Digital Dealer 17 Review with Kevin Frye

Kevin Frye at Digital Dealer 17

You will get knocked out by this Digital Dealer 17 Review

Have you seen my Led Zeppelin sweater?  It’s made of Kashmir…  As I entered Digital Dealer 17 on day one, I was greeted with the sound of Zeppelin’s classic tune “Kashmir”. Ba na nah, ba na nah, nah nah nah! With music like that, I had to expect something grand at this fall’s conference (and nice selection of tunes care of Pandora). Can you believe we are on our 17th Digital Dealer? Wow, we have come a long way since the earliest conference, and I looked forward to meeting great friends while learning great new content that could help me when I return.

Kevin Frye and Julie Frye

We invited several great friends to our anniversary dinner…

Whoa! Hold on there ‘pardner…  I actually showed up on Sunday afternoon to enjoy some Vegas time with my lovely wife Julie. We always look to celebrate our anniversary with dinner and a show in the city that never sleeps, and Vegas did not disappoint. We spent some pool-time at the Mirage (and might I add – FIRST CLASS people watching…), enjoyed the Spa facilities, and then headed down to the Aria for a wonderful dinner at Jean George’s Steakhouse, followed by the Cirque du Soleil show “Zarkana”.  If you are only coming to Vegas for the conference, you are missing out on some of the best entertainment, food, and first class service that Las Vegas has to offer.

DD17 conference screens

I liked the updating HD TV screens at the DD17 Conference – great job Joseph De Palma

Can you say “check-in while wearing a swimsuit?” – And that is exactly what I did on Monday afternoon. Wearing flip flops and the latest in Italian Speedo fashion, I stopped in for the early Digital Dealer registration. THANK YOU for putting this into place as I can quickly grab my conference badge and more in just a minute, and avoid any lines or waiting on the first day of the conference. Now maybe next year someone can personally deliver my registration badge while I sit poolside…

Drive Better Digital Marketing Decisions With Geo-Coding

How far, on average, are your customers willing to travel to purchase their next vehicle from your dealership?


For those of you out there in digital dealership land looking for a way to get absolutely buried in insane data diving that provides easy, actionable, results, boy do I have your fix! Geo-coding.

Geo-coding is the practice of taking location data coordinates and mapping them, usually via CSV file, to a graphical map interface. Or in other words, pulling zip codes out of your CRM sales folder (again in CSV text tab-delimited) and uploading it to one of several Geo-coding web stations.

My personal favorite and easily the most convenient one out there for those running their own SEM campaigns in Adwords is, you guessed it, Google MapsEngine.

Sound Good? Let’s Get Started…

5 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Own AdWords Account

You’re likely spending a decent chuck of change each month on PPC at your dealership. Wouldn’t it be great to know you’re doing it correctly? Of course, it would be. I’m extremely excited to welcome Michael Pistell as our newest contributor to DealerRefresh as he has awesome information to share with our community. – Kershner

How many features are you NOT taking advantage of with your dealers Paid Search / Adwords Account – that’s COSTING YOU every day?

Stop Sabotage

Over the last few years, I have worked with hundreds of dealers that are sabotaging their own Paid Search. Here are 5 Best Practices you NEED to employ right away to maximize your campaigns…

#5 Your Display ads annoy your potential customers

Limiting the amount of impressions a users sees per day will keep your CTR under control and your targeted audience happy.

Have you ever been browsing the internet and noticed the same graphic ad being shown to you many times per day across multiple sites? That’s a Re-marketing campaign created by a PPC manager who forgot to set frequency capping. While being shown an ad multiple times per day does have an effect, there’s a diminishing return with each impression you serve to the same user. Those diminishing returns will inflate your impression count and cost you money at the end of the day.

Frequency capping should be done on all campaigns running in the Display network, here’s how we fix this:

Here’s to you, Sean Woodruff

Last month the DealerRefresh community lost a member to an unfortunate accident. Not only a good member, but a freaking great member. Sean Woodruff passed away August 21, 2014.

Sean Woodruff

Originally, I planned on listing out a few contributions here and there, a few pics – but, after I started looking through his posts and threads I realized just how much of a hole he’s left behind here at DealerRefresh.

The threads and posts are just so many…many of you have been touched, taught and conversed with Sean. I’m sure you’ve even implemented a tid bit you’ve learned from him. I know I have.

2013-12-21_00-24-56Months and months ago I had reached out to Sean to have him do a DealerRefresh Dealer Spotlight.  He was ecstatic to be a part of a dealer spotlight and quickly returned everything I asked of him. And, then like many things in life and business, I got busy and distracted and the dealer spotlight didn’t get published. And, Sean followed up with me like any car dude would. I regret jerking on publishing what I should have published a long ass time ago.

Late, but always a spotlight to Jeff and I – here are a few excerpts from the unfortunately unpublished Sean Woodruff Dealer Spotlight:

Sean, describe your typical day and what is your favorite part of the day?me, lynda, and amanda

My days are quite busy! My typical day involves first and foremost getting my BDC department headed in the right direction and making sure it’s staffed, equipped for success, and driven. I have to give a big shout out to my Assistant Manager Lynda Mathieu, and my reps Amanda Poirier, Julie Woodside, and Holley Gleason. They are my rocks. Then for me it’s usually meetings, webinars, conference calls, and of course managing, training, tracking, and execution. I think in all honesty my favorite part of the day is making the decisions and overcoming the challenges that keep our business ahead of the curve, on the cutting-edge, and meeting our goals. I truly think the AutoFair Group is one of the most forward-thinking and competitive dealer groups in the U.S., and the people that make up our management and executive team are some of the most driven and intelligent professionals in the business.

If you could invent one product that would make your workday easier – what would it be?

Honestly? A self-autonomous robot that can answer all my BDC reps’, salespeople’s, and fellow manager’s questions.

It’d also be nice if it could dish out every word track in the book to my staff, skillfully handle every customer call whether good or bad, reply tactfully to online reviews, inspect what I expect in our CRM, and do it all while having a battery that lasts the WHOLE day (unlike my smartphone). Oh, and that can also somehow watch my 10-month old dog while I’m at work. That way I can just stick to the innovating and improving! Unfortunately, I think they could pay me a lot less if I had one of those….

I would be lost each day without….

Definitely the world wide web, my smartphone, my computer, and my staff. Oh and the ability to multitask, analyze, create, and problem-solve in new ways and at a high level.

Sean – you called it like it was in the forums and found friends who valued your opinions, experience and insight. Jeff and I thank you for every second you spent with DealerRefresh.

God Bless

Connected Cars Changing Our Commutes

Porsche Connected Car

The Connected Car movement continues it’s rapid expansion. Our connected lifestyles have changed our personal activities tremendously and the next wave of connectivity will involve the vehicles we cherish so dearly. The Internet of Things will deliver an entirely new layer of efficient and helpful solutions to drivers. DealerRefresh was fortunate to have an exclusive Q&A opportunity with INRIX Vice President, Jon Maron due to the announcement of a $55M investment by Porsche S.E.

While this is a significant event for the connected car segment, this should also be an important signal to the retail automotive community regarding the changing consumer behaviors and the features available within vehicles. This is a wonderful opportunity for dealers to understand this shift and provide even more valuable content to car buyers and help educate them on the newest technology changes available in their vehicles.

  1. Today, INRIX, Inc. announced Porsche SE is investing $55M in INRIX. Can you tell me more about that?

JM: Absolutely. Today is a very exciting day here at INRIX, as Porsche Automobile Holding SE (Porsche S.E.), the holding company with a controlling interest in the Volkswagen Group, has invested around $55 million for approximately a 10 percent ownership stake in INRIX, Inc. through purchasing both primary and secondary shares. This is Porsche SE’s very first investment transaction, and they chose INRIX as the platform they believe will have the most impact in the connected car race.

  1. Is this the first investment from a larger organization that INRIX has received?

JM: It’s certainly the most publicized one. Porsche SE joins Kleiner Perkins, August Capital, and Bain Capital as one of our top investors.

  1. There seems to be quite a bit of buzz lately around the idea of the “connected car,” with Intel, Qualcomm, Nokia and Google investing $100MM+ in developing connected car technologies that pave the way to smarter cities, Porsche S.E.’s investment furthers the great dashboard debate. What made INRIX stand out for Porsche SE?

JM: Until now, we’ve always been on of tech’s best kept secrets. In fact, INRIX holds more patents in traffic science and transportation data analytics than any other company. We also have more than 300 customers ranging from leading automakers like Audi, JMW and Ford to more than 60 departments of transportation around the world. Collectively, we think it’s the combination of our sophisticated approach, proprietary technology and market momentum across the connected car and smart cities markets that makes us an attractive investment.

The bottom line is that Big Data and the Internet of Things is changing everything from where people go and what they do, to how they get from place to place. In that context, INRIX is at the forefront of connecting cars to smarter cities. Porsche S.E. and INRIX share a vision and strategic commitment to advancing intelligent mobility. Both companies recognize the need and value for smarter cities to address the individual, economic and environmental challenges of urbanization worldwide.

  1. Where is the greatest growth potential in this market (these markets)?

JM: In the billion dollar battle with Google and Apple for control of the dashboard in the connected car, INRIX and Porsche S.E see an enormous growth opportunity. Unlike these much larger competitors, our independence and our patented technologies is one of the things that makes us attractive to investors like Porsche and the preferred partner to automakers, governments and our many other customers worldwide.

ABI Research estimates that by 2017 80 percent of all vehicles on the road will be connected cars. In that time, IDC Research has stated that the market for Big Data technologies and services is expected to grow 27 percent annually to reach $32.4 billion led by the immense amount of data coming from connected devices, including the automobile.

The connected car holds the key to providing insight that makes navigation easier for drivers and helps our cities make our transportation networks work smarter. Today, congestion places an enormous burden on our economy and environment and it’s only expected to get worse. Innovations such as the connected car can help us turn this around.

  1. So who is INRIX? You guys have managed to float under the radar for quite some time, are you considering this your coming out party?

JM: I don’t think we consider this as a coming out party at all, but more of an opportunity to continue focusing on innovation, which has driven us to be a leader in the space today, and bring us that much closer to the reality of the connected car.

We currently have over 300 customers and partners that we provide real-time traffic information, transportation analytics and connected driver services across six industries – automotive, fleet, public sector, mobile, media and real estate. Porsche’s investment will just fuel our momentum.

Jon – DealerRefresh appreciates you sharing this information with the automotive community, best of luck to you and everyone involved with the new ventures.

Find Jon on LinkedIn and Twitter.

To learn about INRIX and its mission to making the connected car a reality, please visit

Apple Pay. Is this the Future of Payments?

Today Apple announced a watch and a new iPhone 6. Most of the headlines you read will be centered around these devices. However, a much bigger focus for the retail industry was sandwiched somewhere in the middle of Apple’s keynote.


Today Apple announced “Apple Pay” – a mobile payments solution designed into the new iOS 8 mobile operating system.

Apple has jumped into the mobile payments foray in an effort to make plastic credit cards a thing of the past. The concept is simple. Use your phone and your fingerprint to buy anything – in person or online.

While a simple concept, many have tried – none have succeeded. Apple’s system differs from failed past attempts in a few key areas.