Automotive Digital Marketing

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ADP to Acquire
The Cobalt Group
Hoffman Estates, Ill., Friday, July 9, 2010
The Dealer Services Group of Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADP) today announced that it has entered a definitive agreement to acquire The Cobalt Group. The transaction is subject to normal regulatory review and is expected to close in the 3rd quarter of Calendar Year 2010.

With this acquisition, ADP will be positioned to deliver an improved and enhanced model for automotive retailing based on a set of digital marketing solutions that will help transform how vehicles are marketed, sold and managed throughout the entire customer lifecycle.

ADP’s Digital Marketing Group will expand its suite to include BZ Results, Cobalt and Dealix. This combining of strengths will benefit three stakeholders in the industry: consumers, manufacturers and dealers.

More than 80% of automotive shoppers use the Internet in their buying process, yet many of them still find the experience confusing and inconsistent. Often, local and regional dealership marketing is not aligned with manufacturer-specific marketing. By acquiring Cobalt, ADP will be able to help improve the consumer experience by bringing together the most innovative, scalable solutions in automotive digital marketing and help deliver a more seamless experience. Marketing messages and offers could be coordinated, so that whether consumers enter the market in response to a manufacturer’s or dealer’s marketing efforts, begin their purchase process online, or choose to visit their dealership onsite, it could lead to a more consistent and streamlined experience.

Manufacturers already benefiting from alignment of national, regional and dealer advertising through
Cobalt will now have the opportunity to improve
their marketing results with greater levels of brand
consistency, visibility and measurable performance.
Now, with the expanded ADP Digital Marketing group, manufacturers can track the rest of the sales process
– across all three tiers of advertising – to better
understand return on marketing investment.

Plus, in addition to pursuing closed-loop reporting,
ADP and Cobalt can look to utilize ADP’s global footprint of over 90 countries to bring digital
marketing to manufacturers and dealer
networks all over the world.

Regardless of dealership size, franchise, or number of locations,
dealers will have a comprehensive digital marketing solution.

With the ability to better align
efforts with their
manufacturer to help increase marketing efficiency
and effectiveness plus unify reporting, automobile
dealers will be able to improve the sales process
and help drive more profit to the bottom line.

“For over 15 years, Cobalt's mission has been to enable OEMs and
dealers to work together to use the Internet to influence prospects as
they move from product awareness to purchase and provide more
timely services to existing owners. By combining our offerings with
ADP, we will be even better positioned to carry this mission forward,”
-- John Holt, Chairman and CEO of Cobalt

“Cobalt and ADP Dealer Services share a client-centric approach,
and Cobalt will only strengthen ADP Dealer Services’ global vision
to bring our clients and their customers together for life, wherever
they are, by delivering an exceptional client experience,”

-- Steve Anenen, President of ADP Dealer Services

Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADP), with nearly $9 billion in revenues and about 570,000 clients, is one of the world's largest providers
of business outsourcing solutions. Leveraging 60 years of experience,
ADP offers a wide range of HR, payroll, tax and benefits administration
solutions from a single source. ADP's easy-to-use, cost-effective solutions
for employers provide superior value to companies of all types and sizes.
ADP is also a leading provider of integrated computing solutions to auto,
truck, motorcycle, marine, recreational, and heavy equipment vehicle
dealers throughout the world.

For more information about ADP, contact us at 800.225.5237
or visit the company's website at

ADP, Inc.

Dealer Services

1950 Hassell Road

Hoffman Estates, IL 60169-6308

Media Contact

Andy Tippet

ADP Dealer Services


Views: 521

Tags: ADP, ADP Dealer Services, Acquires, The Cobalt Group


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Comment by Glenn Pasch on July 10, 2010 at 6:12pm
Congratulations Ralph and ADP.

Comment by Jason Walter on July 10, 2010 at 2:59pm
@Jason- I do hope we get to lose the Cobalt sites in favor for our BZ sites...:-)
Comment by Philip Zelinger on July 9, 2010 at 11:01am
Your heaart -- and head -- have always been in the right place! Frankly, I see this as an opportunity for Cobalt to listen and learn from you from the inside out since they may not have heard you when you were on the outside facing in. This is yet another example of the formula that 2+2 can = 5 if you add the right two!
Comment by Ralph Paglia on July 9, 2010 at 10:42am
@Phil - I never said I was always right, nor have I ever claimed to be completely free from "foot-in-mouth" disease for more than any 12 month stretch at a time. But, you KNOW my heart is in the right place!
Comment by Philip Zelinger on July 9, 2010 at 10:33am
Congratulation Ralph -- I love having rich friends! (Aren't you gald that you NEVER said anything bad about Cobalt on ADM!)
Comment by Eddie Coleman on July 9, 2010 at 9:20am
WOW!!! Gordon Gecko would be proud!
Comment by Keith Shetterly on July 9, 2010 at 9:01am
@Ralph: Let me say it this way . . . CONGRATULATIONS TO ADP AND COBALT! And to you. :)
Comment by Ralph Paglia on July 9, 2010 at 8:59am
@Keith - I'm a team player and despite anything I have said on the competitive battlefield in the past, now that Cobalt is becoming part of the ADP Digital Marketing Team, I will embrace our mission objectives and work towards success for the dealers and car companies we serve.

When the dust settles, this will be good for all involved, especially the dealers we serve. I am very excited and proud of the ADP leadership team in having the vision and the wherewithal to accomplish this major acquisition.

Comment by Jason Mickelson on July 9, 2010 at 8:36am
This will be interesting to see how it all plays out. Does this mean that GM dealers will not only have to use Cobalt for their website, will we also be forced to use ADP for our contact management solutions in order to receive leads? Hopefully nothing changes out of this.
Comment by Brian Pasch on July 9, 2010 at 7:59am
Best wishes Ralph and the new team.

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