Industry Events

JumpStart Automotive ThinkDigital 08 Roundtable – I was there and it was…fun!

ThinkDigital 08-1

This years Jumpstart Automotive Think Digital Roundtable 08 was held at the beautiful
Silverado Resort in Napa, California.

The weather was perfect and the resort was a gorgeous place to hold a Roundtable session.

ThinkDigital 08

The agenda was packed tight with great discussions about contextual, display and behavioral advertising.

The morning started off with everyone’s favorite speechifier, the one and only Charlie Vogelheim of J.D. Power. As Charlie went through his slides and presentation, the one thing that stuck out was consumers are SLOWLY finding dealer websites to be more satisfying for their researching needs. Just think how effective we could be if the manufacturers would play nice and allow dealers to more easily use their content and model specific VIN decoding.

My favorite statistic and one that has not changed for over 3 years now; ONLY 20%  of online shoppers contact the dealer via online submission forms or by phone (give or take a few percentage points). Only 20%!

Steve Wilhite, President of Jumpstart Automotive was next onboard with his “uplifting” informative presentation “Marketing in a Down Economy – the Perfect Storm“. After the first new minutes of Steve’s presentation I wanted to pierce a dagger through my heart as he went through all the negative points of the current economy. I understand though, he wanted to start off strong by getting his point across in order to transition into why dealers AND manufacturers need to focus now more then ever on their marketing mix. It’s not just about the ad but about the message, and how you follow through with your message. What is the experience you’re offering the consumer once they click on your display ad? Does it flow into the next step OR is there a huge disconnect? After I wiped away my tears from the initial 5-10 minutes I was really intrigued with his presentation.

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The morning quickly moved on to a panel discussion with David Metter (MileOne), Jeff Searcy (Gulf States Toyota) and David Rollo (22squared). Lots of topics covered here and if I had taken better notes, I would have shared them with you. Most of the conversation surrounded around a dealers “Marketing Mix” and why dealers have been so reluctant to get into digital advertising or what we like to call ‘New Marketing”.

Before lunch we had a breakout roundtable discussion. Our table was very interesting to say the least. I think we covered over 10 different subjects in a fast 45 minutes. One large topic of discussion was Reputation Management for dealers; where it’s heading and how dealers are going to handle it. I know for myself this has been my cool-aid for the last 12-15 months.

QUOTE of the DAY “Consumer Reports is the single most largest influencer on todays shopper” – Jack Fitzgerald of Fitzgerald Auto Malls. Yes, he actually said that!

Lunch was good (sorry no photo, maybe next time).

After lunch we gathered back for a presentation with Brett Rubio from
EyeWonder. I had never heard of eyewonder until then. “EyeWonder was one of the original pioneers in video and rich media
advertising, and is now the definitive leading provider of Interactive
Digital Advertising products and services” – taken from the “Company” page of their website.

Together Brett and Eve Maindenberg (Senior Director of Creative for JumpStart) went on to show off some impressive display advertising. Eve talked about “Best Practices for Digital Creative” and how to use creative to support your campaign. One statistic that Eve mentioned that stuck out, “Online Video Ads achieve a greater branding impact with fewer impressions“.  I hope to have Eve do a guest post for us here in the near future.

After a quick break, we then went back into another roundtable breakout discussion. For some reason I kept staring out the window at the awesome blue sky and lost track of the discussion. I can be such a day dreamer! I did find my way back into the talks towards the end as everyone at the table was discussing how to track the true cost of display advertising. Tracking the effectiveness of display ads or “banner ads” is usually a touchy subject. The traditionalist looks at the CPM and how many people they can reach with the ad, where as the Internet marketer looks at the CPC and actual conversion. I’ve never tried to argue one over the other since I believe they both have validity. So I shared my thoughts of a 70/30 split; thirty percent of the banner ad cost going towards branding and consumer reach while the other 70% goes towards actual conversion and ultimately, conversion to sale. I have no idea where I got the percentages, so don’t ask. And if you want to argue about it, don’t waste your time because I have no reasoning behind it…but everyone thought it was an interesting approach to help track the cost/effectiveness of your dealers online display ads.

The day sorta came to a close with Keynote speaker; Todd Stainbrook – Digital Integration Manager for Ford Motor Company. Hummmm what do I say??  Well, it was quick and very very very general. Until the questions started rolling in..but then most of the questions he was unable or not allowed to answer. Someone asked about manufacturers scoring leads and if it should/would ever come into play. Then “someone” else slapped lead scoring in the face. Very interesting, at least to me. Ha!

ThinkDigital 08 (9)

That was the end of the Jumpstart Automotive Think Digital Rountable. Next Up..Dinner and Wine at
Pine Ridge Winery. Dinner was excellent and the jokes at the table were like no other. Sorry I had to cut my trip short and catch the red eye back to Bmore.

A big Props to the
Jumpstart Automotive crew (Steve, Rob, Jeff, Aaron, Dillon, Mitch, Eve, Lindsey and Laura and anyone else I missed) for putting on a great Think Digital Roundtable this year. As always, thanks for the invite!

Here are a
few more photos if you’re interested.

Founder of DealerRefresh - 20+ Years of dealership Sales, Management, Training, Marketing and Leadership.
Why isn't your name tag wet? My name tag was wet.....
Hey Brother....Wish I could have been there!
Amazing about the leads comment. "SOMEDAY" "Somebody" might figure all of this out. ;) Hope the family is well! Check out my latest article...I think you'll dig!
SERM is my cool aid too. I wonder when it will be realized that it is important as the dealers website itself. It is just not negative information that you are combating. Some other good reasons to be concerned.
Steve Wilhite is one of those rare automotive executives to have worked in retail, managing dealerships, and worked for Detroit car companies, Japanese car companies, and Korean car companies... Jumpstart is fortunate to have someone of Steve's caliber running the company. I really would have liked to have gone to ThinkDigital, having attended the inaugural event, but was down in Costa Mesa doing the block chair thing at ENG Automotive CRM Summit.
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  • August 26, 2008
<i>My favorite statistic and one that has not changed for over 3 years now; ONLY 20% of online shoppers contact the dealer via online submission forms or by phone (give or take a few percentage points). Only 20%!</i>

Couldn't agree more with this comment. I actually get a percentage close to 22 and concentrate more and more on increasing the number of those visiting my site/s.

Currently in the neighborhood of 30k uniques per month and hope to double that by year end. Getting closer and closer to dropping the 3rd party leads.
  • B
  • August 26, 2008
oops, 10k uniques not 30