Automotive Digital Marketing

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Our Connections are a Reflection of How to Market a Dealership

Those in the automotive industry tend to live in a professional bubble. We love what we do for different reasons, but for many (such as me), it's a matter of working in an industry that is completely different and more challenging than others, particularly when it comes to digital marketing.

This is a competitive world. The competition level is draining and exhilarating at the same time.

Those of us who are passionate about learning and applying the latest and greatest in automotive digital marketing often visit networks like ADM, Dealer Refresh, Driving Sales, and Dealer Bar because we know we can find high-level discussions and amazing best practices to try at our stores. In many ways, we've built a "cool kids' club" comprised of industry insiders and savvy dealership personnel who want nothing more than to make their companies prosper above the competition.

This is the mentality that has helped us form connections with the right people in the right ways. Those I meet online or at conferences are usually either amongst the people who are "in the know" about advanced digital marketing or those who want to absorb as much new material as possible. That's one of the reasons that I joined Dealer Authority and it's the reason I'm posting this article today.

We expect the best. That's why we're here. We want to discuss what is working for others, what new techniques are emerging, and why we should try this new strategy or that old strategy at our own stores.

It's a perfect reflection of the way that aggressive dealerships should market their own stores. You expect to read about the best things available right here, and you should expect to deliver the best marketing at your dealership. This is why I get very passionate when it comes to pushing clients to take advantage of the best opportunities available to them. You shouldn't settle. Not today. There are too many amazing ways to market your dealership. Settling for what's acceptable to most dealers is not the best course of action most of the time because the things that are universally accepted are rarely the best choice.

As we push through conference season and on to planning for the new year, it's important to keep the culture of networks such as this one in mind. We see good here. We also see bad. We have productive discussions. We also see some pointless ones. Sifting through the good and bad to find what's truly great - that's what will separate the wheat from the chaff in the coming months. When sales are down, we need to be active in our pursuits of greatness. When sales are up, we need to be even more diligent because abundance will lead to complacency for many of your competitors and you do not want to accept that as an option.

What we learn right here is important, but how we apply it is even more important. You're here because you want to find greatness and bring it to your dealership. That means not settling for anything short of the best.

Views: 278

Tags: Automotive Industry, Connections


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Comment by Tom Gorham on October 27, 2014 at 5:06pm

Subi, you nailed it.  "We expect the best.  That's why we're here."  You are right to speak of "we" because that's who we are.  We, who come to venues such as ADM, come to get ideas and inspiration from "those in the know". And guess what, sometime those in the know have no national credentials but are down in the trenches, doing the hard work every day.  Negativity and argument just for sake of arrogance have no place in the free exchange of ideas embodied by a site such as ADM.  I was introduced to you on this site and am grateful for that introduction.  Did I know who you were at that time?  No.  But I recognized your passion and integrity and that made me a fan.  "This is the mentality that has helped us form connections with the right people in the right ways."  Kudos for a great article, my friend!

Comment by Brian Bennington on October 21, 2014 at 7:12pm

Subi, Prior to responding to you, I read your bio (as I most always do with those I'm interested in enough to read) and noticed you worked with J.D. Rucker, whom I've never met except on ADM, but who's well established with excellent credentials as well as being an ADM friend I've long admired.  Consequentially, and regardless of how you interpreted my comments, it wasn't critical of you other than the "We" identification.  That's one of those things that, unless it's spelled out, I'm wondering exactly who "We" is, (or is it "are"?)  Believe me, if I didn't know you worked with J.D., I would have read no further than the "professional bubble" sentence.  I can't even relate to that.  But, he's a serious player and if you work with him, I figured you were, too.

Now that I've reread you post several times, believe me I wanted to love it, really, but try putting yourself in as an objective a mood as possible and read your last three-sentence paragraph.  There's a lot of assumption(s) there, and the use of "We" comes off sounding a little too political and, dare I say, intimidating for me.  (Like "We all believe in global warming.  How about you"?) However, if I put that aside and see this as a personal testimonial to how you feel about the business, it's easier to understand.  There's as many different reason for being in this business as there are people in it, and I've long ago dismissed finding "greatness" here, even though many will try to convince you they have.  But don't let this "old man" slow you down.  You keep posting.  I'd bet big money that, as you mature in the business, your posts will become better and better, like moving from "black & white" to "Infinite shades of grey."

Of note, Manny sent me that video of you on stage and that's what I'd call impressive.  Anyone can sell a car, but it takes real courage to jump up in front of strangers and belt out a tune.  Manny knew I'd like it as he knows I dropped out of college to travel around playing in an R&R road band back in the 60s (when it was unbelievably fun).  Finally, as to the purpose of my response, it wasn't to raise my voice or make you upset or offend you, etc.  It was to do exactly what ADM was created to do.  That being respond to a fellow ADM member's post and to express my personal opinion of its content.  There's no "We" with me!  (Of further note, I couldn't begin to tell you why "people" are participating less here.  I know I participate less because there's more vendors pitching their wares than ever, which I wouldn't mind except most are suffering from either "Your problem sounds like a nail, and I've got a hammer" or "Let me back the hearse up, open the doors, so you can smell the flowers.")  It would be genuinely refreshing to hear a vendor explain their product/service without sounding (motivating) like a "fire and brimstone" non-denominational preacher or a life insurance salesman.      

Comment by Brian Bennington on October 21, 2014 at 4:44pm

Comment by Brian Bennington 3 hours agoDelete Comment

Hey Subi,  What's with the "We"?  Are you speaking for the entire industry?  Pardon me, but I've never heard of you before, so I do have a few questions about your credentials.  I think it's great that you've surrounded yourself with people "in the know."  I'm sure it helps reinforce your opinion that what you've written is important.  But, just what exactly is the purpose of this post?  If it's suppose to be motivational, it's way too general.  If it's advertising, there's not enough to make me go beyond a quick read of what's here.  Just out of curiosity, have you ever sold a car before?  Please don't mistake this as some form of criticism, as I appreciate you've taken your time to write this, but like I asked, what is the purpose of this post?  

Comment by Subi Ghosh on October 21, 2014 at 4:08pm


I have purposefully waited a couple hours to write back to you as I am sincerely trying not to take offense. But how could I possibly take this as anything but criticism?

My intensions for writing are simple. I see something going on in the industry and I react to it. I am not one who writes weekly just to write. I am one who writes on passion. And I feel passionately about this industry and the networking that helps US grow and progress as a collective. These are my thoughts and interpretations of what I see, much like your responses are based on your experiences. Sometimes these experiences may relate to others and resonate with their thoughts and situations.

This particular post is merely a collection of my thoughts on how happy I’ve felt watching this industry progress and the new voices that are speaking up in all of these communities that drown out these negative, self serving ones that have often times taken over OUR forums. Having been to all the conferences this year, I have seen such a positive change that I felt compelled to share it. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I felt that ADM was a place for that? I have spoken on the topic at conferences of how these forums can help you grow IF you wade through the garbage and negativity. I intended to remain positive and supportive of the new automotive professionals who browse forums looking for support as I used to be one 6 years ago. That is all.

As for me using “We”, here is something I wrote about using the term. I don’t feel like I speak for the entire industry. I feel I see trends and speak on the trends and experiences I have and expect those who disagree to respectfully raise their points to have an adult conversation, not attacking ones.

As for my qualifications? I don’t think that matters. I don’t think that I need to explain anything to you or to have “credentials” to be able to post in this forum. Especially considering, I have no idea who you are either. But since you clearly feel compelled to qualify me to have opinions… I have been in the industry for 6 years. I have done everything from sell to run internet departments and build and manage eCommerce and Sales teams in large dealer groups. I have spoken at multiple conferences and am lucky enough to have been chosen to speak at NADA. I think that qualifies me to speak up, although… I think the person that started a month ago in the Internet Department down the street is JUST AS QUALIFIED, but I digress.

I am not surrounding myself with people “in the know”, I surround myself with people who are progressive and passionate about the industry. If that appears to you as people rubbing elbows, then sir, BOY are you missing out on some great brain food. The conversations with some of these people you categorize as “in the know” and I categorize as true friends who have been with me throughout my career to bounce ideas off of…ignites a fire in me when I need it most!

Quite frankly, it is your kind of response that has kept me off of ADM. So, now that I have answered all of your questions… I ask you… what is the purpose of your post to me? It seems like it was just an opportunity to raise your voice. I don’t generally respond to this kind of thing, but the content of my post is specifically hoping to keep people on these forums because I have also noticed a trend of people leaving because of nonsensical responses.

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