Dear Mark O’Neil,
You are the Chairman and CEO of DealerTrack with a fascinating bio that includes being President of an Auto Dealer Group, you’ve worked at Intel, you co-founded CarMax and you’re Director at DealerTire.com. It’s quite clear you have a nose for opportunity and with your Harvard MBA, you know how to leverage it. I hope this information finds its way to your desk.
I would like to present to you comprehensive report of a gigantic opportunity that resides inside one of your existing companies. It is an undiscovered jewel that’s waiting for you to roll it out. Once you do, your data marketing partner will become Google…Yes Google.
I have better news. Google’s management team needs you and is looking for CHROME.
What is this Google Opportunity and what does this have to do with DealerTrack’s CHROME? Google has a new product search feature called Google Products, and it requires extremely detailed product data that CHROME specializes in. Let’s see how it all fits…
Let’s look at a Google Products example for a Garmin GPS:
Google is slowly building out it’s Google Products platform. Here is another Google Products example, this time taken from the automobile accessories industry. See the link for “Jeep Floor Mats” (Scroll to the bottom and you’ll see the “product attributes” that Google requires to make this work). If you swap out the Jeep Floor mats and insert ANY vehicle for sale (like a NEW 2011 Ford Flex or a USED 2008 Buick Enclave) Wow!
This digital marketing opportunity is not limited to Google. Here is Yahoo’s example of the same concept:
Bing has it also, but it’s not as fully developed.
I saw this opportunity in 2010 and attempted to fill this void myself. I’ve had discussions with Google Products data vendors from other verticals (EdgeNet.com) and have come to the conclusion that it will require an automotive data specialist inside our space to make this happen. IMO, there are few companies in the automotive space that has what Google needs and I have been working with CHROME data so long, I felt you’d be best suited to it. This is confirmed by Google’s PR: “Going to the Source to Improve Product Data”
When CHROME takes on this new partnership with Google, what kind of nationwide impact am I talking about here?
Let look at the automobile accessories industry for clues to what could happen in our space, let’s look at Audi Q7 accessories and visualize a 2011 Audi Q7 in its place:
What happens is CHROME creates the attribute map for all automobiles and this information creates a path FROM Google Products to the Google Shopping system, and to the organic search results AND to the Google Adwords (Paid search) results. I’ve uploaded my inventory to Google Shopping and nothing happens because there is no Google Products for automobiles (yet). My Audi Q7 is highlighted below and it sits there all dressed up and no place to go!
The Google Products is a relatively new feature for Google, and Google’s roll-out is limited to the time consuming connections it makes with vendor attribute specialists. Google is looking for a solution partner in the automotive manufacturer/dealer space and they don’t know you have the key to the attribute vault!
CHROME’s Revenue model? That’s up for exploration. I believe you’ll need to build a new business model for the product as it’s a data/advertising product with no peer (in our space). My research taken from www.Edgenet.com tells me that any retailer that wanted to be visible in the Google Products system needs to “participate” with the data vendors program. This makes the Google Products vendor the “gatekeeper” for all retailers! That being said, the Automotive model is completely unlike ecommerce retail so creative exploration will be required.
I do know, once it’s launched, it’s impact WILL dramatically impact our entire automotive retail internet marketing industry… forever.
Mr. O’Neil, your team’s contact at Google is Mr. Brian Lam, Strategic Partner Manager, Google Product Search. Mr/ Lam is a new hire (6/2010) and you two need to talk! The “Google Products” platform is built around ecommerce, so some joint creative thinking will be needed. Once you two conquer the details, the impact to consumer, manufacturer and retailer is going to be… epic.
I hope you and Mr. Lam found this report to be the beginning of a new product launch in the automotive retail space. If I can be of any service to you or your team, please feel free to contact me.