last name in Atlanta directory of "m" is tough! LOL! You may want to personalize your home page on ADM to invite additional contacts from people on ADM that know more than both of us - like Ralph Paglia for example! Just a thought.

Comment by jack m on December 11, 2009 at 7:07am
Phil, thanks for helping me with my point. Videos like socialnomics are part of the same genre that got us into the spectacularly unsuccessful display advertising business. They're produced by people who look at the trends in media consumption and extrapolate to the conclusion that they've found a better place to advertise. On the surface, new platforms make sense. They're where the people are. But in effect, it generates a lot of chatter, a lot of agency presentations, a lot of experimentation, and not much change in market share. There are practical reasons for the lack of expected change, mainly 1) the reach of various new media attainable by specific local businesses and 2) the difficulty that these media users have had engaging the local communities that are most likely to be their customers. There's also a cultural disconnect - online social isn't too different than offline social: commercialism only has a place when its relevant or interesting enough to share with friends/colleagues, which isn't all that often.

You may well find that social media, when organized around automotive interests, can help the strongest dealers/service cos on the margins. Every little bit helps. And given the low cost of most digital strategies, it makes sense to do as much of everything to capture the attention and interest of active buyers.

But to suggest that because social media use is growing and pervasive, then we should put ALL of eggs in this basket (as you suggest in your press release) is ultimately a disservice to the automotive dealer community. When socnet solutions exist that do the following, I'll be happy to recant:

- Address meaningfully large audiences at the local level.
- Allow the marketing/conversations to take place WHEN we need them to take place.
- Allow local dealers to decouple their brands from conversations on specific vehicle models, which are dealer-agnostic.
- Provide a platform for correcting the inaccuracies of consumer perceptions and moving beyond the zealots with both benign and malicious intent.
- Get the fat part of the bell curve engaged in dealer-centric conversations - something you only find on the farthest tails of that curve, if at all, today.

I do agree that we need to do things differently than we've done them for the last 50 years or so. I also agree that social media should play a part. But instead of thinking black or white, A or B, I'd suggest to your readers that they consider incremental approaches and ways of actually using the old and new complimentarily: such as changing our current ads from over-caffinated dealathons into something more thoughtful and relevant to the consumer's lifecycle relationship with the dealer. You can solve this today (and address all of the social media gaps outlined above) by using large-reach local media to direct consumers to YOUR conversation, either by basing your ads on the conversations themselves or by simply advertising that these conversations now exist and there's room for another voice - join it today.

I'll leave with this: those of use who spend a lot of time in the digital echo chamber need to be very careful to separate what we want to happen, what we think should happen, what we need to happen, from what will likely happen in a time frame and in a magnitude that will help our respective clients navigate very difficult times. They call it the bleeding edge for a reason.

Comment by Al Cantarella on December 10, 2009 at 9:19pm
Unfortunately we are living in chaotic times in the car business, dealers are so use to doing the same things that they have done for years they are resistant to change. I think the definition of insanity would suffice as the reason they are not open to new things. To do what they have been doing for years makes it the right way to go in these troubled times and they have the past to redeem them. Because they survived!

The market is changing, the buyers are changing and the manufacturers have definitely changed. The dealers must change also. Gm & Chrysler can field a team of winners however the public perceives government & union ownership as a negative. So the public is leaning towards Ford and those non tarp recipients.

And now Social Marketing? What’s that the dealer would say. You want me as a dealer to put my business up on a site where all the compliments and heat cases can become conversation before I have my coffee in the morning?? It could ruin the business. However if you’re a concerned dealer and value your CSI why
would it bother you. Customers can be complimentary also and if it’s heat, address it and handle it!

My Space and Facebook are not the threat that Twitter is! With Twitter a customer in 30 seconds and a maximum of 140 characters can make your life miserable quick. Today I received a follower on Twitter it was a NASCAR site, had 14,000+ followers and they were following 13,000+ people. In a matter of seconds you can tell 14,000 people what you think even if it is wrong.

I have been working myself to death to get dealers to enroll in our platform to open up their websites to the public with proactive chat with a dedicated internet center to back up their staff, open the dealership 24/7 with many more features and language translation in 14 different languages. And to sell more vehicles with great customer service.

The reactions are priceless, and when I say priceless if they don’t do it the competition will and then it becomes priceless!

If dealers are not willing to get into the virtual market whether it be , , or the future of that dealer is quite uncertain and who knows what’s next!

Al Cantarella
Advertising Technologies
Comment by Philip Zelinger on December 10, 2009 at 1:06pm
Hi Jack,

I understand your skepticism based on what was - and maybe to a certain degree what is - but I focus on what will be and that is the confidence that warranted my taking the agressive posture that I did when advising my dealer clients to follow their customers onto the WWW with the customers driving on the Internet Super Highway! I am fortunate to represent bleeding edge automotive advertising vendors with applications that are able to integrate with social networking sites from the inside out with C2C messaging vs. marketing to social networking sites from the outside in - as you so correctly railed against!

First, please view the below video and read the recent announcement from Google to expand on the platform that I am building my position on and then scroll down and read the details that you are requesting:

Please click on the following vdeo link to view this post before you read any farther:

Now, please read the below post about Google's new focus on Social Networking and SEO:

Google introduces real-time search results 9:34AM, Tuesday 8th December 2009

Google has rolled out a major update to its search engine this morning, bringing real-time search results to the masses and pushing Google further ahead in the race to deliver the most up to date information.

The search giant now immediately indexes content from services such as Twitter, FriendFeed and Facebook, presenting the results on the main search in a constantly updating marquee.

Google will apply its ranking algorithm to real-time results in a similar way to how it ranks its ordinary results, with factors like number of followers and retweets helping to determine whether results will appear on the homepage.

"Try searching for your favourite TV show, sporting event or the latest development on a recent government bill. Whether it's an eyewitness tweet, a breaking news story or a fresh blog post, you can find it on Google right after

it's published on the web," explained Google Fellow Amit Singhal. We had limited success with a number of tests that we conducted, where our own content posted from a number of different Twitter and FriendFeed accounts was not appearing on the results.

Real-time search has been an important problem to solve for the leading search engines, as users have become increasingly reliant on microblogging services such as Twitter to get the latest breaking news.

The arms race for real-time search really picked up pace in October, when Microsoft and Google both announced that they would be working to integrate Twitter's content into their search engines on the same day.

"I would say that real-time search is the natural evolution of universal search," said Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience at Google. However, Mayer added that instant search results had caught Google off guard. "I wish we'd had the foresight to see this," she admitted.

The search giant said that it will be rolling the new feature out to all users over the next few days, but if you can't wait for it to appear, you can access it via Google Trends.

Tim Smalley
Now to answer you question and concern with the detailed solution that prompted me to shift my focus to social networking. Most current solutions impose dealers into social networking sites like a sheep in wolf's clothing - no matter how good their disguise is - so I agree with your assumption, however, customers using the same community to learn about a vehicle or a dealer that they are researching is a growing use of the online social media. My newest vendor client applications allow online shoppers to instantly push their vehicle search to their online community to solicit advice and input from their friends. The pursuant replies and comments are then similarly distributed within the community to other friends with the related shared experiences and opinions. In our solutions, once the dilaogue has matured the collective information is forwarded to the dealer client along with a complete set of analytics and detailed customer profile information on not only the vehicle that they originally asked about but any similar vehicles that they are comparing it to PLUS another list of every vehicle currently posted on the Internet with comparable pricing and product information - all attached as a lead delivered to the originating dealer so that his follow up can be as targeted and individual as needed - for the client, not the dealer!

Other applications linked to this main inventory based third pary website that also link into the social networking communities extend services to include interactive videos on the vehicle plus comparable vehicles selected by the consumer which is completely search flexible by the customer from within the video platform and also links to a customer interaction platform powered by a live two way video link to an "online shopper" that has full access to a complete CRM and DMS that is able to push pull any related information to any of the vehicles wihout having to get any customer information - unless they want to of course!

Auto Dealers know that they need to know more about social networking before they shift their online marketing to it - as do you - so please keep your eyes on my next few posts to see the future of Social Networking as it is applied to sell more cars. My newest vendor client's application is bringing a social networking driven automotive advertising platform to the auto industry at the 2010 NADA Convention in Orlando but I will be offering some "sneak peaks" to my friends on ADM over the next few weeks to allow you to involve in our pilot program.

After all, what are friends for!

Comment by jack m on December 10, 2009 at 11:58am
I usually don't post to articles like this, but this one just was just so over-the-top I could not hold back. Social media and their inherent conversations does not take, nor follow, direction from marketers. To think that you can buy your way into these conversations is lunacy. To think that potential buyers will be talking about your client's interests, in the rare chance that they are discussing automotive commerce, much less your specific nameplate or line, in the first place is simply unfounded wishful thinking or delusion. Find some fan of Mustangs and he's going to be talking about his power, handling, and looks, not the name of the dealer that he bought it from. And if you think that a Facebook ad changes any of this, show me the proof because even the IAB recognizes that our current display technology isn't driving increases in brand awareness or revenue.
So Phil, If you want to say "The consumer’s reliance on social networking sites to provide information sourced from “trusted friends”" as a fact, then show us or reference the supporting data. Better yet, let me know what dealerships you're working with locally so that I can work with the guys across the street, using radio or TV to clean your clock and delivering stronger ROI than I normally would.
Come on people, when will you realize that 99% of what you read on the web is coming from people who have web-centric agendas and little other than quoting what some other wishful thinker said on another blog as proof of performance. Remember the dot com bubble? Are you seeing the widely recognized failure of graphic display advertising that's being cited in marketing journals (even the IAB for christsake) and realizing that this echo chamber is just a hype machine? Give your clients a chance. Let them market their brands, the full line of services that they provide, and get the word out that they have financing programs and a slew of new low-TCO vehicles. If you hide them as irrelevant wallpaper in the hyper-fragmented social media landscape, you might just do what even the 2009 recession couldn't: kill their business.
Comment by Ron Morrison on November 30, 2009 at 10:23pm
Excellent recommendation Phil! You're absolutely right about where the focus should be. Social media is growing to be the medium of choice no differently then newspaper, radio, TV, or the "internet." Primarily because individuals can "crowd source" or leverage "collective intelligence" when making shopping, relationship, and buying decisions. It offers a marketplace where conversations happen rather than shouts. It connects people rather than connecting information.

I'm looking forward to learning more!

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