With the 2011 NADA convention around the corner it dawned on me that a lot of Dealerships are leaving their future at the dealership this year.
This might get a little cryptic but stick with me here.
- Do you have an inventory stocking & merchandising manager?
- Do you have someone in charge of all your newspaper ads, radio spots, or TV reach?
- Do you have someone who solely looks at CRM and the processes it promotes?
- Do you have an in-house trainer?
I’m asking if you have one individual for each of these rolls? Chances are, you don’t. And the truth is, you probably don’t need to. You don’t need to because many of these items are things your traditional management, GM’s or Executives are fairly well versed in (maybe I’m reaching with this statement).
So, why do you have an Internet manager? A BDC? An eCommerce Director? I bet you have, at least, someone who is solely dedicated to your online presence.
Let’s turn the clock back to roughly 1995 when the “consumerNet” got started. In 1995 your Internet person was probably still in grade school. 16 years later that person has a ton of Internet experience. She or he grew up with the consumerNet. Your current GM’s and Executive Staff grew up with the newspaper, books, TV, and radio as their information hotspots and are experts in those mediums. Tomorrow these won’t be the people in charge of the dealership; the “Internet kid” will be. Tomorrow there shouldn’t be a need for an Internet Manager or eCommerce Director because they will be the GM’s and Executive Staff who know the modern digital mediums, like your current management team knows the “traditional” ones.
The sales and service staff of tomorrow will be adept at using email, text messaging, and social media’ing. Just as you trust your current sales and service staff with your phones (well….maybe you shouldn’t trust them with your phones), the younger generation will be able to handle your Internet Leads…..if Internet Leads are still around tomorrow.
I’ll get to the point. NADA has become a trade show mostly focused on digital. The dealership attendance is mostly made-up of decision makers with only a handful bringing their Internet person. Yes, many of those decision makers are making fantastic strides to understand digital better; however, I have to ask some of you why you’re leaving your future management back at the dealership? Why? To save a buck?
P.S. I know my regular audience is not who I am speaking to right now. If you are being left behind this year, take this argument to your boss.