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Feedback: So What Exactly Does IM@CS Do?

This post is a long time in coming, even though not our typical cup of tea. Why? Because we want clients and the industry to understand more (and in some cases, even something) and talk about us. Tooting our own horn is a turnoff, and publishing papers, studies and books with mostly repeated content is deplorable. However, after nine years of “what does IM@CS do?”, it’s likely (beyond) time to make it a little more known…

Interactive Marketing and Consulting Services (a.k.a. IM@CS) was founded in September 2007, when the amount of non-vendor companies/consultants dedicated to digital in the Automotive Industry could be counted on two hands. In other words, if you don’t count website developers, ad agencies and the like, you could hire less than 10 entities to truly grow your digital results independently.

Some of our firsts that lead the industry:

  • Website maintenance (developed into SEO Services) started December 2007 and micro-sites in 2009
  • Social Media services started in December 2007 (we launched the first Audi and second Porsche dealership on Twitter, for example, and many of the first-10 on Facebook dealership accounts)
  • Vendor coordination/accountability yielding fastest-in-class response times (with Gary’s background at eVox, Edmunds and izmoCars, nearly all OEMs, Tier 1 and Tier 2 vendors were on a direct, one-to-one relationship with IM@CS before other digital consultants knew them)
  • First OEM-direct relationship (Toyota/Lexus) secured in January 2008, educating hundreds of Lexus dealerships around the country (replaced incumbent and scored highest dealership satisfaction from the summits over a five-year period)
  • Mystery shopping of dealers in 2007 (started in 2004 while at eVox), then introduced lead scoring (rather than mystery shopping for clients) in 2011 and rolled out to OEM programs
  • First 20 Group presentations in 2009 (Porsche US Pre-Owned Forum and Volkswagen Canada digital) yielded transformational changes for dealerships
  • Advocating, coaching and maintaining online reputaiton management since 2008

Not easily known unless you followed IM@CS in the early days, our work resulted in many industry-leading benchmarks as well as brought other consultants and vendors to the forefront and awareness over the past nine-plus years. Gary May has been a sought-after speaker since opening the J.D. Power & Associates Internet Roundtable at Red Rock Casino Resort in 2008. In addition, Gary has spoken at the first six years of DrivingSales Executive Summits as well as dozens of other conferences, 20 Groups and private vendor events. Eric Trytko and the content team have driven industry-exclusive vehicle editorial and content direct from auto show launches since 2010, something that no other dealer provider has done (most repurpose OEM and publisher releases and articles or use spun -software based- content, a search-engine flag).

IM@CS has created over 350 blog posts and has contributed to top Automotive forums.

Our team (currently a staff of nine) touches all parts of your digital presence:

  • Website maintenance
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
  • Social Media content management and marketing (organic and paid)
  • Reputation Management (tracking and maintenance)
  • Creative assets (banners/graphics, landing pages, email marketing)

We carefully vet all dealer digital processes through hands-on assessment, highlight low-hanging fruit as well as build long-term strategies, weigh competitors plus develop strategies around acquisition and conquest, bring unrivaled education to executive and management-level staff and build unmatched results for salespeople.

Some of our competitive advantages and benefits to business leaders:

  • Out-of-the-box solutions (no cookie-cutter/duplicated approaches including content and lead management/CRM/templates)
    • what works in your store, not others
  • Commission-free vendor recommendations (giving up 5-and 6-figure revenue per year in kick-backs)
  • Best-practice approaches influenced by both automotive industry leaders as well as out-of-the-industry strategy and results
  • Six day per week support 6a-6p PT and beyond
    • Most requests receive 24-hour turnaround

We have been a trusted, non-contracted (month-to-month services since day one) partner for dealerships with an average duration of over two years and we have been hired back or advised by 25% of our clients. Our partnerships with stores develop long-lasting results while keeping executive management up-to-date with all digital aspects. Our R.O.I. is unmatched in over 90% of clients.

When you and your business are ready to stop splitting hairs with me-too vendors and are ready to grow your sales, marketing efficiencies and knowledge in order to build sustainable results, contact us for a review call or an assessment meeting. Yes, it can be this simple to stop receiving only slight benefits while paying vendors for their lifestyles. And understand why, in most cases, your co-op OEM-run programs will never serve you to profit and actually only serve your vendors and manufacturers with piles of data about you and your operations.

 

Here’s to your success in 2017!

Four Down, Seventeen Thousand To Go

The last four years have been a blur. Everything has been. From search to social. From template to script. From inbound to outbound. From high line to in line. From DMS to CRM. There have been times where the greatest part of building has simply been the lack of tearing down. It’s been work, even a pain, and it’s all been worth it.

The clients, the information, the partnerships, the alliances, the events, the suppliers, the sources, the reading, the sharing, the confusion, the mistakes, the opportunities, the defeats, the victories. One thing doesn’t stand out more than the other except the constant movement. Each day, all one thousand four hundred sixty of them, has started with an enthusiasm, a passion, a dream, a goal, a commitment, a push, a joy.

Yes, we've been eating the elephant a bite at a bite. One of the most gratifying parts is the tasty pieces. One of the most humbling parts is realizing what you’re doing while you’re in the moment. Our industry now moves at the speed of retail. Which means it moves at its ability to get out of its own way. Much too often there is a focus on moving ahead before there is even an understanding and acknowledgement of a desire to do so. Sometimes the hardest part of moving is the willingness to stop, look and listen.

Obstacles aren’t hurdles, they’re gut checks. They’re sometimes ways that remind us to adjust and sometimes they’re simply a deep breath before continuing on the path. Changing businesses is not a small undertaking. The level of trust required is awesome. Remember that success is measured by how long the changes last, not how fast you simply make change.

Right now is such an incredibly dynamic time. Better said, it’s likely the most dynamic ever. Yet businesses are being led down more paths than ever on guarantees that can’t be made, or measured, or tracked. If you do what we do and you do it more for a check than leaving a legacy, talk with yourself.

Four years later the work is harder, the goals are greater and results are sweeter. Every one of our clients deserves a heartfelt “Thank You” for making us work, keeping us honest and staying committed to their vision. Thank you to the clients that let us go too, as humbling as that is, because is made us think and become better.

And an important thank you to the entire industry. The good, the bad and the ugly. May we raise the determination to learn and change, ridding ourselves of old school mentality, waste and reluctance. Just because something worked for decades doesn’t make it right nor beneficial. Remember that at the end of the day we are all consumers. There a lots of “us” coming through the doors of dealerships. Let’s recognize and celebrate that. Let that fact evoke a stronger calling to improve. Every day.

Four years since IM@CS started. 17,000 more dealerships to improve. Who’s with us?

 

Man isn’t afraid of his own shadow. Just getting out of its way   –Gary May

 

Best Practices: Professional Insight, Powerful Results

 

IM@CS Announces Accomplished Automotive E-Commerce Marketing Executive Jim Elliott As Newest Team Member

In response to further growth and significant prospects for 2010, IM@CS has expanded its consulting team and increased coverage with a Detroit base in addition to Los Angeles.

Los Angeles, CA, and Detroit, MI (PRWEB) January 4, 2010 — Interactive Marketing and Consulting Services (IM@CS) president Gary May was pleased to announce on December 31, 2009 the addition of Jim Elliott to the growing IM@CS team. Elliott, who comes with over 20 years with Ford Motor Company in addition to Web 2.0 startups, will be responsible for dealership and OEM consulting as well as business development for the company. His Detroit-based location also adds flexibility in accessing clients quickly and facilitating increased coverage.

Jim Elliott is known as a pioneering innovator in the areas of e-commerce, sales, marketing and channel management, primarily in the automotive industry. With an interest in collaborative and innovative environments and a special interest in online community start-ups, Elliott’s specialties include e-commerce, interactive marketing, 6-Sigma Black Belt, independent franchised distribution channel management, business development and other hands-on experience in spearheading business.

“I have known and worked with Gary May for most of the past decade, and I lept at the chance to work with him. Gary and I share a passion for winning on the web for our clients in a way that enables them to both grow revenue and reduce costs. Smart dealers know that the web is evolving quickly and they can now empower themselves to compete better digitally. IM@CS brings the tools and strategies to enable them to do just that.”

As an e-commerce executive, Elliott led SmartAuction website management and development of strategic site changes for the online B2B vehicle auction with GMAC. His field expertise, highly developed with Ford Motor Company, continued as Regional Sales and Marketing Manager for Roush Performance vehicles and parts throughout eight states and four Canadian provinces. Elliott has built trusted relationships with dealers in many regions across North America through personal integrity and delivering results.

“Having worked in the past with Jim, he has always struck me as one of the more thoughtful, intuitive marketers. His forward-thinking approach and diligent review of opportunities that have translated to success in very large organizations will easily transfer into our company as well as accelerate our comprehensive services and growth.”

IM@CS, a full-service online branding/marketing, sales coaching and process consulting firm, has offered best practices in online media, Web 2.0, interactive content and targeted marketing since 2007. Clients include leading edge dealerships, automotive manufacturers, portals and service providers. IM@CS also serves other large consumer-facing businesses including real estate, specialty markets and unique/high-end services.

Visit www.imacsweb.com today. Call 310-377-6481 or info(at)imacsweb(dot)com for more information or
contact IM@CS at P.O. Box 3789 Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA 90274

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Contact Information
Julia Murphy
Interactive Marketing and Consulting Services
http://www.imacsweb.com
(310) 377-6481

Online Web 2.0 Version
You can read the online version of this press release here.