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: 1357

Tags: automotive, evaluation, provider, website


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Comment by Timothy Martell on November 8, 2011 at 1:29pm

UPDATEDealerFire has ALSO thrown their hat in the ring! Another Pinnacle award winner! Sweet!

Comment by Timothy Martell on November 8, 2011 at 7:52am

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

Comment by Clay Hagedorn on November 8, 2011 at 7:26am

Great idea.  Can't wait to see the outcome.

Comment by Brian Pasch on November 8, 2011 at 6:37am

Awesome project Tim and I look forward to unveiling the film at the 2012 Automotive Marketing Boot Camp in Las Vegas, which will be at the Monte Carlo hotel.  The conference will be held on May 13-15th.

Details on the May event will be posted on at the end of this month.  We will setup a panel to allow you to share the highlights of the experience with attendees.

Comment by Timothy Martell on November 8, 2011 at 6:10am is first to throw their hat in the ring!


Hope to get a response from ADP/Cobalt, Dealerfire, Dealer e-Process, eCarList and VinSolutions as well.

Comment by Timothy Martell on November 8, 2011 at 5:49am

Thanks for all the support, gentlemen! Rob, will do! As the article states I think feedback or questions that other dealers would like answered will be a valuable part of this. So please share any suggestions of specific topics or questions you would like us to ask.


Joe, I think a vlog is a great idea. We've got a bit of a time crunch, but we'll make every effort to post some updates along the way.


Tarry, I love the enthusiasm. If this is well received and vendors in other categories are willing to come to the table, we may be willing to expand to other verticals in the future.

Comment by Rob Fontano on November 8, 2011 at 5:06am

Tim, Nice work taking the lead to help improve our industry. This should really be interesting. Let me know if I can be of any assistance.

Comment by Ralph Paglia on November 7, 2011 at 9:08pm

Tarry - You make a great suggestion... In order to make a work, we would need a dealer who is shopping for a supplier based solution who is wiling to document every piece of communication and info shared, such as what Tim Martell is doing.  Tim and I have discussed this concept for awhile before he posted this.

Comment by Joe Webb on November 7, 2011 at 8:55pm

This sounds like such a great idea.  A ton of fun to watch this transpire.  Can I request, Tim, that you give some small vlogs along the way so we can see how the progress is coming?

Comment by Tarry Shebesta on November 7, 2011 at 7:50pm

I think this is a super idea Ralph!


Maybe you should consider doing this for every vendor category.


There is definitely too much "hype" that dealers have to try and cut through to find worthwhile vendors. 



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