Vegas, Social Media, JD Power Stats, OEM representation, professional atmosphere, and excellent networking opportunities were the highlights of 2009’s #JDPAIRT << click for Twitter conversations.
I must state that I’m writing the rest of this from a dealer’s stand-point (mine in particular), so this might not be the same perspective an OEM or vendor would have…
With the economy being what it is, representation by the dealer body was low. This was no surprise, but the sad part was it didn’t set the stage for great debate on the dealer’s behalf. A few of us tried to push things through twitter, but I think we just disturbed people. So when you have a bunch of vendors and manufacturers, many have a tendency to play things safe. There were a few people who pushed the envelope on stage (Larry Bruce from Reynolds & Reynolds and David Metter from MileOne), but these were few and far between…I’ll write a bit about what they did a little further in.Due to my flight schedule I virtually missed the entire first day, and arrived just in time for the cocktail hour. I heard I only missed one good session though. The beginning of the second day started with Jim Farley of Ford who gave an incredible presentation of what Ford is doing in the digital space. I was very impressed!
I may not have these numbers perfectly correct, but from the graph Farley showed, this looks like Ford’s media buy: 50% TV, 25% Digital, 15% Experimental, and 10% paper/magazines. He also said that
all of Ford’s advertising is now derived from things learned in social media and they encourage all departments to participate and learn. He also stated that social media is such a strong influence on Ford that it actually plays a huge role in product and aftermarket development.
Their advertising strategy is simply to “get people talking about us, not us talking about us.” He made me wish, more than ever, that we carried Ford.
After Farley Ralph Paglia, Jared Hamilton, Eric Miltsch, Christopher Barger, and Tom Chisholm’s panel (pictured) was on social media. They each did a great job on explaining the fundamentals of how a business should approach these different communication pieces. I got to spend some time talking to Eric Miltsch and if you’re not watching what he is doing at Auction Direct you should! You can view the slideshow from their presentation here – thanks Mary! Ralph has also posted about his experience on the panel on ADM.
As for some debate…
- Larry Bruce from Reynolds & Reynolds brought up the age-old argument that a dealership should not move onto the next big thing until they’ve got the basics covered. I agree with that argument on some levels, but he got a little extreme with it, and obviously hasn’t thought about things from the perspective of pushing the core through new dealership processes that I proposed last week. I at least applaud Larry for stirring up some debate!
- There was a lot of talk about the buying funnel through Tier 1,2, & 3 advertising. I think everyone agreed that Tier 1 should be done by OEM’s and Tier 3 should be done by dealers, but what about Tier 2? Tier 2 is regional dealership/OEM advertising done through ad agencies that is usually paid for on dealer invoices. The argument for Tier 2 was not very strong. However, I think some of the ad agencies who handle Tier 2 stuff, like Pivec/Pivnet, do a lot to push dealers and OEM’s. Is there a value in that alone? There is definitely a lot more to debate on this subject.
- David Metter did a great job of not only entertaining the audience in a panel about what Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 advertising should be doing, but he also got some good digs in on OEM digital advertising policies toward dealers. He made quite a few points that had me saying AMEN and wishing that VW, Honda, MINI, Scion, GM, and Cobalt were in the room. I can’t quote David exactly, but here are two things he said in a nutshell:
Why do OEM’s approve almost all traditional co-op, while asking us to do more digital, but give us such a hard time approving the digital?
I don’t want my dealership website to look like my manufacturer’s website.
I had some great conversations outside of the conference, and that is more what attending these things is all about. Overall, I found this JD Power Automotive Internet Roundtable to be a graduation to Internet 201, but nothing that really pushed the envelope. Would I call it a waste of my boss’ money? – No, I got a few nuggets and ideas to make some money with. Am I going to think twice about attending next year – yes. I want more debate! As Shaun Raines noted in the #JDPAIRT twitter stream, too many of the panelists and moderators had business ties.
As more is written on the event, I’ll try to keep posting links here: