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Dean Evans: Former CMO and Subaru Marketing Chief Takes On LotLinx CEO Role

Dean Evans, former Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for Subaru is new CEO of automotive marketing software company LotLinx. 

Dean Evans Now Runs LotLinx...

Evans, 45, who left Subaru in May, succeeded Jason Knight, who had been running LotLinx since the end of 2012, before the company was launched. Evans says that Knight remains with the company as COO. Evans was quoted in an interview with Automotive News that LotLinx approached him a few months ago while he was still serving as CMO at Subaru.

“It’s really exciting to go from a corporate job to a smaller company,” Evans said. “I’ve been assessing the business model, the go-to-market plan and the new growth strategy.”

It wasn't that long ago when Dean Evans, then Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Subaru of America, Inc. turned over the keys to the Subaru "Drive Performance" Magazine accessorized WRX to Dr. Joel R. Anstrom of Penn State University. Since then, Dr. Anstrom has utilized the car in the Penn State’s Graduate Automotive Technology Education (GATE) Program.

Above Photo: On hand to turn over the Drive Performance Magazine Subaru WRX to Penn State were Subaru CMO Dean Evans (left) and Penn State GATE Program personnel Dr. Joel R. Anstrom (center) and graduate student Max Ripepi (right).

LotLinx was launched last October (2013) to provide car dealers with an inventory marketing platform that directly links online car shoppers from search engines and automotive research sites to dealership website Vehicle Detail Pages (VDP). This strategy and its implementation turns the dealer into a lead provider while helping customers avoid becoming a "third party lead" such as those sent to dealers by and

The video from LotLinx that I embedded below will help dealers and automotive marketing professionals better understand the new company's value proposition... And, watching this clip may even shed some light on why Dean Evans would leave his CMO position at Subaru to take on the arduous task of guiding yet another marketing technology start-up to success in the auto industry...

LotLinx Reality Check - Their Website States:

“We are a company built and run by Automotive Industry leaders.”

Which may be one of many reasons why Dean Evans was recruited to replace Jason Knight, whose primary experience before LotLinx was based in the consumer products, and food and beverage industries according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Knight had been CEO of HMR Foods Inc. and COO of Mozzarella Fresca Inc.

Dean Evans’ Resume Features Both Automotive and Technology Industry Experience

Evans started his career in Boulder, Colo., as a Pontiac dealership salesman in 1990. He became a field representative for Chrysler from 1991 to 1996, before managing a dealership in San Francisco from 1996 to 1998.

He began working at technology start-ups in 1998, left Nextag to go to Autofusion in 2000. During the bubble implosion of 2001, when Autofusion ran out of money, Evans rejoined the auto industry as digital marketing manager for Land Rover’s U.S. operations.

Starting in 2003, Evans began working for Dealix, which was then owned by Cobalt.

When he was fired from Dealix by John Holt, CEO of The Cobalt Group, Dean went on to accept the CMO position at Dean's work as CMO at helped propel the enormous growth of the company's dealer website market share. After over 5 years at Dean Evans left to take the chief marketing officer spot at Subaru Of America (SOA) in September 2011.

As chief marketing officer, Evans implemented an increased focus on basic digital marketing strategies which had been lacking at Subaru, such as Google paid search ads. He also created "Competitive Conquest" search advertising campaigns that were designed to redirect car buying consumer traffic searching for Subaru's competitors to SOA and Subaru dealer websites... Which sounds to me a lot like the strategy that LotLinx deploys, sort of.

As LotLinx CEO, Evans will oversee strategic direction, customer relations and the company’s Vehicle Display Network.

“LotLinx is the first disruptive technology marketing product that I have seen in the last five years that delivers such a compelling competitive advantage to dealers,” Evans said in a statement. “The metrics prove that VDP advertising should be prioritized ahead of paid search, third-party lead buys and targeted display spends because it presents consumers who are lower funnel at a lower cost.”

During his Automotive News interview, Dean Evans stated that while he hopes to eventually return to automotive retail, he see the technology that LotLinx is developing as being vital to auto industry progress. Because of the disruptive nature that Evans sees in the LotLinx approach, he wanted to seize the opportunity to participate in the automotive marketing evolution that LotLinx will accelerate.

“When I saw this emerging technology coming up … it was something retail really needed,” Evans said. “I wanted to go back to the technology side and go though another wave of evolution.”

I have personally known and dealt with Dean Evans since his days at and Dealix, where he impressed me with his willingness and ability to take effective action. Since those days we went on to compete with each other, with me serving at ADP Dealer Services while Dean was at Regardless of the heated nature of our two company's competition for OEM and dealer business, Dean and I were always willing to call and speak with each other to discuss issues involving our teams and continue the good natured relationship that had been established prior to our roles at ADP and

It is exciting to see an automotive professional as capable as Dean Evans has proven himself to be, join a tech startup such as LotLinx. I wish Dean Evans all the success he can handle in his new role at LotLinx... and I would also like to congratulate LotLinx for their success in convincing Dean Evans to take on the challenging role of CEO at a technology start-up in the car business.  


Dean Evans can be contacted at the LotLinx corporate offices by calling (510) 858-0197 or by email t The LotLinx team is listed below, as shown on their website




MARK BOYD; DIRECTOR - Founder Chrome Data, Dealiz, Cargigi 


PAUL JOHNSTON; DIRECTOR - Former CEO, Kelley Blue Book

JIM RIESENBACH; DIRECTOR - Former GM, AOL, Search, CEO Autobytel









MICAH BIRKHOLZ at 1:16Digital Media
  • Stillwater, MN
  • 1:16 Digital Media

Views: 726

Tags:, Dealix, Dean Evans, Deep Links, Inventory Marketing, Link Marketing, Links, LotLinx, Subaru, VDP, More…Vehicle Detail Page


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Comment by Alexander Lau on July 14, 2014 at 7:22am

@Ralph, super! I like the concept. Any tool that helps with quality backlinks and offers is great. However, that doesn't mean it will not have competition or current platform that do much of the same.


Comment by Ralph Paglia on July 11, 2014 at 10:14pm

Alexander, and just think about this... LotLinx didn't ask me to write or post anything, nor have they ever paid ADM, AMP or myself a dime in sponsorship or advertising fees. I was only trying to show the company that an old friend just assumed leadership of in the best light possible because I like what they do for dealers and believe they have a powerful bundle of technology and services. In my opinion, you will post negative comments and derogatory statements about anyone other than the company you work for.  At least LotLinx impressed me enough to post the article above without compensation or request.

Comment by Alexander Lau on July 11, 2014 at 6:36am

@Tyson, there will be when we finish our deep linking / user preference (which rank) project. Ha ha!

Comment by Alexander Lau on July 11, 2014 at 6:35am

@David Metter, easily, because that's what this place is, did you not see the long list of their services and staff, LOL!? Disruptive technology, blah, blah, blah...

Plus, this place is full of cry babies. If the article writer doesn't like your comments, they turn into a content Nazi and delete your comments, i.e Mark Frost. 

Comment by Ralph Paglia on July 10, 2014 at 7:33am

David Metter - Well said...Thank you!

Comment by David Metter on July 10, 2014 at 5:34am
How did an announcement about one of our industry leaders turn into an infomercial for other products and services :). Come on gang..can we take a minute and just congratulate someone for trying to make rain?

I will start it. Congratulations Dean. We saw what you did with Dealix,, and Subaru. I look forward to similar changes at LotLinx. By the way, I love the line above about John Holt (not the good John Holt that is with LotLinx) firing you. I see how that's impacted you :).
Comment by Carl Maeda on July 10, 2014 at 1:01am

Sure, I'll be sure to do that.  I'm pretty sure we will try it but we have a little bit of software development to do first.


Comment by Tyson Madliger on July 10, 2014 at 12:57am

Sounds like a valid theory to me, Carl. The visitors that come through LotLinx are lower-funnel than most other traffic, so your "Test Drive" and "Buy Now" concepts are intriguing. Please reach out to JD Rucker if you start the testing. We'd love to help out and see if it works.

Comment by Carl Maeda on July 10, 2014 at 12:47am

Hi Tyson, my data is limited.  We only have a little over a month of data so that makes sense.

The programmer and competitive side of me wants to take a product like LotLinx and optimize its' performance by AB testing the VDP pages.  I think LotLinx may drive people in a different mindset than those that are searching on the dealer websites so having a separate set of VDP pages just for LotLinx may make sense.  Its' just a theory right now.

Comment by Tyson Madliger on July 10, 2014 at 12:39am

Alex - that's actually the old logo. The new one is clearner.

Manny and Alex - there's no competition. Dealers should be getting their own leads by marketing their websites, first, as your companis and our company do for clients. That doesn't mean that shouldn't then go after traffic from websites that people search on like AOL Autos and the like, the places where no amount of SEO can pull in the traffic. We believe dealers should have their cake and eat it, too.

Carl - we've seen that dealers who have their websites in great working order definitely do better with LotLinx than those who are "website challenged." The volume will come. It can take a month or two to get the right attack radius. With your websites, I would imagine that they'll convert better than most.

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