I didn’t get much time on the floor this year as I have in the past. The crew over at MileOne kept me busy at NADA 2008. There were several people that I was supposed to stop by and shake hands with but I just never got around to it, so I do apologize to everyone that I was not able to connect with.
Being my first time there, I thought San Fransisco was wonderful. The weather was fantastic and the city provides an atmosphere like no other. However, in my opinion, this was not the best location for NADA. Having to travel outside between the West, North and South halls of the Moscone Center was a pain in the a$$. Thankfully the weather was nice and the AutoMotion girls were always out side to greet you with their sexy smiles and great attitude between buildings.
Compared to last years NADA Review this one will be a quickie. I only had the chance to visit a hand full of vendor booths this year;
I’ll start of with onecommand (formally know as callcommand). The demo was impressive and they seem to really know their product. Having one program that can take care of your sales/service email, voicemail and text campaigns is strong. I also like the fact that they have aligned themselves with some great companies like ExactTarget to help guarantee email delivery.
I sat through a demo with Autobase CRM to review the new features (features that should have been apart of the CRM years ago). That’s all I’ll say about that.
Once I actually FOUND the Dealer.com booth (hidden in the corner of the West room) I was able to get a taste of their new TotalControl Dominator, allowing dealers to control their own SEM campaigns. If this works as well as it demo’s, it’s a homerun.
I made a quick stop at the Polk booth where they were touting their Polk Lead Scoring.
TimeHighway has added a few improvements and a new look to their online service scheduler.
I stopped by the ClickMotive booth to check out their new Flashy Websites. The sites look good, but I’m still a leary about all the flash and stuffed HTML in the background.
vAuto continues to build upon their product and continues to impress. Their tool is so clean, it has one of the best looking interfaces for any software program in the dealer industry. I have never used it but if it applies everything that Dale Pollack teaches, then I would think this is one program worth taking a look at.
Last year the eBay booth was PACKED as they touted their eBay Local program. This year..dead. At least every time I walked by. I have to wonder how many dealers signed up for eBay Local last year but are singing a different tune this year.
Some of your more aggressive CRM’s are learning how to tie in personalized video responses in their systems and are building action plans according to whether or not the customer actually watches the video email. NICE!
After attending NADA for the last 4 years, there really isn’t a lot of new stuff to see. Yeah, some vendors will add new features to their products and every now and then you might find something that peeks your interest but overall it’s the same stuff year after year.
I overheard several discussions where dealers are searching for quality SEO vendors. Does this mean dealers are catching on to the snake oil SEO vendors in the past and are now fed up with it?
WHERE ARE THE HISPANIC MARKETEERS? by 2050, Latinos will be 29% of the entire American population but yet I only ran across one Hispanic marketing vendor. Props to Larry John Wright Morales, Inc.
Of course the best part of any NADA is the networking and the PARTIES!
The Chase Bank tequila tasting party pulled a nice crowd. Getting to taste 1,2 or 8 different tequilas was intoxicating to say the least. I stopped by the DealerTrack party for a few minutes then ended up at a small restaurant and bar called Annabelle’s while catching up Jesse and the Homenet crew.
Blue Flame6, DealerSocket and Century Interactive threw a way cool party calling it the “The 3 at the 4“. Each invitee had to arrive in a group of three and they were serving these tasty drinks called a “Threesome”. Very Nice!
The last party I attended was the
ADP Reynolds & Reynolds party at City Hall. It was OK, the lack of Bombay Sapphire left me a little disappointed. The party had me feeling quite young, if you know what I mean.
A quick thanks to Joe Vraneza and the KBB crew for dinner Sunday night and Lance over at CarFax for a wonderful dinner at Mccormicks and Kuleto’s Monday night.
So what did I take away from NADA this year?
Dealers are STILL LOST! Seriously. Sitting through some of the presentations and over hearing conversations from other dealers, it’s crazy how much they still don’t get it. They still don’t get technology, they still don’t understand today’s consumer, they still don’t train their sales people how to be effective on the phone and how to answer internet leads in a timely manor. The list goes on and it amazes me. How has this industry survived?