Industry News & Trends

The Best of DealerRefresh 2011

happy New Year 2012

I know I’m a little late with this post (as I am each year) but it’s still early enough to wish everyone a Happy New Year while also highlighting the best of DealerRefresh from 2011. Just as we did for 2010, and 2009 and…

2011 has been one eventful year for not only DealerRefresh but the industry as a whole. For me personally 2011 has been a year of change with accepting a position with HookLogic / AutoHook (a technology and service that I’ve help to mold and build out over the last 3 years) while also having the opportunity to continue to consult and work with the Younger Auto Group.

Here are the best DealerRefresh articles and threads from 2011, based on engagement, comments and what we thought were straight up worth including in this Best Of DealerRefresh 2011 Post.

Lets get started with here on the Blog…

5 Reasons to Forget About Your SEO – Terrence Gordon drills into 5 top-level reasons to get your brain on the right track about Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – the umbrella of SEO and PPC.

You got a STD? (Social Trusting Disease) – Joe expresses his dis-taste of Social Media but more importantly the lackadaisical leadership that is so unprepared for the “Bright Light of Social Media”.

Are you a Finger Pointer? – If you’ve been in management, or have had to keep multiple vendors connected, then you have probably felt this same frustration.

How to buy a CRM Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5 – If you missed this awesome series from Alex, do yourself a big and take a moment to read all 5 parts of this series of articles every dealership needs to read.

Call Tracking Facts Every Dealership Should Know – Stephen over at Century Interactive shares some insights on Call Tracking while stirring the pot on having a tracking number on your Google Places page.

Smart Phones Will Be Their Weapon of Choice! – Erin Touponse explores Micro-technology in the guise of Smart phones and what it means to our sales process and sales people in general.

Exclusive Interview with on Dealer Ratings and Reviews – announces their new dealer review and ratings feature. Dealer reviews alongside your dealers inventory – talk about ZMOT. Look for a catch up post in 2012.

The Eureka! Link – Is there a moment in Classified Shopping that splits the casual car shopper from the highly motivated shopper?  “Uncle Joe”and his  marketing instincts are telling him yes.

The Bruce event starring Larry Bruce #AutoMarketing – Oh, that’s right we played a not so nice Aprils Fools joke on Larry Bruce. Almost forgot about that.

Are Your Employees “Coin Operated”? – I decided to go on a small rant over the lack of leadership and how many dealer management would rather throw money and spiffs around, thinking it’s the only way to motivate their people.

The Test Drive Conundrum – Has It Changed? –  Has the DEMO Drive changed? Joe Webb explores.

De-Stressing the Dealership Environment – Our own John Quinn suggests 3 simple way to help de-stress the dealership environment.

The 4 Words That Make Sales Managers Sound Stupid– There are four words that are said by Sales Managers around the nation…When was the last time you heard or potentially said these four words.

Edmunds TMV vs TrueCar – Dealers, wake up! – The article that started it all. I connected the dots and exposed TrueCar and Edmunds for their perpetual contracts for accessing and using a dealers own transactional data for consumer consumption. It’s been crazy ever since…

Why You Should WANT Gen Y Workers in your Dealership – The Coddled. Entitled. The “what’s-in-it-for-me?” generation receives some love as Jade Makana explorers why dealers might want to embrace this generation.

From Bad To Great! – Jerry Thibeau shares a story of how one dealership went from bad to great on the telephone in just 6 months.

What is your product? – A product is a “thing produced by labor or effort.”  A “thing” isn’t always something physically tangible. What is the product of your dealership?

Is Your Dealership Chat Used or Abused?  – Do you really know what your dealership website chat is doing for you? Joe explorers the 5 common classes chats fall into.

1 Reason Why Your Email Collection is OVERRATED – Who cares how many email addresses your dealership collects. Once you have them, what are you going to do with them?

TrueCar Scam on Dealerships – Transparency For ALL? – The TrueCar debacle really heats up and it’s only just begun.

Middle Management is Killing your Sales – Joe Webb offers another fantastic article.  What is middle management doing at your dealership to kill sales?


2011 important industry purchases

DealerTrack acquires eCarList Buys VINSolutions– after purchasing Homenet AutovAuto and KBB (Kelly Blue Book)


moving on to the forum …

First off – we did a huge upgrade to the forum this year. Really tighten up the theme and user experience and took both the forum and blog mobile. You can now stay up to date while taking DealerRefresh on the go.

Don’t expect us to stop there, we have several upgrades on the way!

As Always:  In a forum, a thread never really “dies”. If you run across a relevant thread to information on what you are looking for, pay little attention to when the last post/comment was made and post your response or question. This will revive the thread and bump it back into active status. We see many older threads go untouched for a few months, only to be rediscovered and revived.

The forums moves fast with over 80 comments a day on average. Here is what you may have missed this year…

Dealers flooding review sites with fake user reviews – The community sounds off with their opinion on dealers obtaining fake positive reviews.

Mike Blumenthal on Onsite “Review Stations” and Google – Ed shares an article from Mike Blumenthal (uncontested expert of experts on Google Places) around the pros and cons of having review stations set up at the dealership. GREAT Conversation.

Taking videos of your vehicles – An ongoing thread around best practices and examples of taking videos of you inventory.

ZMOT is the Stupidest, Most Brilliant Idea Ever! – Lots of buzz around this simple acronym but it’s one that even the old school GM can spell.

What Defines A Successful Automotive Social Media Strategy – Over 21 pages of DealerRefresher’s chiming in on what they believe defines a social media strategy. Amazing thread.

TrueCar using Zag Dealer Data to Create Value? – Dealers sound off around the TrueCar the buzz and the fact they are using data that Zag pulls from dealers’.

QR Codes – In or Out? – WOW – here’s a thread that will not die! Will this thread go down in history as we all look back and either laugh at QR or will some of us non believers eat our own words? Only time will tell.

Autotrader vs Value comparison – This is a fairly new thread but one that’s already grabbing the attention of the community. Even has been gracious to join in on the conversation.

Cradle to Grave ISM Pay Plans? – The argument that will never end…. Cradle to Grave or BDC/Appointment Setter.

I’m going to stop the list right here because I swear I could go on with another 20+ threads.

The community we have here on DealerRefresh is second to none. We have a lot of personalty and many our members are never afraid to speak up and call it as they see it. It’s what helps make our community so special.

So a HUGE thanks for all our active community members in 2011.

Also, THANKS to our 2011 sponsors. Their participation and contributions help keep DealerRefresh moving forward with up-keep and new technologies.

I want to of course personally thank Alex, Joe and John. You guys are truly the greatest and if DealerRefresh was end today – the friendships I’ve made have been the most rewarding and more than what I could have ever asked for. Ok, enough of the sappy shit.

Onwards to a great 2012!!

If I missed something, sound off in the comments..

Founder of DealerRefresh - 20+ Years of dealership Sales, Management, Training, Marketing and Leadership.