DealerFire Now An Authorized Volkswagen Website Provider

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I got a call from a Volkswagen dealer that told me that VW dealers can now select DealerFire as an authorized OEM website provider.  That was a very pleasant surprise!

I want to congratulate Eric Hoopman and the entire DealerFire team on this OEM endorsement. The first year that we gave out the Automotive Website Awards (AWA) we awarded DealerFire with top honors.

We had never met Eric Hoopman and his team, but since 2009 their team has won top honors every year for their website technology.

DealerFire: 5 Year AWA Award Winner

I am so happy for DealerFire and their Volkswagen website achievement. I feel like a proud father that has watched this company from Oshkosh, Wisconsin grow. Oh, and they have killer responsive website technology!

I look forward to writing about their latest website technology in the 2015 AWA Research report which will be available for dealers on January 22, 2015. This year the AWA Buyers Guide will be over 300 pages and will contain in depth reviews for websites, CRM platforms, and marketing tools used by auto dealers.

I invite all dealers who are attending the 2015 NADA Convention to join automotive professionals at the 2015 AWA Awards ceremony. The awards ceremony is January 22, 2015 from 7-9 PM in San Francisco.

Tickets for the awards ceremony can be purchased here: http://automotivewebsiteawards.com


Pre-order your AWA research report and Buyers Guide and save on every copy!

The Best Automotive Online Marketing Dashboard

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Automotive dealers are overloaded with marketing data, vendor reports, and online performance metrics yet few dealers have been able to sift through the clutter and focus on the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to better manage their online marketing strategy.

Top performing public automotive companies, profitable regional dealer groups, and powerful standalone dealership operators have found tremendous value in centralizing all their marketing data into a single dashboard. One login to view all their vendor reports, budgets, social media engagement, online reviews, and website traffic is a dream come true.

The automotive industry never had an independent platform that was respected by the vendor community. Dealers never have been offered a marketing dashboard where all their vendor data is private and NEVER sold, shared, or summarized to third parties.

“Dealers can manage all their online marketing vendors and inspect their reports in under an hour a month!”

ROI-BOT™ is the most innovative software product to hit the market for automotive retailers who are looking to simplify their marketing reports and to get a fast marketing “Health Score” for their dealership. ROI-BOT provides proactive data monitoring to alert dealers when their data indicates a poor ROI, degraded performance, or a broken strategy.

Like a proud father, my vision for this product has finally come to fruition after two years of hard work in the field. Request a demo of ROI-BOT software by visiting http://www.roi-bot.com.

Dealers attending the Digital Dealer Conference in Las Vegas can also stop by the ROI-BOT Software booth #902.


Chip Perry Joins Autotrader UK Advisory Team

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The former president and CEO of AutoTrader.com and Kelly Blue Book in the United States, Chip Perry (pictured), is joining Auto Trader in the UK as a non-executive board member.

Perry said: “We have a very strong position among consumers, dealers, and OEMs in the UK and I’m excited about the things the company is doing to help its customers accelerate their adoption of online tools and software solutions.

“Digital marketing technologies and data analytics tools are improving very quickly all around the world and are bringing many important new benefits to automotive marketers.  My goal is to help Auto Trader bring these advancements to the UK market as rapidly as possible, and empower our customers to gain maximum value from them.”

“Chip Perry has been a pioneer in the transformation of the automotive digital industry in the United States, and I am sure that he will be a great asset to our company and our customers,” said Jonathan Williams, marketing director at Auto Trader.

“He built the world’s largest automotive website and oversaw the creation of a wide array of tools and solutions that are helping thousands of dealers in the United States to grow their presence online.”

Chip Perry became the first employee of AutoTrader.com in August 1997 and was its president and chief executive from inception until March 2013.

He started the company for Cox Enterprises and it became the world’s largest automotive site, featuring three million vehicles, working with 40,000 dealers.

While Perry was at the helm of AutoTrader.com the company pioneered a wide range of innovations, including real time integration with dealer inventory management systems, a unified approach to new and used car search, data analytics tools to help dealers better match their inventory to market demand and price them competitively, and a consultative sales and service model that enabled dealers to more quickly adopt best practices on the internet.


Are Your Automotive Social Media Landing Pages Working?

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tri-hondaI was viewing my Twitter news feed today and saw an advertising campaign for Honda dealers. This looks like a Tier 2 ad message, so I was interested to see what the “Shop Now” offer looked like.

To my dismay, the landing page was not compatible with my Samsung Galaxy S4. The image or video that was supposed to be displaying on the home page was completely blank.

As a friendly reminder to all dealers that use social media advertising, it is critical to make sure that your landing pages are mobile friendly. The website landing page was formatted properly for my device, but all the graphics were not properly tested.

If your dealership is investing in social media advertising, your landing pages must be formatted properly for all screen sizes. Take the time to inspect your social media marketing investments and make sure your strategy includes landing pages that engage.




ADP Dealer Services To Be Named CDK Global And Become A Public Company

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I have been waiting to learn name of the upcoming new company which is now ADP Dealer Services. At the end of September, CDK Global will be a publicly traded company. ADP shareholders will receive shares of the new company. Here is the email I received today from Steve Anenen:


CDKGlobal_LogoBack in April we announced that ADP plans to spin off the Dealer Services business into a publicly traded standalone company. We have made significant progress to date. I wanted to share with you an important milestone – our name and logo. Once the spinoff is complete, ADP Dealer Services will be known as CDK Global.

Let me tell you a little about how we arrived at this name and brand identity. The letters of the new name represent three of ADP Dealer Services’ historically largest businesses and most strategic brands.

  • The “C” stands for Cobalt Digital Marketing, a leader in the fast growing digital marketing space. Acquiring Cobalt several years ago represented a whole new dimension of our business that we weren’t fully addressing.
  • For the critical centerpiece of the name, we chose “D” to represent Dealer Services and our 40 years of experience. This is the foundation of our business, which offers integrated management and technology solutions primarily to automotive dealers and manufacturers, and also to heavy truck, motorcycle, RV, marine and heavy equipment clients.
  • The “K” represents Kerridge Computer Company, which was a UK-based company we acquired in 2005. The Kerridge acquisition was a strategic decision to greatly expand our geographic footprint and demonstrates our commitment to becoming a global provider.

We wanted a name that captured our rich history, which clients like you have trusted with your business for many years. Recently you have told us that you want our solutions to be more seamless, and for us to continue to break down our internal silos. This name embodies the vision to do just that.

And you can probably see why this logo was created. The traffic light is a universally recognized symbol of our industry, with the green light illuminated. This simple, smart, powerful symbol represents a commitment to progress and always moving forward as well as optimism and opportunity.

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