This year’s J.D. Power Automotive Internet Roundtable event will be held at the Red Rock Resort from October 20-22nd. View the agenda.
I have heard there are over 900 registered attendees who range from OEM’s to larger dealer groups. The JD Power Roundtable is one of my favorite events because it is mostly made-up of panels: 1 person moderating 3 to 5 panelists. This kind of environment pushes people off their intended responses, occasionally, which leads to more spontaneous answers – the kind you like to hear.
JD Power’s event is also not 101 so it isn’t for everyone. It is assumed that each attendee has a good understanding of the topics being discussed. On top of it not being 101 it is also geared for big spenders: OEM’s, Ad Agencies, Vendors and Large dealer groups. Can a single-point or small dealer group get something out of this JD Power event? Absolutely! They just need to keep in mind that the usual perspective is a bit higher-up in the consumer’s purchase funnel where it takes big money to advertise. But there are some great stories that can be taken and implemented at any level, and there are few opportunities to network with so many people from this level of the industry.
This will be my first J.D. Power event as a vendor, so I’m assuming I will get called into some meetings here and there. On top of that there are some meetings on my calendar already…..what I’m trying to say is if you don’t catch me attending one of these panels I’m saying I want to attend, don’t hold it against me.
Wednesday October 20th
The panels on the first day have no competition so we’re going to be a captive audience. I’m not going to jump into too much detail on the first day’s events other than to say I am looking forward to the 3:30 PM session “Can Traditional Media Drive Online Shopping” with Audi, National Cable Communications, ESPN, Time, Autotrader.com, and Group Media Director. These are some players who can absolutely answer that question and I’m looking forward to those responses.
Why am I looking forward to those responses? I already know the answer, but I just want some more ammunition to help spread the message. Of course traditional media helps your online presence. You’d have to be a fool not to understand that. It is so seldom that we actually get to hear about traditional mixed with online, and I’m ready for the conversations to start happening more frequently.
Thursday October 21st – the big day!
8:15 AM We get the day kicked off by Audi. Scott Keogh (Audi of America CMO) has some big shoes to fill. Last year Ford’s Jim Farley started things off with one of the most compelling presentations I’ve ever seen. He told the Ford Story at a time when Ford was trying to rebound from some bad bailout publicity and introduced one of my favorite websites: http://thefordstory.com. Audi has an incredible comeback story too and I’m a HUGE Audi fan (I drive one) so I have to say that I am excited about this keynote.
9:15 AM With every JD Power Event you get JD Power numbers and I have always found those extremely interesting. To follow on Audi, Jeff Schuster will be giving us the run-down on the global and national forecast for the automotive market.
10:15 AM Lexus, Honda, VW, and Mercedes-Benz team up to talk about their challenges in online marketing. This has the potential to be another great panel.
11:00 AM Talking about Pepsi’s digital marketing success. Turning Pepsi’s strategy into an automotive strategy. Interesting.
11:30 AM Here it is – Social Media. Yaaaaay…..can’t wait. Social Media is all I ever want to hear about these days. I just can’t get enough!!! </end of sarcasm> I’ve been watching the twitter stream from other October Vegas automotive events and Social Media seems to be what 80% of the event is about. Am I already burned out on the hype? Anyway, for the record, I believe in social media – I came from a dealer group who did it right. I just think the industry is dropping the ball in too many other places and shouldn’t be spending so much time focusing on this shiny object. But social media is definitely more fun to talk about than car dealers answering the phone or starting training programs – I get it. Yes, I will be attending this one because it is always good to see facebook and LinkedIn on a panel along with Adam Boalt (GOSO).
1:15 PM When I was a dealer it was hard to justify display advertising because it was so expensive. It competed with traditional advertising spends and no matter how many times Jeff Kershner told me it worked I couldn’t get the money from my boss to give it a true trial. I see a bright future for display advertising now. As more and more people cut the cord on cable and satellite there is enormous branding potential through display advertising. I want to hear everything I can about it.
I know I didn’t say much about this session, but I assume you can figure out what it is about.
2:00 PM Mobile Marketing. Yep. Be there.
2:45 PM Here is the first of the panels with competition. One option is to hear about Brand Purchase Intent and the other option is to hear about Digital Inventory Display. I am hoping to see more people in the Digital Inventory Display session because there is an enormous need for the larger institutions (the JD Power event attendees) to supply their dealers with content that aids in making their #1 asset (the inventory) perform better. Let’s get this issue on the table and find a way to get all that great OEM content to the dealers! I’ll be asking that question from the audience if the moderator doesn’t ask it (how’s that for pressure Dean? 🙂 ).
4:15 PM Location-based marketing. Yep. Be there.
5:00 PM This is the GRAND FINALE to the big day. There are two topics to choose from but there is only one choice. I’m not even going to mention the other one because there is no point in attending it. Who wants to hear Ford, facebook, Autotrader, and ESPN talk about targeted creative anyway? I agree, you should choose the other session.
What is this amazing other session?
CRM – The future
The future is CRM. And I’m moderating this one. Do I really need to say anymore? yeah…I probably should.
CRM is going to be the heart of dealerships. It will be the source of pay, the source of workflow, the definer of process, the source of up-selling and gross, the source of forecasting, the source of planning, the source of marketing….it is the heart that pumps all blood to every extremity of the dealership. You can’t live without a heart. If this is the future, how can you afford to miss this? Be there.
Friday October 22nd
The day starts off with AOL’s Tim Armstrong as the Keynote speaker followed by the choice of two panels:
- The Fallacy of the Click – a story that starts at the click and continues down the plot line.
- Optimizing the Lead Mix – what happens to the Internet Form Submission in the dealer’s hands?
I like the sound of both of these. Attending which one will be a tough decision.
To finish the day off there is what sounds like a metaphor panel about gaming the car business. It is actually a panel of video game executives talking about engaging consumers in their activity. This one sounds interesting and entertaining at the same time.
And that’s the end of the Vegas October Automotive Internet Conferences for 2010. Absolutely the most exciting time of the year for anyone on this side of the industry. And every year it gets better and better. Can’t wait for 2011 and I haven’t even made it to the 2010 events yet!