Automotive Digital Marketing

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My dog ate my Internet Manager

Where has your internet manager been lately? Have not noticed? Do you have him / her shoved into a back room or even back of the service department? Holed up and away from the general public? If so it would come down to the old saying “My dog at my Internet Manager” as an excuse.

I am not sure if you told your parents that your dog ate your homework in the past when you were a kid and if that excuse ever worked. This is an excuse many GM’s GSM’s and Dealer Principals use due to the inability to
make the change for the evolving technology within the Automotive Industry.

Pushing your Internet Manager into a backroom is a disaster. Why? Let me tell you why.

When an Internet Manager is placed into a backroom, no windows etc. you are preventing your Internet Department to be successful. This is not an encouraging way of enlightening your Online Sales to increase &
it surely does not give the IM the encouragement and recognition they deserve.

You may be thinking in the back of your mind “Well the Internet Manager doesn’t even see the online consumer”. Times are evolving and consumers are getting smarter & smarter each and every day with their online buying experience. Many of them know that dealerships now are implementing the Internet Department.

Internet Departments = Technology NOT Internet Departments = Doghouse

For a tech savvy client to come into your dealership to meet with the Internet Manager and come to find out the Internet Manager doesn’t even have an office in the front, it is way back behind the service department…….! Come on now….

Would you like to have your office back there? If no, do you think they do?

Let me just say, when your Internet Department / Internet Managers performance starts to dwindle, don’t blame them for their lack of efforts however take a moment to think outside of the box & see where they are located at within your dealership.

This department is where you need to be involved, support & encourage. Why take it away from them & most importantly “Take away more sales from your dealership”?

Views: 113

Tags: auto, automotive, dealership, internet, management, manager, marketing, online, sale, sales


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Comment by Dawn Mouser on May 25, 2010 at 10:38pm
I love this post Jen because sadly I used to be one of those and you are right. Another thing I find hilarious is that many managers think that when something needs to be changed that a switch can be flipped and its done. Sadly when that is not the case, and most of the time it is not, the IM gets drilled while waiting for the website provider to "flip the switch". I could go on and on though but I just wanted to say.....I CAN RELATE!!!

Comment by Aj Maida on May 19, 2010 at 6:58am
Stan's have to ask for it....brings up an interesting point. When I first came here I was the internet guy at the used car store...doing the one man thing, not only was I a "red headed step child" the whole store was treated that way. I actually had a picture of a red headed boy up on our staff page ;-)...When I realized that we needed to have a company wide internet dept I wrote up a business plan...I "asked for it"...and got a lot...not nearly enough...I'm under budgeted and under staffed, that get's better with every success but they don't realize that with a third more budget (it's 20k) and one 30 hours a week of help we could blow this thing up!!!! So even someone who is "coming to believe" is still stuck in the old mentality.

Comment by Rob Fontano on May 19, 2010 at 5:48am
I think it's interesting how many dealers associate "Internet" with non-public or un-socialable. Your internet sales team, however configured needs to be a part of the fabric of the dealership. They should attend all sales and training meetings and their leader should be a "manager" equal to all other sales managers. It is important that if your internet department is tucked away, perhaps due to space issues that the rest of the management team make it a point to devote a portion of their day to go "back there" and communicate with them. Not just the Internet Director, but the entire team. What kind of business would put the department that accounts or should account for 30 - 40% of your business out back in the tool shed?
Comment by Tom Gorham on May 18, 2010 at 9:35am
Loved the article... made me feel fortunate. My two assistant managers and I each have our own roomy offices next to the two finance offices. Our BDC reps share four cubicles at the front near us. Good access to the sales floor and plenty of glass. But I have a friend who was ISM at a store that put him back in service. He hated it.
Comment by Jennifer Schrader on May 18, 2010 at 6:44am
Thanks Stan! I can always count on you with getting facts!!
Comment by Jennifer Schrader on May 18, 2010 at 5:33am
Guy - Microwaved Spaghetti O's.. I do like Spaghetti O's though...! The worst microwaved food I feel is left over Chinese.
Comment by Jennifer Schrader on May 18, 2010 at 5:31am
Kristi - yes I remember going to your dealership and finding you way the heck up there. The nice thing about the space you do have is potential to grow as you and I chatted about there. Yes and you do have a big window!! That is the bonus there!!
AJ - that is awesome to hear! You get heavily involved with the showroom floor traffic and that is nice! It is nice to hear that you are able to fully implement your position for what it is meant to be.
Keep up the great work!

Comment by Aj Maida on May 18, 2010 at 5:16am
God I feel lucky,

I am in a big office with windows on three walls. The ones in front of me I look at the service area and the diner (yes we have a diner). The other side is the show room. Both my Internet Managers (salesmen) sit in the same space behind me. I am constantly able to get out onto the floor and deal with the salespeople. My internet salespeople work their customers out in the "pods" on the showroom floor. I am one of the lucky ones who truly gets to do what my title implies and Direct. Sometimes I wish I was more hidden away where I could close my door and just do my work but I believe in an open door policy. I better not let my boss see this until after our next negotiation ??????
Comment by Kristi Alguire on May 17, 2010 at 4:06pm
Don't put them in the attic either, you know the one, where all the old, leftover and out of date computer equipment is stored. At least I have a window ;)

Comment by Guy Manasse on May 17, 2010 at 3:05pm
One of my best buddies runs a very successful BDC. Most Acura stores have that nice BDC area right next to the lunch room. My 1st thought was the last time I was in there was the noise from the lunch room and the smell of nuked spaghetti-O's! UGH! Turnover is huge in these departments, no windows, poor environment, no respect? Good food for thought article.

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