This is a guest blog by Candy Lucey, Senior Director of Marketing Cox Automotive, Dealertrack and Xtime.
Jason Barrie from Dealertrack and Jim Roche from Xtime are both speaking at the DrivingSales Executive Summit.
The DrivingSales Executive Summit (#DSES) brings together a mixed-bag of thought leaders, innovators, and progressive thinkers within the automotive industry October 21-23, 2018; it’s also the best chance for professionals to truly connect in an educational setting with people who are thinking differently. And if that’s not enough to entice you...we’re throwing out all the stops with one of the biggest parties in the business.
DSES is one of my favorite summits of the year. Dealertrack DMS sponsored the event in 2017, and we’re back again to focus, problem-solve, and learn from our peers. Here’s what I think makes this event unique:
Access—Up Close and Personal—for Decision-Makers
At DSES, you are the decision-maker. And you’re right in the thick of things; meeting other dealers, industry experts, long-term pros, and up-and-coming forward-thinkers. You’ll get to hear from inspiring keynote speakers from all backgrounds, as well as experts who’ll share the very latest trends in dealership growth.
The Innovators’ Cup
When it comes to solving the biggest challenges in the automotive industry, the stakes are high at DSES! This year, five finalists will compete head-to-head for the “The Most Innovative Solution of the Year,” in the Innovation Cup Award Contest. A panel of peer judges will review each finalist’s idea—presented in just five minutes—with a winner announced during an official award ceremony. This is an opportunity for everyone’s wheels to get turning (so to speak) as, each year, the most amazing ideas are presented by creative thinkers who are actively working to solve real issues that impact day-to-day operations.
Less Selling. More Learning.
If there’s one thing that DSES does better than most summits I’ve been to, it’s education, uninhibited. Everyone has an equal chance to soak up as much industry knowledge from their peers as possible and to network with others who are solving big, big topics. And all of this takes place in an intimate setting, where the primary focus is to learn. Attendees can expect to share actual best-practices and to walk away with actionable ideas from people who are taking a new approach to solving problems.
Your Brand, Your Difference, Your Impact.
How important is your dealership’s brand identity to your overall marketing strategy? Are you working to build trust and a true connected retail experience? Have you decided on a clear path for how your company fits into the community? Or, do you simply sell cars down the street? If your marketing plan is to simply be within close-range to the demographic of car buyers you hope to sell to, you’re probably going to lose. It’s no lucky accident that DrivingSales’ founder Jared Hamilton navigated the economic recession by fine-tuning his plan of action and bringing together the community to do the same. Dealerships who thrive have their own master-plan about who they are, where they fit into their local communities, and who they help serve. Do you? Come find out more from other dealerships who are crushing it in their communities.
Breaking Free From Marketing Silos
The DSES event is such a powerful way to level-set your dealership’s marketing strategy if, for nothing else, to break free from the marketing silo trap so many automotive dealerships inevitably fall into. It’s a fairly normal scenario: each branch of your leadership sets out to make a difference, eventually building their own fully independent marketing and business plan. The end result, however, is chaos. What a summit like DSES can bring to your dealership is the ability to formulate a marketing strategy that brings every member of your leadership team together—to focus on the two to three things you do well—and to focus on the complete experience for your customers.
Technology and the Modern Dealership
A quick glance at the agenda reminds us all that new technology, like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, are inching their way into the modern dealership. What I hope this year’s summit will help dealerships discover is the ultra-important need to go back out into the real-world and ask your technology vendors the important questions. Are your services improving the lives of my employees? Are you making the buying process easier, faster, smoother for my customers? What have you done for me lately?
Can’t. Miss. Sessions.
Spoiler alert: there are some amazing breakout sessions and speakers at DSES. I have a few of my favorites already blocked out, and I’ll let you in on a secret: the Dealertrack DMS sponsored Pool Party Sunday night is going to be truly unbelievable. Keep in mind that last year, there were more than a few popular sessions with standing room only, so plan ahead! I am personally looking forward to hearing Jim Roche talk about turning one-time customers into life-long customers. And, I don’t plan on missing the Iron Cowboy regale us stories from his adventures.
Like last year at DSES, I plan to take notes, share as much as I know, and be ready to learn everything I can about this ever-changing industry. There’s no better way to tackle the challenges we face every day than by coming together and problem-solving with the best minds among us. I hope to see you there!
Candy Lucey is senior director of marketing and brand management for Dealertrack DMS.