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Last month I was honored to be named one of the 5 finalists at Driving Sales Executive Summit in the most innovative Dealer competition. Many of you may know that the idea I presented was for a new review platform called the Power Pen now being marketed by Punchline Advertising. I was honored to be named the 3rd place winner, but I feel that the focus was placed on the product rather than the concept I was trying to convey.
Finding a small local company that was providing a similar service to the medical profession and working with them to, in essence, create a new market segment product that better fit our needs was the true innovation idea. The product is secondary. We as Dealers have neither the time nor the funds to create every solution we may need and so we rely on existing companies to achieve the results. The Power Pen is an amazing new tool that allows Dealers to gather verified reviews from customers in the store and have them posted to an independent site which ultimately takes up more key controllable real estate in the search results for a Dealers name.
While this is great in and of itself, what is truly amazing is the way it came about. As a Dealer Manager I struggle to find the best vendor products that will enable me to secure key results. This goal is often times contrary to those Vendors internal revenue-generating structure. For example, while DealerRater, AutoTrader, Cars.com are all good Vendors, I’m unhappy that unless I sign for the top most package I will still have my Competitors encroaching on my SERP’s by means of banner ads and other potential brand leaks.
Rather than be put between a rock and a hard place, what if we all continued to look outside the Automotive vertical for solutions, contact those companies and share with them the insights needed to achieve a viable product that is within our own control? To take it a step further, we then share the information and results and collectively benefit from one another’s efforts. The end result is that we could control our own digital foot print to a greater degree and become even more independent.
Quit being a digital share cropper, leasing your own land and giving your hard-earned profits to the very people you’ve paid to enhance your impact, then turn around and monetize your name and hard fought results. It’s a slower process initially but at the end of the day, you can be the master of your own domain rather than being reliant on a 3rd party and subject to their whims of change.