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Bryan Armstrong

Bryan Armstrong e-Commerce Director

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Get the most out of your Automotive Conference

I’ve had the opportunity over the years to attend many conferences and workshops and have even been honored to present or be asked to present at most of them. One thing I have learned is it’s always a good idea to go with an objective in mind and the best itinerary to help you bring back value to your Dealership.  After all, this should be approached as work, and not some 20 group junket.

                Most say it’s a good thing to come back with 2-3 implementable ideas, yet with planning you can achieve much more. Just so you can see what I mean here is my personal list of current issues and the sessions I will be attending at D.S.E.S. to find solutions.

  1. How can I market more effectively?

Dennis Galbraith is an industry leader in big data and how to effectively utilize it. I plan on taking copious notes.

  1. How does the increase in mobile affect our marketing and sales process or should it?

Luke Wroblewski will give great insight into the rise of the hand held dealership.

  1. What is the correct mix of AD spending?

Florian Zettelmeyer will explain the economics of the Internet inside today’s dealership.

  1. How do we gain more exposure without increasing spending?

Few would debate the prowess of Rand Fishken when it comes to Digital Marketing.

  1. How can we increase conversion and sales directly from the net?

David Kain’s workshop on “5 easy steps to internet sales success” will give me an opportunity to measure my current processes against the best in the business.

  1. How do we go from appointment setting (reactive) B.D.C. to a Marketing and Retention center for all Departments?

Shaun Weissmann’s session on “Evolving your B.D.C. into a true Business Development and Marketing Dept.” looks to be a perfect fit.

  1. How do we monopolize and leverage Social and Search traffic?

Doug Frisbie of Facebook and Kate Balingit of Google on stage together should prove an interesting and enlightening session.

  1. What should I do about 3rd party leads? Are they a necessary evil and what about transparency?

Few have been more embroiled this past year than TrueCar’s Scott Painter. His willingness to take the stage with “no holds-barred” Jared Hamilton should be engaging and relevant.

  1. How can I lead more effectively?

Jim Dance will give an overview of good to great companies and how they got there.

  1. How can I more effectively utilize e-mail?

With lowering open rates and increasing difficulty in getting past spam filters expect Malinda Terreri and Jeff Kershner will share best practices, templates and processes

  1. How do we go from Customer satisfaction to Customer loyalty?

Chris Costner of Southern VW and one of the Nation’s best run BDC’s e-Commerce Director will share his insights.

  1. How can we merge traditional and new media more effectively?

For this answer I will look jointly to Gary May – one of the best marketers, and Joe Webb – a process and conversion guru as well as Unmarketing’s Scott Stratten.

*Note Chris, Gary, and Joe have two different sessions in the same time slot. I’ll go to whichever one DrivingSales TV isn’t filming or find a way to split the time.

13. How should we view the Dealer/OEM marketing mix?

Department Head of Marketing for Mini Tom Salkowsky should provide insight.

*Personally I think they need to back us more in the Social sphere.

14. What are the best new products and most innovative processes available today?

Driving sales Innovation Cup brings out the best of the best.

15. What should we be measuring?

Top data users on a panel moderated by Dennis Galbraith should spark some controversy.


Above all go with a plan and a list of objectives and as soon as you get back, prioritize implementable items (I suggest putting them in your outlook) and train others.

If your a G.M. or Dealer principle and go, great, top down buy-in is key. If not and you work for one enlightened enough to send you, take advantage. This is one of the few times that the Trainers have an opportunity to be trained and stay ahead of the pack. Let’s face it, we can’t solve the problems of today and the future by repeating yesterday’s solutions.

See you there!

Good Selling.

Bryan Armstrong


Russell Grant
Bryan, great list of ideas.
Kevin Frye
Well done Bryan!
Bryan Armstrong
Thanks Russell and Kevin.
Jim Bell
Looks like a great list of sessions you have picked out. The one thing that GMs and dealers have to remember is that they are sending employees to some great conferences in the coming weeks and they all have to be open to the ideas that come back. I have seen too many dealers and GMs shoot great ideas down when the managers come back fired up. Be open-minded GMs and Dealers!
Bryan Armstrong
Jim- Sad but true!

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