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Presentation: Evolution of Automotive Digital Marketing

This presentation on the Evolution of Automotive Digital Marketing was presented at the Automotive Boot Camp in Philadelphia on May 16, 2013 by Ralph Paglia... It is being hosted on

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Comment by Ralph Paglia on May 21, 2013 at 8:25pm

Tarry, thanks for being so prompt with your responses! Here are the answers I had in mind... Given the time involved, I welcome anyone who wants to interject additional info.

  1. Correct - Mosaic was horrible, but launched the concept of a browser
  2. I was looking for the fact that we all had a 7 digital number email prefix, which you demonstrated
  3. 1985 was Compuserve's limited launch as America's first ISP, full launch in 1986. Can anyone tell me what corporation owned Compuserve and at one point stated that they no longer saw the viability of American's wanting Internet access from their homes?
  4. Ford Motor Company with the RFP (1998), vendor selection process (1998) and launch of their "Cyber Car" delivered dealer training initiative in early 1999.
Comment by Tarry Shebesta on May 21, 2013 at 7:45pm

Hmmm .... 

1) Mosaic

2) Mine was

3) Don't know - never used them for ISP, I used

4) No idea.

Comment by Ralph Paglia on May 21, 2013 at 7:20pm

Thank you to Tarry Shebesta for helping to fill in some of the early history of Automotive Digital Marketing... Tarry, you have no idea how surprised I am to learn that you have such a depth of experience in this specialized area! There are not a lot of us who were pushing Internet Car Sales back then still in the business, so here are a few trivia questions to challenge your memory of those early years:

  1. What was the name of the first web browser that we all used from 1991 to 1993 prior to the launch of Netscape Navigator?

  2. What was the naming convention for "???????" email addresses?

  3. In what year did Compuserve first begin providing Internet Access via their ISP services to the general public? (I was a charter member)

  4. Which OEM was the first car company to spend more than a million dollars a year to provide their dealer network with training materials an in-dealership consultants for the specific purpose of setting up "Internet Sales Departments" and created the first dealership job title listing in their dealer directories for "Internet Sales Manager"?

I will provide the correct answers in 24 hours...

Comment by Tarry Shebesta on May 21, 2013 at 2:02pm


Pretty well done. Looks like we were both using dial up BBS's at the same time in the auto industry.

I've attached an image I received from a local Business Journal. (Don't laugh) :)

I also did a lot on the Compuserve Cars Forum and actually got a lot of media publicity in 1993 (Business Week, Kiplinger, Glamour, Home Mechanix, and many others) in regards to our online car buying service. 

I knew Pete Ellis prior to the Internet when he was working Autobytel with credit unions. We launched our buying service (not a lead generation model) about the same time.

We launched dynamic payment quoting direct to consumer with in 2000.*/

Comment by Tom Gorham on May 20, 2013 at 6:20pm

This is the "comprehensive" evolution of digital marketing by the master.  Thank you!

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