Automotive Digital Marketing

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Automotive Website Provider All Access Pass! (AWAAP)

UPDATE: VinSolutions has ALSO thrown their hat in the ring! Another Pinnacle award winner!!!


UPDATE: DealerEProcess has ALSO thrown their hat in the ring! Another Pinnacle award winner!!


UPDATE: DealerFire has ALSO thrown their hat in the ring! Another Pinnacle award winner!


UPDATE: Autofusion has thrown their hat in the ring as well! Great response so far!


I didn’t build too much hype with that title did I? Hype aside, that is exactly what I’m aiming to do. For various reasons, Marlboro Nissan and the rest of our dealer group has decided that it is time to seek a new website provider. But we’re taking a very different approach this time around. 


I’m not trying to toot my own horn, but some people have alleged that there are a few people out there who know who I am and who have followed Marlboro Nissan’s successes over the years. So I thought I would put that considerable exposure to work, not just for my group, but for the benefit of the entire automotive community!


First, a little back story. Marlboro Nissan has always done things a little differently than everyone else. In the past, we’ve partnered with smaller, boutique style vendors and this has allowed us to do some pretty amazing things and simultaneously given us a tremendous competitive advantage in the marketplace. But, frequently these boutique style operations are successful and as a result, get acquired by larger companies and then that “xfactor” that made them once great gets lost. For this reason we've decided to look for a partner that has already been through the "growing pains" of success and has the offerings and culture to give us a competitive edge now and for years to come.


In automotive we talk about “Customer’s for life”. Well we’re looking for a vendor partner that wants a customer for life.


Having used a dozen different providers over the years there have been some questions we’ve had during the vetting process that often go unanswered and so, my staff and I are going to seek to answer those questions, and maybe, a few that you, the collective community may have as well. Here is how we’re proposing to accomplish that.


Our intention is to travel to the head quarters of the 5 top providers. Meet with their staff, examine their culture, listen and be exposed to their most incredible sales pitch and document (in High Definition) every step of the process. 


I’m talking full production here folks. We’ve acquired some of the most unbelievable professional audio and video equipment on the planet. Now I know I’m setting the bar really high here, but I can guarantee, that no one, anywhere has ever seen anything like what we’re going to put together. 


We’re going to document:


-the phone calls to the vendors

-the e-mails exchanged

-the friendliness/attitude of employee’s we interact with

-the trip out

-the culture of the staff

-the office environment

-the pitch

-the interview process

-the questions we want answered

-the questions YOU want answered

-the follow up

-the kitchen sink


What’s more, I’m going to give commentary on the entire process throughout and provide my opinion on the authenticity of the feedback and interaction provided by the vendors.


This is going to be an all access pass; a behind the scenes look at the very best vendors on the market today -- not just what they say they are; we're going to show you who they really are!


This is what we would like to accomplish. How will we accomplish this goal? Well we’re going to be relying heavily on the vendors to play ball. I suspect that for the true best of the best, this will be a no brainer. Because if they’re good, we’re going to make them look great. Of course, if they’re not good... well you get the idea!


We would simply ask that the vendors bring my staff to their head quarters at their expense for 1-2 days - as long as is necessary to conduct a thorough interview, document and collect the data we need. 


We began our search by using PCG’s AWA Awards Report and are putting the offer out to the Pinnacle Awards Recipients first. If we do not get at least 4 vendors to choose from who are willing to participate from this group we will then open this up to other vendors as well. But be forewarned: You will expose your company to my brutally honest scrutiny. If you are truly exceptional, you will have no superior cheerleader in the marketplace, however, if you are anything but, your inadequacies will be brought to bear in a very public way.


Our aim is to begin the traveling portion of the process in February 2012 following PCG’s DMSC at the beginning of the month. We hope to visit 4-5 vendors systematically over the course of that month. Upon conclusion we will document all of the subsequent follow up and proposals and make our decision on a new vendor partner.


Editing will take 6-7 weeks and we will release our findings exclusively at PCG Digital Marketing’s Automotive Marketing Bootcamp in Las Vegas in May at which time our full length film will be displayed for the attendee’s. 


Following that conference the video will be made available on line at no cost to dealers on Wikimotive’s website.


Dealer’s: If you would like the opportunity to have a voice in our vetting process and have us ask your question: Please send questions do


Vendor’s: If you would like to discuss this opportunity in further detail, please contact Timothy Martell via e-mail or via phone (888) 975-9454.


Views: 1351

Tags: automotive, evaluation, provider, website


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Comment by Timothy Martell on November 11, 2011 at 7:06am

We're getting some great questions from the community, but we want MORE! Dealers and other vendors are welcome to weigh in! This is YOUR chance to have your voice heard! Send questions to


Comment by Brian Pasch on November 10, 2011 at 3:03pm

Comment by Timothy Martell on November 10, 2011 at 11:02am

I'm surprised I haven't heard from ADP/Cobalt, Dealer eProcess, eCarlist and VinSolutions! Hope they throw their hat's in the ring as well!

Comment by Jerry Thibeau on November 10, 2011 at 8:44am

Somebody get me some popcorn, I can't wait to watch the show!  Awesome!

Comment by Zach Billings on November 10, 2011 at 8:41am

Joe, you can send them to Tim and me at

Comment by Joe Webb on November 10, 2011 at 8:28am

Sounds good, Tim.  What email address should I send them to?  (If we post them publicly, it would give the website vendors too much time to prepare :)

Comment by Timothy Martell on November 10, 2011 at 8:01am

Thanks for the support, Arnold. 


Joe, fire away! If we have enough questions from people in the community I may make a separate segment for the questions asked by the community.

Comment by Joe Webb on November 10, 2011 at 7:20am

Tim, not that you need any help, but can I load your lips with a few of my favorite questions that I LOVE asking vendors?  And hearing their answers to these will be eye-opening.

Comment by Arnold Tijerina on November 10, 2011 at 6:17am

As much butting heads as we've done, Tim, I must admit that this is a brilliant idea.

Comment by Chip Kaupp on November 9, 2011 at 6:14am


I can't wait to see what you find out. PLEASE PLEASE get a customer list from these providers and pick random dealers to interview. I am just down the street from and we have customer #4.  If you come to Vermont, come see how happy we are with DDC. 

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