Automotive Digital Marketing

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One thing I have learned in the automotive Internet world over the past 13 years:

All truth passes through 3 stages.

  • First, it is ridiculed.
  • Second, it is violently opposed.
  • Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

( A quote by Arthur Schopenhauer)


When I first started selling cars via the Internet, most ridiculed it saying, "You can't sell cars over the Internet, that's foolish!"

Then, as more people started buying cars using the Internet, they said, "He's stealing our customers!"

Now they say, "Everyone knows that every customer is an Internet customer."

Since I hate to be part of a crowd that knows everything there is to know about self-evident truths, I've embraced a new "foolish and rediculous" idea - Social Media.  Start the long march!

Views: 91

Tags: Automotive, Internet, Media, Social, sales, truth


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Comment by Tom Gorham on August 28, 2011 at 5:53pm

we CAN SELL CARS by mastering the use of communications within that very same media or at the location where the customers are...

Thank you Ralph!  That says it all...

Comment by Ralph Paglia on August 28, 2011 at 2:44pm

Tom - The day I first started selling cars, February 13, 1981 (Friday), I was told that "You can't sell cars over the phone..." which inspired me to find a way to sell cars over the phone, which i did... By voice phone and fax machine.  When I was told about Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) by a General Dynamics Convair Division engineer, I spent thousands of dollars of my own money to get a new PC and sign up for Compuserve as a charter member in 1986, then proceeded to list my inventory and sell cars using my computer, a modem and the telephone.


In 2007 when skeptics within ADP said "I cannot imagine ever using social media to sell cars..." I went and got seed money from Ford Motor Company and with the help of 10 pilot dealers we proved, as verified by independent auditors from Ogilvy that we could and did sell cars using social media to initiate customer contact.


Today, after 30+ years of selling cars I can attest to the fact that if our prospective customers are congregating or consuming media via a particular channel or media, then we CAN SELL CARS by mastering the use of communications within that very same media or at the location where the customers are... Doh. 

Comment by Tom Gorham on August 27, 2011 at 3:28pm

Thanks Jason and Jae.  I think new ideas are the most promising and the most fun!  Since there are no best practices at the beginning, you are free to be creative and experiment, in order to create those best practices.  And both of you are absolutely correct in your observations.

Change comes, ready or not.  May as well be in the vanguard!

Comment by Jason Manning on August 27, 2011 at 10:26am
Happens at all levels and intellects.  Proof that most are not prepared for change.
Comment by Jae Chang on August 27, 2011 at 7:31am
Tom, it is self evident that 'early adopters' usually reap the rewards of risk.  That only does truly become and maintains as long as they are also willing to adapt to the environment, which ever medium.

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