CarMax Returns to Third Party Lead Providers

According to a recent AutoNews article, and much of the automotive industry, CarMax returned to buying leads this month after a 16-month break-up with AutoTrader and


Despite the rising costs and dwindling dealership brand presence, about 40 percent of CarMax’s 141 stores are now back up and running with And, quite possibly though not confirmed, the same can be said for AutoTrader.

Senior automotive analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, Kevin Tynan says..

We’re heading into a robust pre-owned market,” Tynan said. “It makes sense to spread (vehicle) exposure as widely as it can.

I’m not sure we buy that….

CarMax back on the lead bandwagon?

CarMax wasn’t alone in its endeavor to quit third party leads. AutoNation didn’t go cold turkey, but as it builds the foundation that will rely on brand awareness over third party lead providers, the giant has been pulling away from buying leads. Check out what the Refreshers think about third party leads.

The U-Turn discussion is already underway over in the forums and waiting for your insight.

What is missing, if anything, in the research process that is being found on AutoTrader or – and, not on YOUR dealership website?

What are you doing at your store about third party leads? Are you actually measuring their worth, and I mean, truly measuring?

If your store has made the leap tell us about your journey…

You're Invited to 10th Kain Conference
Date: October 11, 2014—December 11, 2014
Time: 11am
Event: 10th Annual Kain Automotive Digital Success Workshop
Venue: Lexington Downtown Hilton
Location: 369 W Vine St
Lexington , KY 40507
Public: Private
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

Every year the industry’s good friend, David Kain, hosts his Digital Success Clients & Friends Workshop in his home town of Lexington, Kentucky. I’ve been attending and have spoken at David’s conference since the early ones. This year represents his 10th Annual Conference. And each year David and his crew outdoes the last with the quality of content.Kain Conference Logo

Dealers looking to accelerate their internet sales performance beyond the basics through proven practices, cutting edge strategies and techniques that will differentiate their operation from the competitors need to consider this just-the-right-size venue and conference.

Click here to register

Registration starts 11:00am on Monday November 10th and the Workshop / Conference doesn’t come to an end until Wednesday at 3:30pm.

SCHEDULED SPEAKERS for this years event are the following:

  • Alex Vetter – Senior VP –
  • Ali Mendiola – Business Development Manager, Digital Retailing – Dealertrack
  • Amir Amirrezvani – Co-Founder – DealerOn
  • Beth Walters – Regional Sales Manager – L2TMedia
  • Bill Wittenmyer – Partner – ELEAD1ONE
  • Christian Salazar – Brand Manager – Dealer Fire
  • Dave Hoffman – Account Manager – Google
  • David Metter – President – HookLogic
  • David Pyle – Senior VP of Sales – Autotrader & KBB
  • Dean Evans – CEO – LotLinx
  • Gary Bang – VP & GM of Tampa Harley Group
  • Jason Wiley – Director of Sales – Haystack Digital
  • Jeremy Anspach – CEO – PureCars
  • John Gottschalk – Senior VP of Customer Engagement – FordDirect
  • John Malishenko – COO – Germain Motor Company
  • Jon Budd – Senior Group Manager – New Media – Hyundai Motor America
  • Jon Ferrara – CEO – Nimble CRM
  • Jonathan Wolske – Culture Evangelist –
  • Mike Haeg – Director of Business Development – Century Interactive
  • Patrick Workman – Client Partner, Global Marketing Solutions – Facebook
  • Ricky Lopez – Ecommerce Director – Crown Automotive Group
  • Scott Pechstein – Vice President of Sales – Autobytel
  • Todd Levy – Sr. Acct. Executive, Automotive – Twitter
  • Todd Smith – CEO – ActivEngage
  • Tracy Myers – Owner – Frank Myers Auto Maxx

On top of the speaker sessions, there’s also a BEST IDEA SESSION where the winners are selected by votes of the attendees. The winners walk away with some hard ca$h!

Don’t miss out this opportunity to attend one of the few industry conferences that I personally look forward to each year.

For more information and to review the agenda click here. If have any questions, you can contact the lovely Jessica Kain at or 859-797-6807 call/text.

See you at the conference?

The Secret Sauce Is Always Spoiled

For the first time in seven years, I’m walking away from the fall conference season with a feeling of complete and utter hope for our industry.

Secret Sauces

Never before have I seen so many dealers who were truly engaged with the speakers and each other. It’s as if we’ve hit a turning point where skepticism and confusion have been replaced by knowledge and understanding. I learned more from exchanging ideas with dealers than with other vendors.

There was one negative component that still reared its ugly head as it seems to do every conference season. The fallacy of “secret sauce” getting peddled by vendors is still ever-present. This needs to change and dealers have the power to make it happen.

One-Price Car Shopping. Is it Coming, or Not?

Automotive Sales Revolution

You say you want a revolution

Well, you know

We all want to change the world

You tell me that it’s evolution

Well, you know

We all want to change the world


One Price…Is it Coming, or Not?

The short answer is yes, and it may not be as scary as you think.

It seems that we’ve been talking about a revolution in automotive retail for a long time. One-price car shopping. Salespeople as order-takers. Whole teams of dealership employees left to do little more than collect leads from a computer and process financing.

By some accounts, the revolution would be a total online shift to selling a car on a website or mobile device. In this vision, the future is as simple as point, click and drive.

Are YOU going to #DSES 2014?

DSES 2014 is right around the corner (this Sunday) and if there’s ONE event in the industry that I look forward to, it is DSES!

DSES 2014 - Sold Out Again!

UPDATE: For the 6th year in a row DSES has SOLD OUT. But if you didn’t get a seat and would very much like one? Click here to possibly get on a waiting list.

What makes the DrivingSales Executive Summit so different? That’s easy…

The Missing Ingredient To Automotive Enterprise Software Recipes


In recent months there has been a renewed effort by some of the largest automotive software providers to entice dealers to sign enterprise business agreements. These contracts bundle products and services to offer considerable savings to dealers who are willing to standardize on the vendor’s product suite.

The largest software companies serving franchise automotive dealers include CDK Global, Cox Automotive, Dealertrack Technologies, Dominion Dealer Solutions, and Reynolds & Reynolds. Some of these companies offer dealers a complete operating platform that includes the DMS, CRM, Inventory Management, Websites, Desking, F&I, and Fixed Operations software while others have a few key software pieces to offer.

18.2 Reasons to Reconsider Google’s Zero Moment of Truth

For the past three years, Google’s Zero Moment of Truth has been a pillar of the automotive industry. Wedged into nearly ever conference workshop and lauded by trainers, vendors and dealers alike, the groundbreaking study shed light on the multi-faceted journey car shoppers take every day when purchasing vehicles.

Digital Influence 1

With tangible proof of the importance of things like online research, reviews and excellent customer service, we were forced to take a step back and put our consumer hats on, to realize that many of our greatest marketing challenges were right in front us waiting to be solved.

But where ZMOT starts to answer the what, it stops short at the whywhy do car shoppers use the tools they use to make decisions?With so many moving pieces, how do they all fit together in the minds of consumers?