Dale Pollak VS Google at DSMC

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Dale Pollak takes on Google (representative)

Yago, one of our most active DealerRefresh community members recorded a session using his iPhone at DSMC. The session is with Michael Rose at Google.

Michael explained the new Google cars program, which I’m sure is a great concern to Autotrader. Dale Pollak, Chip Perry, and 2 other of the Autotrader top management were in attendance.

Dale raised his hand for the last question of the day…

From Yago’s post in the forum:

Michael was talking about their strategy of bringing a better communication system for the consumer to improve their willingness to give up their contact information (proxy contact), as well as, market transparency by providing the consumer with market data, such as average sale price and so forth. It is interesting to note that KBB is already providing market sales data to the consumer.

When Dale grabbed the microphone he said he didn’t have a question for Michael, but for the audience. He asked how they felt of this new “race to the bottom” especially in regards to other recent events (2012 TrueCar strategy). Michael defended his position by explaining that they will post average market data, not lowest selling data. Please watch the rest of the story.

This video is interesting because it sets the stage for perhaps what could be one of the major most meaningful changes in the digital automotive arena as Google takes center stage in long tail and make/geo searches.

Ask yourself:

  1. Is this the beginning of the end for 3rd party website leads?
  2. Does Google have this right; customers are better served by finding your cars straight in Google instead of paying Autotrader to pay Google to show your cars (cutting a middle man = cheaper leads)?
  3. Are people not sending enough leads because of a fear of unlimited solicitation and will Google’s proxy approach get us more volume of leads?

Click here to join the discussion and comment

Jeff Kershner

I’m the founder of DealerRefresh. I got my start in the dealer business when I was 18. From there I've worked throughout several departments within fixed to variable ops. Whether it’s managing the desk, perfecting sales process or studying online marketing and media trends, I absolutely love this business and the challenges it brings. On top of keeping up with DealerRefresh, I consult with dealerships and key industry businesses. My passion has been and continues to be helping dealers leverage new media to sell and improve customer service.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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One thought on “Dale Pollak VS Google at DSMC

  1. I have been following the Google Cars program closely (with what information is readily available), as I am sure this will be a game-changer. I am willing to tackle your 3 questions Jeff…
    1) I don’t necessarily think this is the end of 3rd party leads, unless Google chose to not allow 3 party sites to utilize SEM to drive traffic. That would not make sense to me as Google is a for-profit company, which is the same reason they are creating google.com/cars – to make money. Make no mistake about it, this is not a “feel-good” project by Google designed to help consumers buy cars, it is a strategic move to make millions of dollars from the automotive industry in return for having their inventory displayed.
    2) Yes, Google has this right, or should I say “of course”. This is Google’s platform, and they can decide to use their marketing solution and prioritize it over AutoTrader, Cars.com, or any other provider. Now whether they will do this cheaper than AT or Cars.com is another story. I would believe that Google will charge the most money that the market will bear in return for their services.
    3) I don’t believe that people are not sending leads because they are afraid of solicitation. The proxy model embraced by many providers is built on the assumption that customers do not want to communicate directly with dealers (which is an indirect way of saying “you should not trust car dealers”). If you are watching your key metrics closely, lead counts remain strong and are growing, with phone calls coming back much stronger than email leads as smart phones and “click to call” links are becoming more prevalent and convenient.
    Thanks for the video clip, and great job to Dale for standing up!