Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Backs are Being Scratched for the Independent Automotive Dealers

A couple months ago I had posted an entry questioning readers about where the online community was in this industry. Click here to check it out. I had just embarked on this blog venture at the time and was searching all about for the online activity in the automotive online marketplace, but there was little to be found. Today however is revealing a different story.

In the past month I have come across a few new online ventures specific to this industry, some of which I have already posted on and some which I have not. Interestingly, of the recent discoveries I have encountered, the target audience or clientele for some of these sites has been the independent dealers. I find this encouraging because it shows the innovativeness of technology and marketing providers out there for the independents. Call it a sign of grassroots if you will.

Take a look at AutoJini’s blog and HigherTurnOver’s blog. Both target the independents and for similar reasons from what I can tell. They both are providing website solutions designed for the independent dealer but both are backing up this standard product with innovative technology resources such as blogs with content written to help market their businesses and sell cars. This is cutting edge.

I look forward to getting closer to these innovators a bit more that are behind these sites and I am encouraged to see that the online community for this marketplace is indeed growing.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

iMagicLab to Buy DealerConcierge.com and add Hosted BDC services to Improve Dealer Conversions

iMagic is on the move to provide a call center for its dealers to call prospects and customers as an outsourced solution. I emphasize “outsourced” because with the purchase of DealerConcierge this actually becomes an in-sourced solution. The intriguing aspect to this acquisition is that the service is intended to integrate with iMagic’s CRM.

Keith Latman, Chief Software Architect of iMagicLab, said the addition of the Dealer Concierge "will allow dealers to use our hosted call center to make calls directly to customers at schedules the dealer can change in real time from inside the CRM suite." Latman said with iMagicLab's proprietary ActionPlan system guiding the process, calls can be triggered by over 20 different events within 15 minutes.

Latman deserves praise for his innovativeness and ability to make quick moves like this and get them publicized. I do not keep up with the CRM industry so I am interested in hearing feedback from my readers on this.

Source Article

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

AutoJini Stresses Technology and Backs it up with a Nifty Signup Procedure

The other day I came across AutoJini by way of a comment left on this blog by someone with the company. Upon visiting their website I felt inspired to write an entry on them because of the company’s obvious grasp on today’s technology. For a dealer not familiar with the technology terms and solutions available today, the AutoJini site could be overwhelming with all of its content, but for those that are up to date with the latest offerings AutoJini.com reveals some things about the company.

Most apparent to me is that AutoJini are technology people, but not necessarily marketing people. The site is rich in content which tells me they have a grip on the terms and technologies needed to create an online presence for dealers. They also have a blog which is a clear indication of being in step with the forerunners in the industry. I am not convinced however in their effectiveness in marketing. Understanding the importance of marketing concepts is different from applying them and the way the website is presented it indicates to me that truly effective marketing is not their game.

The most inspiring piece on the site is the signup form which presents the dealer/user with many template designs from which to choose and then prompts the dealer/user to input important information about the dealership and site preferences. Since I did not actually complete the form I can not comment on how deep the signup process goes, but it certainly appears to be the most automated signup process I have come across online in this industry. Kudos to AutoJini for that.

AutoJini is geared toward the non-franchise dealer and from what I see it has much to offer. To whomever it was from AutoJini, “thank you” for commenting on the blog and I look forward to learning more about your company.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Susan Givens, Among Others, to Receive Spirit of Leadership Award During NADA 2007

The Women's Automotive Association International (WAAI) will present its 12th annual Spirit of Leadership awards at a fundraiser luncheon to be held during the 2007 NADA convention in February. Among the four women being honored is Susan Givens of AutoSuccess Magazine.

I wanted to use this opportunity to acknowledge the award going to Susan who has done an extraordinary job with AutoSuccess. The magazine is an important part of my own professional growth and Susan is an important part of the magazine. The focus of the magazine is leadership and to help create a positive avenue for the readers to learn and grow. Susan has made this way of thinking part of her everyday life and she is also part owner with the company.

Congratulations Susan and thanks for your excellent work!

Source Article
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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Dealer.com is now linking its customers’ inventory to Google Base

Dealer.com is now linking its customers’ inventory to Google Base, a content search system with appeal to advertisers because it puts products (like vehicles) on the front shelf for users searching for things on the Web to see.

Bonfigli says as far as he knows, Dealer.com is the only company providing the automatic inventory uploads to clients. Bonfigli said Dealer.com has been uploading its clients’ inventory for about a month but working to make sure everything was running smoothly before officially announcing the service today.

Dealer.com has proven to be an innovative company in this business vertical and also has a knack for gaining press attention. Google Base is still an under-developed system but that is changing quickly. I am curious to see how this impacts Dealer.com users benefiting from the service.

Source Article in Dealer Magazine