With the exception to recent Twits (@imacsweb on Twitter) on the state of the auto industry in the form of short blurbs and links, I've steered clear of commenting deeper. This blog's focus (and definitely going forward) is to educate, motivate, inform, guide and challenge…let alone be a positive light rather than a black hole. Maybe it's time to change that for one day since, chances are, it's not going to get prettier anytime soon. So without further ado, here we go:
1. The OEMs are broken (read: all), and retail is more so
2. Brands for most part aren't connecting with consumers, salespeople do even less
Dealers: Oh, here's a new one. It doesn't matter what logo you sell on the piece of rusting metal: start selling your brand and if you don't know what your brand is, create one.
3. Budgets: Want to 'cut and wait'?…ok, in English that roughly translates to 'suicide'
OEMs: Why in the world would you cut Interactive for TV today? Don't worry, that's a rhetorical question. Shame on you. Want to stay with a current vendor instead of the newer, agile, lower cost one? Won't take meetings or talk to new suppliers: big mistake.
Dealers: You can have a viable to completely comprehensive marketing program for less than $10,000 per month (larger; less than $15,000, small, less than $7,000). Don't stop spending because it's the flavor of the week. Spend smarter, educate and support your staff (replace those you need to), understand what you're doing, get accountability and do more.
4. While 'news' media is garbage (but sells), the industry does little to battle conventional sentiment
5. Consumers control consumption and engagement…and were still printing and running car ads?
6. Technology is the way, coupled with education and topped with strategy
We can run and hide, point fingers and continue to run business the way we have. Or we can pick up ourselves by the bootstraps, collaborate (boy would the earth move if that one happened), check egos at the door, innovate and get damn proud about the largest industry in the US that provides 20 out of every 100 tax dollars nationally.
OEMs: Expect more from your marketing dollars: effectiveness, return, creativity and impact. Talk to and truly consider every company that walks in your door. Try it. It might be better than what you think you have now. If you're not sure, ask a bunch of consumers and (yes) listen.
Dealers: Bank tanked? Call your local credit union! Salespeople can't cut it? Don't let your desk manager go, let him/her sell again (chances are they have the chops). Marketing: online, email, mobile (yes, mobile), CRM, one-to-one, social media and more.
This may not have the answers you are looking for. Hopefully, however, it has made you think again about at least one aspect of your current condition and started your shift from 'effect' mentality to the 'cause' side.
If we don't do it, there won't be a 'we'
Best Practices: Professional Insight, Power Results