Professional Community for Automotive Marketers, Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
In the year 2000, I said, "I guess you guys aren't ready for that yet." to the dealership I was leaving.
I was talking about the Internet.
Marty had the right song for the time. But he had cultural changes that he hadn't anticipated.
Now we face a change so much more profound than the Internet. The Internet affected almost every industry and business on the planet. It was a technological change that had cultural implications. We all had to adjust.
But now we face a true cultural change, partly based on technology, but also based on cultural changes that have affected technology and its uses.
The Internet produced Social Media, Reputation Management, Transparency, Mobile Connection, Always ON, Always Connected, Wearable Computers, and on and on.
So you think you finally have this Internet thing down. You have an Internet department or BDC that answers leads. You have hired companies to do SEO and SEM even though you don't really understand them. You EVEN have a company that takes care of your Social Media and Reputation Management EVEN though you think they are useless and have no ROI but have been told you need them.
You are even talking about targeted marketing and BIG DATA! My, my, my... You've covered all your bases...
Because until you understand that these things are all in their infancy and are leading to cultural changes so profound that in 2080, people will be regarding us as having lived in the 18th century prior to mass production.
The technology and the culture of today is demanding of three things and three things only. Those three things are VALUE, CREATIVITY, and CUSTOMER SERVICE.
The ability to offer those has become critical not only to our industry but to all. In fact, we are demanding them of our vendors as well.
These are prerequisites but no guarantees for success. But when I look around at many dealers, I have to say, as Marty McFly did:
"I guess you guys aren't ready for that yet."
Time to look beyond next week's profit and begin thinking of next year and the years beyond. Are the attitudes and processes at your store in synch with the technologies you are using?
Written by Tom Gorham
Editor, From The Trenches