Other Stuff

2008 DealerRefresh Year End Review

Wow, what a year!! No doubt a roller coaster ride for our industry. We hear about “the dealer down the road” closing their door just about every other day. While the strong dealers are surviving, too many dealers are just now figuring out that internet marketing needs to be the dominating percentage of their marketing mix.

What will your dealers Marketing Mix be for 2009?? (humm, sounds like a post to me)

Thanks to everyone that has help contribute this year to DealerRefresh. From guest posters, to commenter’s to our paid sponsors. The traffic and readership doubles each year, making this another record year for DR. While there have been several other industry related blogs and social networks come out of 2008, we keep doing what we do; finding the right balance of engaging articles while hopefully writing and commenting about what matters most to a dealers internet marketing and sales efforts.

2008 was exciting here for me as we said good bye to the old DealerRefresh design and hello an all new DealerRefresh 3.0.

So as I do every year, digging back into the archives, here are some of the top/engaging posts of 2008.

Alright..I’m going to draw the line here. Every year I do this I usually find myself spending hours reviewing some of the older articles and this post takes me way longer than anticipated. 🙂

It’s always exciting to go back and review all the posts from the previous year.  Some of the conversations are timeless and engaging.

I’m not one for predictions because I think anything can happen and shit changes too fast. However I believe 2009 will be a huge year for our industry. Hopefully the economic status will start to favor on the positive side.

Social sites and social networking will of course continue to grow and dealers will eventually have to find their spot within this growing segment. Marketing of the future will be PR. Video will be web “3.0” and dealers will struggle to really grasp this medium.

Twitter will go mainstream; some will figure out how to use this medium to help build transparency.

Speaking of transparency (a word that has been beaten to death on 2008), dealers will be forced more than ever to become transparent. Dealer rating sites like DealerRater and Insiderpages will continue to be even more influential on consumer buying decisions. As this happens dealer reputation management will NEED TO BE at top of mind awareness for car dealers.

I’d like to say 2009 will be the year dealers really take hold and understand the importance of SEO but I’m not holding my breath.

THANKS TO EVERYONE for reading DealerRefresh and for your support and participation in 2008. We have a great community here and some of the best talent in the industry participating, reading and commenting. 2009 is going to be a fun ride! See you next year.


Founder of DealerRefresh - 20+ Years of dealership Sales, Management, Training, Marketing and Leadership.
Considering the industry has almost nowhere to go but UP from here (one would hope), I too expect 2009 to be a promising year for the industry.

DR has clearly been an oasis for the industry. You have represented the art and science of relational blogging well and established a loyal following. I think this site is a true reflection of your own person Jeff.

Happy New Year to everyone who frequents DR and thanks to all for sharing your passions, positions, and ideas. It is entertaining and educational.

Godspeed. -RG
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    Andrew Wright
  • January 1, 2009
Jeff - I agree with you wholeheartedly. Let's get it done in 2009. Thanks for the efforts of everyone on DR.

Happy New Year.


Thank you for the 2008 recap and list of your site's most popular posts. I went to the microsite discussion and saw, for the first time, all the comments posted by one of my old Courtesy Chevrolet suppliers, David Jackson... Wow, I was pretty amazed that I had not seen it before. Must have been before I started using Google alerts on my own name. Anyways, I just wanted to point out 2 facts regarding the history of my using Mr. Jackson's services:

1. When I was first introduced to Mr. Jackson by Mike Gordon, our IT director at the time, Dave's response to my question regarding microsites was - "What's a microsite". So I taught him about the concept and submitted mock-ups of the sites I wanted him to build via MS Word document.

2. Since Mr. Jackson had never build microsites before I explained the concept to him, he also did not know how to build ADF-XLM formatted web site forms that could be easily parsed by lead management tools. I provided Mr. Jackson with the STAR manual in PDF file format, and then worked with him to change his forms until they would parse properly into any standard CRM or Lead Management tool.

The shakespearian phrase "me thinkest thou protest too greatly..." or something like that comes to mind. The fact remains that I have personally referred more dealers to Mr. Jackson's business than any other customer he has ever had... I know simply by looking at his client list.

The first dealer he ever sold a microsite to after Courtesy Chevrolet was a Mercedes-Benz dealership that I referred to him. Yet, I have never seen a thank you, my attempts to reconcile I have been rebuffed and I have been contacted by dealer after dealer who felt obligated to bring to my attention that Mr. Jackson had defamed and slandered me during their phone conversations... Sometimes, the phone calls and emails have come to me from dealers I have never met!

Oh well... One thing I learned a long time ago when I was in a fraternity in college, is that you should never help people or inspire them with an expectation of reward, recognition or pay back. Mr. Jackson has certainly reinforced that lesson learned.

Oh, and one more thing... I sure do like the way your new design and features work on DealerRefresh.com compared to the old site platform! I hope that you and Alex keep up all the great work you have done in 2009... May this be the best of all years for DealerRefresh.com!
Jeff - Thanks for all your efforts in our industry. I give you the Automotive Industry Blog of the Year.

And to all your contributors (specifically Alex), you do a great service for the industry.