Professional Community for Car Dealers, Marketing, Advertising and Sales Leaders
In my recent post entitled "Fall Conferences Reflect Choices in Automotive Education", a comment by my friend Phil Zellinger was shared which deserves further commentary. Here is what Phil said.
"The growing selection of online and real world venues supporting sharing best practices in the auto industry reflects a changing culture brought about by social networking that empowers people to use the internet to listen, learn and teach followed by real world opportunities to meet new found virtual friends that would otherwise be geographically challenged."
This reality is transforming traditional conference, workshop, and summit formats.
I just recently saw that Grant Cardone was gathering automotive professionals together on a "Google+ Hangout" discussing business and leadership topics; he was coaching a few lucky dealers. This type of engagement in the past would be delegated to a workshop session or a private dealership consulting visit.
High speed bandwidth and advances in technology are making video conferencing available to the masses and the Google+ Hangout is a snippet of what is to come. As technology expands, webinars will be replaced by larger interactive "hangouts" where engagement is great and travel is not required.
Last month PCG Digital Marketing graduated 30 people from the Automotive Internship Program (AIP) course on Digital Marketing and Social Media. The feedback from dealers and the students has been so very positive that we are continuing the program this month.
The dealership staff in the class were grateful to have a timely, up to the minute training, that could be done from inside the dealership. As you know, Google has made some large changes in the past 90 days that has changed some marketing strategies. Remote learning with electronic handouts, not printed books, can be modified on the fly to keep training up to date with change.
Remote learning, interactive digital education, and video conferencing is changing the rules of engagement. Case in point is Jared Hamilton who has launched the DrivingSales University which offers a wide selection of online courses and training fielded by industry experts. The content and curriculum is so good it has the blessing of NADA.
This is not to say people enjoy getting out of the dealership to focus on training, learning, or seeing new technology in an exhibit hall. Live events like Digital Dealer, DrivingSales Executive Summit, Internet Battle Plan or the annual NADA Convention can not be easily replaced. Having time to interact with vendors outside of the dealership often connects attendees with new innovations.
The most exciting part of this change is this:
New learning channels will expand the audience of dealership staff that are exposed to much needed professional enrichment.
In the past the Dealer principal or GM had a difficult task of attending 20 Groups or a NADA Convention distilling and communicating all the information they learned. Disseminating this information through the dealership was also challenge. Much was lost.
In fact, many ISM's have told me that they cringe when their dealer principal returns from a 20 Group meeting with a list of "MUST CHANGE IMMEDIATELY" ideas.
Remote learning and localized events will give more people the chance to grow as professionals. More automotive professionals will get the training direct from the source. This is something that the automotive industry needs.
Here is the opportunity I see from the most conservative viewpoint:
If we have 17,000 franchise dealers in the US and you agree with me that key people like the dealer principal, GM, GSM, ISM, CFO/COO, Fixed Operations Manager, Social Media/Content Writer should have opportunities in continuing education, then that's 100,000 people that need classes, training, workshops, etc.
We are just scratching the surface on education when you look at the attendance levels at the events I listed on my original article. It could be approximated that we are serving less then 20% of the automotive professionals that need training.
So bring on new ways to learn, share, and inspire! Mark your calendars for February 1-3, 2012 in in Las Vegas for the Digital Marketing Strategies Conference just before the 2012 NADA Convention.
I hope to speak with you at a "learning" channel of your choice soon.
Brian Pasch, CEO PCG Digital Marketing
Text PCGedu to 75674 get information on our upcoming conferences