Please note that comment moderation is being used on this blog. This means that you are free to comment on any posts, however they will be reviewed prior to being posted on the live site. We welcome any legitimate comments, but comments including links to your own sites (i.e. "link spamming" or "comment spam") will be marked as spam and will not be published. If you have comments that will be useful to other readers, feel free to post them, otherwise go spam someone else's blog!
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Where is the Auto Marketing Industry Headed?
So basically there are thousands of people in your local area who know how to build you a dealer website, but the important question is do they know how to do it right? Dealers are getting smarter. Some are slower than others, some I would definitely consider hard-headed, but overall they’re becoming more informed about their choices. I believe we’re in a transition phase in this industry. There are so many choices, and some companies are really going to stand out above the others. The market is so saturated with people or companies that claim to be capable. As we reach a critical mass in the marketplace, dealers become more informed and there will be a lot of consolidation taking place.
Taking it to the next level is the natural next step. Website companies may begin to consolidate, some may merge, some may disappear. Why stop there? A lot of companies are already broadening their skill set to help dealers. We’re getting ready to launch an eBay listing manager. We’re starting to offer pay-per-click campaign management and press release services to dealers. We’ve also been approached by several companies to act as resellers of their technology, again, keeping everything under one roof. As a dealer, if you could have one company handle your website, your inventory management, photos, window stickers, lead management/CRM, and several other things, wouldn’t it be better to have that one company instead of 7 separate companies? A one-stop marketing shop of sorts. I had the pleasure recently to speak with Eric Gidney of Next-Level Automotive who has built his business model on this principle. Eric and I actually both worked for Autotrader.com for several years (among other auto industry jobs individually), so to say we know the industry is an understatement. While we at Higher Turnover are broadening our services, we’re still staying focused on web development and applications. Next-Level Automotive is currently taking a more hands-on approach with the dealers in a focused area (Philadelphia, PA). They’ll actually go to the lot, take the photos for the dealers, work with them on print/direct mail campaigns, and generally do some of the things that someone like us isn’t able to do without having 2,000 field reps across the country.
Next-Level Automotive’s existence and the speed at which they’ve grown in the Philly market are perfect examples of where this industry is headed. It's already starting on the local level, and I think it’s a good thing for the dealers.