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Third party Vendors are waking up to their worst nightmare. The party is almost over and we're turning the lights on. They are in denial reminiscent of 'Newspaper Advertising' a few decades ago. Newspaper was the juggernaut, dominant, over-bearing, dictating, necessary, and way over-priced. At the end of the Newspaper Era, they were screaming they were still effective and still relevant as they could no longer prove heir worth or justify their extravagant high-prices. The Newspaper Advertising moguls were sucked down into the tarpits wheezing their last wheezy gasps, still proclaiming their relevance.

NOW - The Paradigm is shifting again. The third-party vendors can no longer justify their rdiculous high prices and can't document any real results. They're No Longer selling results, they can't. They don't have them to show. So they misdirect with VDPs and SRPs and QRXs instead of showing us real business. AND, they tell the dealers if you're not selling, it's your employees fault.

WHAT CHANGED? Well several things changed.

FIRST OF ALL, the consumers changed. Dealers websites are smarter and more reactive. VDPs need to become stickier and conversion is 'king'.

SECONDLY, Mobile Happened! Consumers are engaging on handhelds and tablets and devices other than desktops. They are able to USE Google and other avenues to directly connect with the dealers. Real time transactions favor the dealerships, not the vendors.

THIRDLY, Dealers became educated in dealing with the modern consumer and they don't feel hostility on our Websites. CHAT is huge for conversion.

AND FOURTH, The "CLICK TO CALL" Google option puts them in touch with us immediately. It's probably one of the greatest things that's happening to fuel the shift. TEXT MARKETING and PERSONALIZED VIDEOS from the Dealerships are humanizing our efforts. People still like to deal with people. ONLY the Vendors see advantages to dehumanizing the processes. We are NOT DEVO.

THE CRM Companies that own website development will inherit the business. They become the DASHBOARD that controls the Dealers' Marketing... Adwords, Social Media Strategies, Everything the Dealership does to market. The CRM creates it, coordinates with the website, and measures and adjusts the campaigns. THE CRM companies allow the dealer to run their campaigns without all of the slander and defamation the vendors use to bring us down and make themselves look like the saviour from us. Reputation will be better and profits will increase.

I have always advocated a CRM-Driven Culture in the Dealerships, now the worm is turning and the third-party vendors are scrambling like Newspaper executives did several decades ago. I doubt they'll go extinct totally, but their value in our marketing plans will become second-tier and optional.  

The revolutions here and they are screaming bloody murder because they all see it coming. Ask your CRM Provider and others, the CRMs are gearing up to take over the marketing. I just wrote this article/blog a half hour ago and it's already viral. Three CRM Companies and Website Vendors have already, in just a half hour, asked me for the permission to reprint and distribute at the convention.

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Does Your CRM Suck... or Maybe Not?

This Might Be a Cool Discussion.

Recently I have become more involved with a lot of Automotive retail of CRM Companies. Many of these people have become good friends of mine and I love their products and services.

On the other hand, I communicate with literally thousands of Dealers and Dealership Managers and Employees regularly. I see and hear a lot of things at 'Street Level"  What I get a lot of is either "Praise" or "Complaints" about the services and functions of the dealerships' CRM Company. I am sort of including Internet lead Management programs in the Mix as well. 

On the phone yesterday a dealer principal of a large group told me they were reverting back to Reynolds and Reynolds newest version of Showroom management programs. Of course, I asked why? They were leaving a really high-profile Big CRM Company that we are all familiar with that is supposed to be state of the art, cutting edge. The dealer told me (and they've been a client of mine for 15 years)... He told me, their functions really sound great in the sales presentation BUT their support and service Sucked the Big One and he felt he had evidence they were misusing his customer data. This was his words, not anything I coaxed, coached or put him up to. 

Although I am really pleased to hear Reynolds and Reynolds has greatly improved their offering, which I am recently hearing from many dealerships; I was surprised to hear that one of his main reasons for switching over was Reynolds security of his data without undisclosed aggregation of information coming out of his DMS that he felt his current other Big Company was doing. 

So, I am NOT going to influence this Blog one way or another BUT I will comment back. I'll erase anything abusive or attacks, so play nice. 

I want to hear candid discussion on your CRMs without my slanting in any direction. The vendors themselves are welcome to chime in IF YOU don't dominate the discussion, intimidate or harass the participants. 

Here's the questions ( and name names)...

  • What CRM are you using?
  • What's Good About It?
  • What Sucks About it?
  • Do you have an Internet Lead Management Program?
  • What's Good About It?
  • What Sucks About It?
  • What features do you need that you don't currently have?
  • What should your CRM be capable of doing that it's not performing?
  • What does your CRM do that you wish they would cease doing?

This might take off and get some discussion, might not, let's see?  JIM

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