Stop the presses! The cow just jumped over the moon. Pigs are flying. Hell froze over. Who kidnapped me and replaced me with an OEM shill?
The answer isn’t that I’ve gone insane. It’s that I looked deeper into the subject and realized it can be easily turned around from being a negative thing for franchise dealers to being something that helps savvy dealers tilt the playing field in their direction.
There have been plenty of posts on these forums, throughout LinkedIn, and on the general automotive blogosphere that call out the obtuse OEM mandates to use accepted vendors (often deemed acceptable because of relationships and deal-making rather than quality) for things like websites, PPC, chat, social media, and most other marketing components. Not all OEMs are doing it, but the trends point to this being the case universally at some point in the future. Most dealers complain and rightfully so. Heck, I’ve complained about it myself.
Something has been brewing in me lately. It started as a subtle seed and was emphasized when I started looking at the numbers. What I found so interesting was this: you can tell the difference between the dealers who are succeeding and the ones who are not based upon the amount of effort they put into enhancing their OEM-mandated marketing elements. While most dealers begrudgingly accept the OEM mandated products and services and leave it at that, others are taking what they’re given and making them better. [Read more…]