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-50 on Facebook dealership accounts) and most followed 3-5 years alter. We are the pioneers of automotive retail social media.
- 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 reputation 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!