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Stop what you're doing. Right now! Look back, quickly. Look back for a while. No, not over your shoulder silly. If you've been at least somewhat involved in the digital realm over the past 3-6 years, take a hard look back. What have you done? Where did your advice come from? How much time have you lost? How much momentum have you gained? How many wins have you had? And how many losses?
Everything changes, we know that. We also know that one man's garbage is another man's treasure. So in your looking back, what have you really learned? This is a little beacon asking you to close the door (or if you're in a cube or BDC or somewhere without a door, pretend to) and think about who, what and to where you were following. This is not a call to go back to basics, which is garbage, however it's a call to think. For yourself.
Too often we go with those that have been penned as the thought leaders, gurus, experts, published authorities, subject matter experts, pros, top of their gamers and the like. So that begs a question: what has been constant in your digital presence for the last three years? Four? Five?
Chances are, not much.
Fact is a lot of people, namely business owners and executive management, are scratching their heads over the past months asking themselves "why did we go down the (fill in initiative here) road?". Is SEO alive or dead? Does social media work or not? Did the new close work or deter customers? Was mobile marketing right or wrong? Great questions. Think about it this way: did your last tent event sell lots of cars? But....that's not digital, right? A tent event or massive offsite lot sale is not, true. Neither should your thinking.
All those things promote traffic, sales, new customers, conquest, retention and more. Of course they do...you can ALWAYS sell. Digital strategies are no different than picking up a good book. They're cause to make you think. Not copy! Short term gains never win over long term thinking. And to think you need to know or be on the path to knowing better.
Sometimes it's funny how operators operate. There's a lot to be said about how dealers are afraid. They're afraid to spend or try new things or go off into unchartered territory. Not to defend them, the truth is they're bombarded. And by everyone that has something to sell from $.02 pens to $20M facilities. And the shiny new thingamabob fits squarely somewhere in between.
So in your reflection, look as specifically as possible at what was done over your foray into the digital world, and what was not done. You see a lot of people are selling new mousetraps and reworking the old ones. Yes, for the most part they work better. You can only be a judge, just like with a book or white paper or study at a conference, after the fact. And quite a few have benefitted over the past years due to their desire and ability to win in the digital realm and congrats to those who have.
Just a heads up that you're trying to catch a cheetah, not a mouse. A cheetah can still run at over 60 miles per hour with a mousetrap clipped onto its paw. That is until it gets smashed to smithereens and the cheetah goes on as if nothing ever happened. There are so few mice in the digital realm today and most have mousetrap detectors.
There are some big things coming. Here is a heads up that the next big thing is not in hardware, software, advertising, marketing, mobile apps, CRM, retargeting or templates. You'll have to think about it. For those that do get it the remainder of 2012 and 2013, as well as going forward, will be easier.
If this was a hard one to understand, keep reading and coming back. And thank you.
If you got this, see you at the DrivingSales Executive Summit October 21-23 at Bellagio in Las Vegas...and please keep reading. We'd love to hear from you, you're our kind of business.
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