Presidents Club 2014: Most Valuable Insight Competition

Each year at Driving Sales President’s Club, there is an opportunity for the Most Valuable Insight or MVI Competition. This grouping of ten-minute presentations is intended to give speakers an opportunity to reveal new data and research techniques or findings germane to the automotive industry. Kevin Root, President of DrivingSales explained that, “Research, it’s a word that’s tossed out a lot and it means a lot of different things to different people.”

That research has different meanings to everyone is instrumental in adding flavor to the competition. MVI 2014 saw four strong presentations from Andrew Price of Call Source, Jack Simmons of, Chris Reed of Cobalt and Doug Van Sach from DME Automotive. After Root presented the introduction, the attendees were all ears as Andrew Price started things off with a noteworthy statistic.  

“Seventy-five percent of consumers, when they are ready to make a purchase are using the phone,” Price explained, under Read Post

Further Changes to Twitter Interface Looking A Lot Like Facebook

Twitter has announced some big upcoming changes to its profile interface, and it seems that the new look will be increasingly similar to the familiar design of Facebook profiles.  While the new profile set up is only available to a small number of users at this point, Twitter says that the update will be rolling out to all other users over the next few weeks.

The new Twitter profile look features a header photo that spans the width of the page, appearing very similar to the Facebook cover photo.  The new profile also has an in-set user photo above the bio summary, which is also similar to the design of Facebook profiles. 

In the new Twitter profile, content is displayed in three instead of two columns.  Photos and followers are found on the left, the tweet feed is in the middle, and recommendations and trends are displayed in the right column.  Other changes include a slightly larger display of popular tweets, intended to allow users to easily see the best content that is avai Read Post

Video: Selling a Ford F-150 to Jimmy Fallon

To complete  our coverage of the “Fingers on a 4×4” competition, we bring you an exclusive interview with Pete Porzio, the man who sold Jimmy Fallon the 2015 Ford King Ranch F-150.

Referring to his interaction with Jimmy Fallon, Porzio said, “He was an unbelievably nice guy, easy to talk to. The very first day I was definetely star-struck, by Thursday night, when i was on the show sitting next to him, he made me feel so at ease, it was an unbelievable experience.”

That’s Pete Porzio, talking about hanging out with Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon. Porzio won the Fingers of a 4×4 Competition that we followed very closely here at DrivingSales News. The question is, how did a highly rated salesmen from Illinois end up kicking it with the highest-rated host in late night comedy?

“They gave us a call and said great news, Jimmy Fallon’s got something going on here where he decided to purchase an F-150 and he thought that it would be great if the way the he did it was he s Read Post

Resolution Media Social Ad Study Findings

Resolution Media is a one of the largest performance media agencies in the world, managing millions of dollars of annual social media ad spend for clients.  With the purpose of providing insight into directional trends that impact social advertising campaigns, as well as improving the services that it provides, Resolution examined the Twitter and Facebook ad campaigns of more than 20 clients in 2013.  These clients cover a total of over $37 million of ad spend across a wide variety of industries, including consumer services, consumer packaged goods, financial services, media, retail, technology, tourism and hospitality.

One of the key observations found in this study is that advertisers invested 127 percent more in Facebook than in Twitter in 2013.  However, in a related finding, many industry sectors made substantial increases to their Twitter investment throughout 2013.  Resolution's study also found that impressions, and to a lesser extent, clicks, cost more on Twitter than o Read Post

What can you learn from Subaru of Wichita?

In Part one of our series about Subaru of Wichita, we told you that a labor union set up a protest outside of their dealership, however they turned that protest effort into a brilliant marketing campaign.

Referring to the protests that this union had incurred all over the Wichita area, Aaron Wirtz, Media and Marketing Manager of Subaru of Wichita explained that, “You can get away with this for so long, but eventually, you’re going to land on the wrong business.” And that’s I feel like that’s ultimately what happened.”

What would you do if a group set up a protest outside of your dealership? What would your response be? How about equipping yourself with Google Glass, and then bringing the protestors lunch?

Wirtz, whilst wearing Google Glass and walking to the protestors explained that, “We have some food here for our labor dispute protesters. No kidding. It’s free food.”

No dealer knows when a public relations crisis may arise, which according to Aaron Wirtz, Read Post

Breaking: A "Spin-Off" at ADP

The Board of Directors at Automatic Data Processing has approved a “spin-off” of its corporation. The soon-to-be publicly traded company encapsulates the automotive Dealer Services wing of ADP. "Consistent with our strategy to grow our position as a global provider of HCM solutions, we have concluded that the separation of Dealer Services will allow both companies to focus on their respective industries," said Carlos Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer, ADP. Rodriguez went on to explain that the hope is that this move will allow both ADP and the newly formed organization to focus on organization-specific growth and development strategy.

With reports from ADP that the retail automotive market is at its highest point in the past seven years, this change allows the newly created and independent Dealer Services company to take advantage of a prime market moment for automotive retail and digital marketing services. Steve Anenen, formerly President of Dealer Services at AD Read Post

Small Business Complaints Against Yelp Disclosed By The FTC

Have you ever heard of a small business complaining about the tactics that Yelp salespeople used to get them to buy advertising on their site?  Lately, there appears to be a growing concern over allegations that Yelp is using "extortion" to gain advertising revenue.  However, in Yelp's defense, none of these claims have ever been proven and the company has successfully defended a number of lawsuits to date.

The Wall Street Journal posted an article last week discussing a lawsuit brought on against Yelp by Hadeed Carpet in Virginia.  The company claims that many anonymous, critical reviews of their services appear on Yelp which were not posted by actual customers, and chose to sue Yelp to disclose their identities.  However, Yelp countered this request by stating the First Amendment rights of its users to retain their anonymity.  Initially, this claim by Yelp proved unsuccessful, with the Virginia State court of appeal ruling that Yelp must disclose the identities of the seven r Read Post

Making Lemonade out of Lemons-Subaru of Wichita

“This is happening at four other businesses in Witicha, as we speak, right now.”

What Aaron Wirtz, Media and Marketing Manager at Subaru of Witicha is talking about is Protestors. His dealership is the target of a local labor union that doesn’t approve of their private business decisions. Subaru of Witicha hired a local bank, architect and contractor, all non-union, for renovations on their dealership. This didn’t sit well with the Labor Union who set up a protest, complete with large sign in front of the dealership, criticizing their business practices.

“It’s a hard job, Kansas is a very windy state, and those banners even though they have those little wind holes cut into them, I mean those things are basically like sails. “

While much could be said about why and where this union group is protesting businesses, the most noteworthy part of this situation is how Wirtz and his team handled the adversity. They sprung into creative action, in his words making lemonade ou Read Post

Update: Illinois Salesman Wins Tonight Show Fingers on a 4x4

A winner had to emerge, and in this case, Pete did. Pete Porzio, a salesman from Frankfurt, Illinois, #frankfurtpete, outlasted the other nine contestants. Appearing on the Tonight show, Porzio told Jimmy Fallon that, referring to himself and other contestants, “There’s no doubt, we we’re definitely losing it mentally.” Pete kept his hand on the truck for 38 hours and 52 minutes. He also added that he's, "not a late-night person.” Read Post

Google's Latest Changes And Its Effect On Email Marketers

Over the past year, Google has been making changes to Gmail, some of which have been perceived negatively by email marketers.  The first of these changes was Google's addition of a tabbed inbox, which sends advertising emails to the new "Promotions" tab instead of directly into the user's inbox.  The expectation from a marketer's perspective was that this would alter the way that user's perceived their messages, and attempts were immediately being made by advertisers to alleviate this concern.

Initially, many marketers sent messages asking users to drag their email from the Promotions tab to the Primary tab, as well as asking the users to subsequently click "yes" when prompted to move all future messages from this email address to their Primary email tab.

Another change to Gmail that is of great concern to email marketers came last month when Google added an "unsubscribe" button right beside the sender's email address in messages delivered to the Promotions tab.  While including a Read Post

Will True Car raise 125 Million in IPO?

It's a company that seeks to partner consumers with their ideally priced vehicle, and now they are hoping to partner with the right shareholders. True Car, a business that was started in California back in 2005 has quickly shot up the ranks in the automotive industry, with their initial public offering occurring today, Friday April 4th, 2014.

The company has a stated goal to raise 125 Million dollars. This, after the company posted 2013 losses of 25.1 million, an improvement over their year end losses of 75.4 million in 2012.
This IPO represents a wholesale change for a company that has felt its share of large scale reorganizations. Back in 2012, the company felt pressure as complications arose between the prices that they gave to consumers and those offered by retail automotive dealerships, to say nothing of possible legal concerns.  In the end, the fire was put out, albeit with a lot of help from consultants and concerted efforts with government officials.
What exactl Read Post

Selling Jimmy Fallon a Ford F-150

He’s new to the Tonight Show and he hasn’t wasted any time getting car dealers involved in his program. Jimmy Fallon, the former SNL cast member wants to buy a 2015 Ford King Ranch F-150, and he’s holding a contest to find out who gets that honor. In typical Fallon fashion, he is bringing in 10 Car Sales people and asking them to put their hands on the Ford pickup. That’s not all. The vehicle is on the deck of the U.S.S Intrepid, currently stationed in the Hudson river in New York City. The last Salesperson with their hand on the truck gets the privilege to sell to Jimmy Fallon. The use of hashtags, a concept championed by Fallon, takes center stage in this competition. Each competitor has their own unique hashtag, and is rewarded for its usage on Twitter. The contestants, with their accompanying hashtags and dealerships are as follows:   Luke Council, Frontier Ford in Santa Clara, CA  #SantaClaraLuke Jesse Gloystein, Woodhouse Auto in Blair, Nebraska #BlairJesse... Read Post

Twitter Adds Image Tagging and Multiple Photos Per Tweet

Twitter continues its exploration of developing new functions that will make its service more interesting to a wider range of users by adding the ability to tag friends in photos and to post multiple photos within a single Tweet. With these new features, users can tag up to 10 people in their photos without affecting the character count of a Tweet, allowing them to continue using the same number of characters that they have already been using.  Users who are tagged in a photo will receive a notification, while retaining the ability to control who can tag them and when they will receive notifications in their account settings.  On its blog, Twitter explains the purpose of these new features.  "Tagging people in a picture makes conversations around photos fun and easy.  And tagging doesn't affect character count in the Tweet - you can tag up to 10 people in a photo and still have all 140 characters at your disposal, making it easier to connect with your friends."  Twitter's blog ... Read Post

Courtesy Auto Group Settles With The FTC Over Deceptive Ad Charges

In continuing efforts by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to prevent deceptive advertising by car dealerships, a 12th dealership has now settled charges.  Attleboro, Massachusetts-based auto dealership, Courtesy Auto Group, is the latest company to settle charges resulting from the nationwide FTC initiative "Operation Steer Clear". Operation Steer Clear was initially announced in January as a method to control deception in auto advertising, including the prevention of misrepresentations about the existence, price, value coverage or features of products or services, ensuring that dealers clearly state all qualifications and restrictions on discounts and prices of cars, as well as enforcing the rule that the actual number of vehicles that are available at a specific price must be accessible information for consumers. The FTC charged Courtesy Auto Group with deceptively stating that consumers could lease a car for $0 down and specific monthly payments, while failing to include "sub... Read Post

Are Google Knowledge Graph Changes A Threat to Dealers?

The introduction of Google’s Knowledge Graph display in 2012 was designed to increase relevance in search results by consumers. Using semantic-search information collected from many different sources, Google’s attempt to return more accurate results was met with mixed results. These ads took over a large portion of real estate on Google’s valuable first page that detracted from visibility. Since their introduction, Google has been testing and tweaking these ads to provide increasingly more information to a searcher.

Google has recently begun testing new ads in search results designed to provide searchers with the information they seek without ever having to leave Google. You must understand that, for the most part, these ads contain information directly derived from other sites that, ironically, is against Google’s own policies. In cases of movies and music, they have even been including information from such popular sources such as IMDB and review sites along with direct li Read Post

YP and Yelp Enter Into Strategic Deal

YP, the largest local ad platform in the U.S., and Yelp, known for connecting consumers with local businesses, just announced the signing of a strategic deal.  The intention of this agreement is to allow YP to enhance its customers' business listings on Yelp, allowing the company to increase their distribution to include Yelp's expansive consumer reach within the YP Local Ad Network.  The deal will also provide Yelp with the increased ability to access local businesses through YP, while enriching their business listings with content that will engage consumers. The terms of the agreement have not been disclosed, but it is expected that there is a revenue sharing component to this new deal.  Although Yelp already has content deals with many companies, including Yahoo, Bing and Apple, this new agreement is different.  While the pre-existing deals are primarily about the inclusion of Yelp reviews content in local search results, the new agreement will provide YP advertisers with acces... Read Post

AdWords Provides Reporting Columns To Display Keyword Bid Simulator Estimates

Google is bringing the AdWords Bid Simulator into fuller view by offering a new set of column options to provide users with a snapshot view of all of their keywords at the same time.  In an announcement on Google+, Google AdWords explained their intention to provide advertisers with the ability to build an organized new report with this increased functionality.  The new functionality allows these metrics to be downloaded and exported, even across MCC-managed accounts.  All of the standard sorting and filter options apply to these new columns, and there is the ability to set automated rules based on the Bid Simulator estimates.  These rules make automatic changes to your account depending on which settings you choose.  The Bid Simulator section is featured in the Customize Columns menu, and the new columns display the best estimates for the additional clicks and their associated costs that you might have received in the last 7 days if you had bid at: 50 percent lower than your... Read Post

Managing The New Facebook Ad Campaign Structure

Facebook recently announced its new ad campaign structure, which is intended to make it easier for all types of advertisers to optimize, organize and measure their ads on the social media network.  Initially launched on March 4, the new campaign changes the structure from two levels to three levels, providing marketers with increased functionality to manage their advertising.

The previous Facebook ad campaign structure featured two levels, offering campaigns and ads, but the new structure includes "ad sets", providing marketers with three levels of advertising to utilize. 

In a recent Facebook blog, the company explained the advantages of the new structure:

Campaigns correspond to each of your advertising objectives, like building brand awareness or driving web traffic.  They're designed to help you optimize and measure your results for each objective across multiple ad sets and ads.  Each campaign can feature multiple ad sets, each of which has its own budget and schedule.  Y Read Post

Consumer Rating Annotations Added To Google AdWords

While many people are familiar with Google's Consumer Surveys, new information has come to light about how Google will use the data that is collected from users about brands and websites.  One way that Google is using this information is through consumer rating annotations on Google AdWords. Google AdWords explains the details in its help files.  "Consumer ratings annotations highlight industry-specific ratings based on consumer surveys.  Up to three of your best ratings show below the text of your search ads, along with a link to more ratings.  These annotations - which need no setup - help drive website traffic with the power of consumer opinion."  AdWords states that its surveys are run through Google Consumer Surveys where respondents self-identify as customers, and where "at least hundreds, and in most cases, over a thousand people are surveyed for each business." How will these consumer rating annotations affect marketers?  The help files for Google AdWords explain furt... Read Post

Facebook Makes Design Changes To Business Pages

DSNews recently investigated Facebook's ROI for your store and it appears the social juggernaut is continuing its push to cater to businesses. As many people have noticed, Facebook frequently makes minor changes to its user interface, but this time, Facebook has revamped its entire layout design. Facebook explains this change as, "this display means that all of your posts will appear consistently on your Page and News Feed."

The new design of the Facebook home page is now divided into two clutter-free columns, while the left-hand side still displays News Feeds, Groups, Apps, Friends and Pages.  The middle column on the home page remains unchanged, displaying updates from the user's friends, pages that they have liked and news sources. However, on the right-hand side of the interface, birthdays are followed by the recent addition of "trending topics", with a series of advertisements at the bottom of this column. One other change is that the familiar icon for "share" has now Read Post

J.D. Power and DealerRater Announce Alliance

J.D. Power and DealerRater have begun working together to combine their technologies in hopes to provide a unified survey and review collection according to a Press Release on This partnership will allow dealers to analyze their online reputation from DealerRater’s info along with J.D. Power’s customer feedback adding value for all parties involved and providing a more holistic view of the consumer’s shopping experience.

At the end of J.D. Power’s surveys, customers will be able post a review of their dealership experience to the Dealer Rater website. To complete the circle, these public reviews with feed back into J.D. Power’s system enables reporting at both the dealer and manufacture levels. This means dealer will now have the opportunity to respond instantly to customers’ reviews and resolve issues.

We are excited to work with DealerRater to provide automakers and dealers with fast and comprehensive insights delivered through our new industry-leading Read Post

Tesla Battles New Regulations Preventing Direct-Sales

With the recent news that New Jersey is joining Texas and Arizona to put regulations in place that prevent a direct-sales model for auto manufacturers, Tesla is battling these laws to find a way to continue selling their cars directly to consumers. Tesla Motors makes high-end electric cars, and the company has lofty ambitions to transform the auto industry through many initiatives, including the radical design principles of its cars, its network of free charging stations and the company's ability to repair its cars remotely by computer.  However, with the New Jersey regulations preventing direct-sales for car manufacturers coming into effect on April 1, a new set of challenges is presented. Tesla is making no secret of the fact that it considers these new regulations to be highly unreasonable, stating that they are coming about as a result of a politically connected industry that is unwilling to consider new ways of doing business.  Tesla's founder, Elon Musk, wrote on the compa... Read Post

California Is Working On Regulations For Driverless Cars

Technology is evolving at such a rapid pace that keeping up with the latest advances poses a challenge for both companies and governments, and California is trying to counter this by actively working on the regulations for driverless cars before they become available to the general public.

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) held an initial public hearing in Sacramento last week to discuss the most effective methods for regulating driverless vehicles, before they have even been fully developed.  Officials are seeking answers to several complex questions, such as: 

How will the state know the cars are safe? 

Does a driver need to be behind the wheel?

If an owner sets their car to park by itself and it hits another vehicle, do they get docked points on their license?

Can manufacturers mine data from onboard computers to make product pitches based on where the car goes or base insurance rates on how the car is driven?

If the concept of driverless cars still seems like science Read Post

Decreased Foot Traffic Could Mean Less Opportunities

This past holiday season, the Wall Street Journal reported that retailers were seeing roughly half the foot traffic that they had in the past. According to ShopperTrak, retailers across the country were seeing consistent decreases in foot traffic every year. In general, the loss in foot traffic is being attributed to consumers gravitating more towards the convenience of online shopping. For big-ticket items, people are still visiting retail establishments but they are doing more research online prior to visiting. Consumers are reporting that shopping is still consistently on their to-do list but that they have increasingly less time in which to accomplish it. They are searching for more efficient solutions and are better informed with more concrete ideas of what they want to purchase before visiting retailers. The desire for transparency by consumers has never been greater. Dealers are finding that consumers are coming into the dealership with more knowledge and better prepared than e... Read Post

Tesla Banned From Direct Sales in New Jersey

New Jersey state motor vehicle officials approved a regulation requiring all new car dealers to obtain franchise agreements in order to receive state licenses. The regulation was adopted on Tuesday by the state's Motor Vehicle Commission in a unanimous vote of 6-0. The regulation, taking effect on April 1, prohibits companies from using a direct-sales model, a method that removes the middleperson by bringing cars directly to customers via smaller retail outlets. While the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers supports the regulation, critics are stating that this new regulation will be problematic for the expansion of the electric car industry. Read Post

Google’s New Search Results Design is Officially Live

Google has rolled out a new design of search to desktop users to both search results and ads. What started as an experiment is now official and everyone should now be seeing the new design in their search results. Google’s lead designer, Jon Wiley, said on Google+ the new design has larger titles, the underlines have been removed and the line height has been evened out. Jon said these changes, “improves readability and creates an overall cleaner look.”

There is also a change to ad labels, which makes paid search results less obvious. The large yellow boxes around advertisements are gone and have been replaced with a more discrete yellow tags next to paid links. “We've also brought over our new ad labels from mobile, making the multi-device experience more consistent,” said Wiley. Similar to any major change, the complaints will be pouring in. It will be interesting to see how these changes impact traffic to your store's website and the effectiveness of paid ads. Stay tune Read Post

Augmented Reality Technology Is Making Headway


Augmented Reality has been trapped in new-tech purgatory for years, as a great idea that hasn't yet been implemented in a mainstream application.  The technology enables mobile devices to recognize live objects, subsequently activating video or graphics.  The time for Augmented Reality (AR) to enter the mainstream may finally be upon us.

Marketers, print publishers and retailers have been running tests on new ways to promote their brands on mobile devices, and this technology may soon come to the forefront of their innovative ideas.  Several startup companies, including Blippar, Layar and Daqri, have started providing technology that allows users to point their mobile devices at objects and then watch either a video or high-tech graphics on top of the objects on screen. 

A lot of advertisers are keeping their AR research secret to avoid being copied by others.  While Augmented Reality still suffers from several difficulties, the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, as w Read Post

What? Where? When? - DrivingSales President Club

Do you need all the details on this years DrivingSales Presidents Club Event? This infographic should answer all of your questions! Ready to register? You can do that on   What? Where? When? - DrivingSales President Club What It Is: Dealership Executives come to Presidents Club to strengthen three foundational assets: your capital, your brand, and your people. These are the core elements that define the success of your operations and your continued growth as a business owner in the retail automotive industry. Dynamic discussions and presentations around these three foundational assets might include: CAPITAL: Managing your assets, building your franchise value and growing your business BRAND: Leveraging emerging trends in marketing, consumer insight, and thought leadership from outside the industry from competitive advantage PEOPLE: Leading your managers, motivating your team, and cultivating your culture based on sight from experts What ... Read Post

Facebook Announces 'Paper' Update to Increase Sharing Capabilities

Facebook announced the latest update to its Paper iPhone application, with new features that include the capacity to share posts via Facebook messages, text messages or email messages.  In previous versions of the iOS app, users were only able to share posts with their Facebook friends.  Other updates that are available in version 1.0.2 include the ability to turn off sound effects for a silent user experience, the option to create stories in languages that require multi-stage input, such as Chinese, Japanese and Korean, as well as improvements that make Paper more reliable and enjoyable to use. "We're listening to your feedback and working to add features you've requested," Facebook wrote in the update release notes.  While Facebook Paper is currently only available in the U.S., the new multi-stage input language support could be an indication that Facebook is preparing to release the app worldwide at some point soon.  In general terms, Facebook Paper is a mobile reader that c... Read Post

Gmail Announces Addition of Auto-Unsubscribe Feature

The new feature brings up important questions for marketers about whether this new addition is good or bad for them, as well as the method for implementation. Concerns have been raised by marketers about this new feature in addition to the recent release of Gmail's tabbed inbox, which could potentially make users more likely to ignore messages that are delivered to their promotional tab. The new feature brings up important questions for marketers about whether this new addition is good or bad for them, as well as the method for implementation.  Concerns have been raised by marketers about this new feature in addition to the recent release of Gmail's tabbed inbox, which could potentially make users more likely to ignore messages that are delivered to their promotional tab.  The concern is that the combination of these two new features will cause many more users to either ignore promotional messages or unsubscribe from future messages. The possibility that more users will unsubscribe from promotional messages due to this new feature is real, ho... Read Post