Archive for December, 2011

True Car and ZAG – Cyber Bandits or Good for the Business? Automotive Marketing

True Car and ZAG – Cyber Bandits or Good for the Business?

Jim Ziegler Guidance: Ten Areas We Need to Concentrate on to Bring This Monster to It’s Knees…
1. Government investigation of ALL Data Aggregators taking consumer information from dealers’ DMS. Sadly enough, dealers who do business with TrueCar are exposed to  liability charges. Cut off all access to unecessary data, no matter who takes it from the dealers DMS and make it illegal to “resell identifiable consumer data” and “transactional data”.
2. If anyone takes financial transactional data,  they expose the dealer that allowed it to violations, especially if it is passed on to other vendors or shared.
3. Educate Consumers to what they’re doing with their information…
a. You buy a car from a dealer, do you really want your personal information, and maybe
even your financial information, passed along and sold and shared by “God knows who?”
b. These People Charge the Dealer $300 which the dealers have to build into the deal
c. Your Privacy and the Security of your Information could theoretically compromise your identity if you do business a company that takes data from the dealership.
4. Educate Investors and potential investors they could possibly be mislead if anyone is telling them this is a safe investment because of all of the dealers pushing back, associations pushing back, and government regulators in many states coming after TrueCar’s business model as NOT compliant, in some cases they’re saying it is Not Legal.
5. AMEX, USAA and all of their affiliates do not want the bad consumer relations this push back is creating with their members and customers.
6. Cancel your dealership’s Affilation with TrueCar. Tell people with certificates YOU don’t honor TrueCar and you feel the company is NOT reputable. Educate consumers as to perceived data exposure if they buy from a TrueCar dealer.
7. Make the dealers selling at huge losses take all of those deals. Big problem right now is too many Nissan Dealers and others are taking huge losers to get the factory money. The TrueCar reverse-auction business model will continually push those numbers down until the factory money is non-existent. Consumers need to hear from many dealers, “We don’t do TrueCar”
8. Keep calling your National and State Dealer Associations demanding they get involved and stay involved… No excuses.
9. Get the Manufacturers into the game. If GM, Ford, Toyota, and other majors change the rules about how we advertise and do business to protect the dealers, we can cut off their ability to set pricing. So keep it up at every dealer meeting. Call your Dealer Council Members and protest to your factory reps.
Tell the manufacturers, if they want showroom and facility improvements, we need the ability to make fair profits.
10. Tell everyone you know. Educate other dealers and industry people. Watch the Painter interviews…I believe this the first time a vendor has publicly announced they intend to bring down the dealers and hijack our business, taking our profits and starving us out with our own data. Painter has said manufacturers and dealers should bankrupt and he, in his God-like way” will control distribution.
When their Yahoo Deal kicks in we need to stand firm and “Just Say No” we don’t honor TrueCar deals.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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TrueCar Insider Information – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

TrueCar Insider Information

It seems to me that the real problem that dealers should have with TrueCar/ZAG is not as much the disclosure of transaction prices in the now infamous bell shaped curve at, but instead, the insidiousness of trying to predict who will buy a car from a dealer ANYWAYS and then charge that dealership $300 for a vehicle sale that TrueCar did not actually facilitate.  I said to Scott Painter during our phone call that if he is successful in enrolling 10,000 dealers he will have in fact implemented a tax on every new vehicle sold for $300 that TrueCar collects. Three dealers in each geographic area that TrueCar defines, and the leads go to the dealer that would have been most likely to sell that car even if TrueCar was not involved… Paying for sales a dealership would have made anyways!!!

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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How Dealers United works – Automotive Dealership Cost Control

When considering the Dealers United value proposition, there are at least two important points to identify and evaluate:

1. What is the problem being solved?

2. Who are the principals and can they be relied upon to deliver?


In the case of Dealers United, the problem the company seeks to solve is fairly easy to understand, it is simply one of economics and purchasing power… Large buying groups have the economic clout to drive lower costs, while individual businesses are relegated to serving the quest for higher gross margins by the supplier.  Dealers United will give the single point and smaller privately owned groups the ability to access mega-group buying power.


So, the real question is really one of do you trust and have confidence in the leadership of Dealers United?  I (for one) have dealt with Jesse Biter for several years and have found him to be smart, trustworthy and a man of good conscience with strong business ethics and a sense of morality that is based on simple “Right or Wrong” dynamics, rather than being guided by selfish reasons or greed.  Do I trust Jesse Biter? Yes, I do…


In my professional opinion, there is no reason why every independently owned dealership and smaller dealer group in America should NOT join Dealers United, and many valid reasons why they should.  Use the links provided to watch the Dealers United video…

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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TrueCar Sales Process – Automotive Marketing

TrueCar Dealership Sales Process

Adam Barish’s list makes me want to thump my chest, do high fives and smack-downs… However, in all sincerity, if you work in a dealership that uses TrueCar or any other value-diminishing price focused based marketing strategy, once the vehicle is sold, the damage is done.  The mistake was made long before the customer showed up at the dealership.  Therefore, why punish the customer for taking advantage of the stupidity that permeates your dealership’s marketing decisions?

If anything, I would want to win the “Hearts and Minds” of these TrueCar mooches and try to ensure that next time around, they do not want to do business anywhere else… Or, service their vehicle anywhere else.  After all, if your dealership is so poorly managed that you cannot generate a fair profit margin, then I hope you are able to retain some of these customers in your service drive to earn SOMETHING from selling that car.

Now, I will also agree that Adam’s list made me smile and think “Hell Yeah!”, but let’s be smart enough to realize that wasting a customer is simply not the best way to go, so consider showing these TrueCar customers some love so they do not feel so compelled to use TrueCar in the future, instead preferring to deal directly with your dealership by cutting out the middleman and the extra $300 in dealer cost they incurred by using TrueCar.

Use the links provided to view Adam Barish’s extensive and detailed list of TrueCar Sales Process steps…

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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Autobytel, Dealix, Edmunds, KBB – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Dear Autobytel, Dealix, Edmunds, KBB

Jerry Thibeau – Early Monday morning I start receiving e-mails from third party lead providers thanking me for submitting my information.  The e-mails were on the same vehicles I shopped on TrueCar.  Coincidence, I think not!  Now here is where it gets interesting, my data had been corrected to reflect my current e-mail, and my current phone number.  I also started receiving phone calls from dealers.  I am guessing my information could have been taken was from the DMS of the dealership where I last purchased my Infiniti. My questions to you, where did my lead originate from and how did you get my information?

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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The Probability of Accountability – Automotive CRM

The Probability of Accountability

Joe Webb “reveals” the hidden truth behind the BS that masquerades as a CRM installation in most USA based car dealerships… This article could have also been titled “The PROBLEM Of Accountability”.  I can attest to the fact that what Joe observed is something I have seen on far too many occasions in dealerships I was assigned to visit for CRM installation purposes back when I worked for The Reynolds and Reynolds Company, but is also a painful reality of what we see up to this day.  These sorts of false accountability systems were destructive 8 years ago, and remain destructive to this day.

The good news is that most BDC’s and slightly fewer Internet Sales Teams do not engage in such shenanigans because they do not have the luxury of putting their names on deals that they did not bring into the dealership (for the most part).

The bad news is that regardless of the systems you put in place, employees will usually figure out a way to game the system… For example, the nonsense I see of dealers blocking access to Facebook only results in the use of smartphones for this purpose and their employees bringing in their own laptops.  In other words, technology does not prevent or provide accountability as much as it gives owners and managers a false sense of security that policies are being followed.

Use the link provided in order to read the actual article written by Joe Webb…

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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Playing Keep Away – Joe Webb Video

Playing Keep Away

JOE WEBB VIDEO: Another funny and insight producing video vignette by Joe Webb that shines a light on one of the many ways digital marketing ignorant people in car dealerships chase away many thousands of dollars in gross profit and dozens of units sold each month… You gotta watch this clip!  Use the links provided.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

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