CDK's purchase of Auto/Mate may create a major disruption in the dealer management system (DMS) industry. Here is our take. DOWNLOAD
I learned something very important this week. Everyone who has the automotive industry in their blood is a "car guy". It has nothing to do with your gender. In the 21st century, most gender roles are meaningless, even in our industry.
We've had the pleasure of hiring two of the best car guys in the industry in the past year. Last year (almost to the day) we hired Subi Ghosh to run marketing. Since then, she's brought so much more to the table that we promoted her to Executive Vice President and positioned her to represent us at NADA as well as upcoming conferences like Digital Dealer, Insight15, Innovative Dealer Summit, and the Women in Automotive Conference for which she is on the board.
This week, we hired Christine Robertson, an automotive eCommerce veteran who has helped propel Checkered Flag Auto Group to new heights over the last 8 years. She is already making an impact on our clients and will be heavily featured as a thought-leader within our company and for the industry.
All of this has reaffirmed something I've felt strongly about for the last year. Vendors need to hire car guys. These two superstars have brought more insight to the company and to our dealers than any marketing guru or digital expert from outside the industry ever could. Dealership experience is meaningful. It's so much easier to teach SEO or content marketing to a car guy than to teach the car business to an SEO expert.
Today's leaders at the dealerships can do so much more today than ever before. The market is much more complex. It's no longer a matter of throwing out liner ads in the newspaper and trying to get people in the door when taking phone ups. The sales process begins on the internet. Some people call it research, but the reality is that they're starting to actually initiate the purchase before they ever step foot on the lot.
Something that Subi, Christine, and other members of our team have taught me is that this industry is loaded with incredible talent that can and should be harnessed at every level. Vendors should be looking at talented dealership personnel to fill their job openings. Dealers should be taking full advantage of the talent at their store in ways that are much broader than just a few years ago.
We live in interesting times and we exist in an exceptional industry. I've learned so much over the last year and a half and I felt the need to share it. Go car guys!