Recently I finally was able to eliminate a 1980's internet mgr. from my dealership(sorry to be so crude), he was from the 80's and aside from knowing CRM's and the fundamentals of round robin, there was nothing else he knew to do or wanted to learn, he has now added marketing to his title to increase his ? to make up for this inability. We all should re-title our Internet department leader to Digital director, because if he or she do not know the importance and do not have the knowledge to create a digital presence and refuse to learn or are just incapable...then they must be put to pasture.

The funny part is he was hired without referencing his previous employer and has enough knowledge to say the words such as Facebook, Youtube fool the dealer along with the 80's fundamentals to get a job. To make thing even more astounding he has hire and internet salesperson who is very capable from the fundamentals and into the digital world with a vast knowledge of digital creativity and growth exposure for the dealer.  Now I believe if the dealer was smart and knew who he had working for him, he would agree that this manager from the 80's just hired his own replacement.

It's wake up time and getting into the 21 century starts by watching your Digital director perform the task, not vendor it out at your expense, not hire someone so he or she can kick back and go to events just to get away from the dealership.

Here's the test, ask your Digital director (Internet mgr.) if he or she can use Photo Shop, a simple video editor (and make them do it in front of you), it's just a two question test and if they fail you have the wrong person.

With that said guys...stop paying outside vendors when there are smart enough people that have surpassed your Internet manager in skill sets 10 years ago, not to say a manager older that 10 years ago do not not have the skill sets, but they only will if they have evolved, and most of them haven't and now they use the title Internet and marketing director to fool you but only go off to play on your dime.

So my Dealer ELITE friends, I hope this helps.

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Comment by James Bunting on February 22, 2014 at 3:33pm

I can do both of those things you mentioned, so my job is safe for the moment, but there's maybe a structural divide between whether your head internet honcho should be primarily sales or marketing based. That decision probably has a lot to do with whether the dealer has a standalone marketing director, or a GSM with time on his/her hands.

If you do have a standalone marketer, and you still want your internet head honcho to be designing banners and creating videos, I disagree with some of what you're saying. The majority of real marketing "day in, day out" work for most dealers is digital, and the marketer needs to be doing it.

But maybe you are coming from this at an angle where the digital director is also your only marketing person. So: not really responsible for a lead to close ratio, not really held accountable in any way once quality leads are generated, and not directly involved in the sales process itself, If so, I could definitely see your point. However, in that case, you'd need a very smart, very efficient GSM who has a great understanding of effective internet sales processes, a good ability to dial down to website/3rd-party/manufacturer lead to close ratios (and why the numbers are what they are), and the ability to implement *and monitor* improvements to the internet sales process.

We talk a lot about SEO, SEM, video content, content-based marketing, social media, yadda yadda. I grasp that these are hugely important marketing components (esp. the first two) and that they can make or break a business. However, barring fairly large mistakes on those fronts, iLead management is still the single most important part of digital sales for me... or at least, that is what I still consider to be the single most important part of *my* job. Could be I'm a bit of an evolutionary offshoot, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

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