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There are many dealers who have strong criticisms regarding, but regardless of whether you consider Edmunds an asset or a liability to the retail auto industry there is little debate about their unique position within the vehicle buying process for many millions of automotive consumers...

The stark reality for car dealers seeking greater understanding of how car buyers shop online in 2013 is that has the ability to paint a vivid portrait of today’s online car shopper... Which includes 9 out of 10 new and used vehicle buyers!

About 18 million visitors use the site every month to shop for their next new or used car, and this gives the Edmunds team an unparalleled insight into the car buyer's research and shopping process.  For as many years as I can remember, Edmunds has used the online automotive consumer activity to generate extensive research data and analysis to drive the sort of car buying insights that would establish itself as one of the more valuable resources for car companies and dealers to better understand car shopping and the way buyers use automotive information.  Historically, Edmunds has made the analysis and insights available to their business partners and to the public through academic inquiries and media requests.  However, Edmunds has not previously assembled together the complete volume of current time period data and the analysis and insights gleaned in one coherent piece.

By publishing and making available the 2013 Car Shopping Trends Report, they have provided the auto industry and especially dealers and automotive marketers with a true gem of a document.  The report which ADM Professional Community members can download using the link at the bottom of this blog post, shows the results of extensive data mining within the’s extensive database to reveal the most relevant car shopping and purchasing trends in America today.  These trends offer direct clues toward ways that the automotive industry can move forward by empowering a more engaging car shopping experience.

Throughout the 2013 Car Shopping Trends Report, you’ll also find references to a 2011 survey conducted by "Added Value" on behalf of that asked 2,476 online car shoppers representing the U.S. car shopper population to describe their expectations for their next car purchase.  Edmunds correlated these responses to real-world buying data to see if shopper expectations match reality. In preparing their analysis and conclusions, the Edmunds market research team found many striking consistencies between the two sets of market research data. These surprisingly strong correlations between the two reports suggest that car shoppers have a strong sense of the automotive marketplace and that they know how to set reasonable expectations around price, availability and product performance.

By evaluating this wealth of data provided by the Edmunds team, you will find a story about car shoppers that is often surprising and counter-intuitive to many dealers and automotive professionals.  While at other times, the Edmunds data reinforces critical theories held by car dealers, automotive sales professionals and throughout the auto industry. Some of the key findings in the 2013 Car Shopping Trends Report include:

  • Two out of every three car shoppers consider themselves highly engaged in the car shopping process, and they turn to a variety of information to help them decide on a new or used car. Time spent on is up 2 percent from 2011 to 2012. And the most-viewed elements by new car shoppers on are reviews, pricing information and photos. 
  • Mobile access is becoming a powerful tool for car buyers. Traffic to’s mobile site spikes on the weekends – and especially on Saturdays – when the bulk of car buying takes place. 
  • Shoppers are very good at anticipating how much they’ll pay for a new car. New car shoppers told us in 2011 that they plan to spend $30,500, on average, for their next vehicle. In fact the average transaction price for a new car the following year was $30,803.
  • The average age of a new car buyer is about four years older than the average age of a used car buyer.  

  • Shoppers are turning to leases now more than ever. And the difference between the average monthly lease payment ($433) and the average monthly finance payment ($468) is greater than at any time since started keeping records.  

  • About 44 percent of all trade-in vehicles last year went toward a new car by the same brand, which is consistent with our 2011 survey that found that 49 percent of shoppers say they “plan to stick with a brand that has worked in the past.” 
  • Luxury car owners and shoppers are buying and considering more nonluxury cars. The trend speaks to the improved quality of non-luxury vehicles.  

  • Many shoppers say they want just the basics in a new car, but emotions can drive buyers to add options. New car buyers are willing to spend an average of $2,200 – or about seven percent – above base model and trim prices to add more options on their cars. 

The’s 2013 Car Shopping Trends Report is intended to be a free resource for ADM Professional Community members who are interested in creating a better car buying experience. This is just the first in a series of reports that the Edmunds Research team hopes will shed more light on car shopping behavior.  The team intends these findings to open up a dialogue which will contribute to the ongoing improvements within the automotive retail industry. They also want to encourage ADM Professional Community members to contact Edmunds at any time to discuss more ways that can help you better understand today’s car shopper.

Here is a link to download a PDF version of the’s 2013 Car Shopping Trends Report: 

Edmunds Points of Contact

For Dealer Inquiries: 855-EDMUNDS
For Press Inquiries: 310-309-4900


Edmunds Annual New Vehicle Sales Forecast for 2013 and Historical Actual Sales:


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Come Say Hello this Weekend at #NADA2013

Dealer Synergy & Automotive Digital Training are in sunny Orlando this weekend for NADA! Stop by Booth #4179 and say hello! We will be unveiling the Automotive Industry's MOST Comprehensive and Powerful "Video On Demand" Training, Tracking, Testing & Certification Software.

You'll be able to talk one-on-one with Super Star Trainers / Experts such as 

Sean V Bradley, Karen Bradley, James A. Ziegler, Peter Martin, Danny Alkassmi, Craig Lockerd and much more!

Here's our booth!

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The automotive sales industry is off to a busy start this year. Last week, Jim Ziegler's Internet Battle Plan took place in Atlanta. To nobody's surprise,  it was a huge success with the likes of Jim Ziegler, Sean V. Bradley, Peter Martin, Paul Potratz, Cory Mosley, and many more showcasing their intelligence and experience.

"So, when's the next event?" "Later in the year?" Think again.

In just a few weeks, this year's NADA convention will be kicking off in Orlando, FL. If you're planning on attending, be sure to visit Booth #4179 to see Sean V. Bradley, Jim Ziegler, Peter Martin, Danny Alkassmi, and Ralph Paglia introduce Automotive Digital Training!

Following up NADA is none other than the Internet Sales 20 Group. (#is20g on Twitter :) ) The Internet Sales 20 Group, fresh off of its success in Chicago last October, will be taking place in Dallas, TX: March 19-21st.    Moderating the Internet Sales 20 Group: Sean V. Bradley, Karen Bradley, as well as Peter Martin, President of Cactus Sky. 

From Phone Sales to CRM Processes to Social Media Best Practices and E-mail Marketing, the level of content and knowledge that you will take away from this workshop is unlike any other event in the world. The Internet Sales 20 Group boasts an all-star lineup of Speakers, Expert Panelists, and Presenters, with over a hundred years of total combined automotive experience! On any given day, you will see presentations from Sean V. Bradley, Karen Bradley, Ralph Paglia, Peter Martin, J.D. Rucker, Jim Ziegler, and many more. You will also walk away with our workshop materials, which includes a professionally designed, content-driven workbook with plenty of resources and insight.

Hope to see you there!!

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Content marketing is internet marketing. It has been for a while (which I'll discuss below) but in 2013 content management will emerge to become the "must have" component of automotive digital marketing strategy.

It was during a discussion on ADM where the venerable Ralph Paglia brought up a great point. In regards to an article about using your website as the content hub for both search and social, Paglia posted a comment pointing out that not all web platforms, particularly those in the automotive industry, give users the ability to post content as easily as they can on Wordpress, Tumblr, Ning, or any of the other platforms specifically designed as content management systems. Many automotive websites (and business websites in general) trap users with content restrictions. This has been an annoyance for years. Going into 2013, it will be a major drawback.


Content Has Been The Key Forever, But...

This isn't anything new. Content marketing has been a component of search engine optimization, social media marketing, affiliate marketing, and just about every strategy that relies on driving traffic from one source to another. The difference now is that it's going beyond the status of being a "component" and becoming the heart and soul of these various types of marketing techniques.


SEO for years has been a function of appropriate keyword-rich content, keyword-rich title tags, and powerful inbound links with keyword-rich title tags. There was a time when you could have next to zero content on your website and still rank well for challenging terms. Those days are behind us. With the Penguin update in April and the Panda update last year, Google forced search marketers to shoot for quality, to draw in the links based upon organic prominence. For this reason, content truly has become "king" even though it was really just a queen or a jack in the recent past.


Social media marketing can always relied on content as the driving force, but one could easily center the content on the social sites and still benefit from it. This strategy is still in play, particularly for big brands, but smaller or localized businesses (such as car dealers) should rework their social strategies to include the content that appears on their website.


The reality of the trends is this: content marketing was a part of larger marketing strategies before. Now, those other marketing strategies are easier to manage if you make the content aspect the central activity that bleeds over into search and social. It's a paradigm shift in many ways and is the reason why changes should be coming for many websites in the coming year. Some would argue that they shouldn't even wait for 2013, that now is the time to act. I tend to agree.


Post It or Move Along

There's an episode of Seinfeld where Cosmo Kramer starts receiving phone calls at his home from people wanting to get movie times. He tries to become Movie Phone. Unfortunately, he runs into some roadblocks.


Embedding is disabled, but watch it anyway.


This is sort of what's happening for many business website providers, particularly in automotive. "Why don't you just tell me what content you want on your website?"


They (dealer website providers) don't offer the tools that allow users to log in, post a piece of content, and make it live immediately. For some, you have to send them the HTML itself. Others tell you to email them the words and pictures and they'll post it for you. Some let you build a page, but won't allow it to go live until you call them.


Call them? Really?

To be able to perform the basic marketing techniques required for success in 2013, you must be able to post your content how you want it and when you want it without constraints. You must have the ability to put the right social media buttons on your content; that doesn't mean a blue "F" in a small box that links to your Facebook page. You need true share buttons. Social signals are becoming the most important tool in both search and social marketing. If your website platform breaks the codes, you need to make a change.


If you are unable to post content easily without putting a ticket into tech support, you will fall behind your competitors. If you cannot make your websites socially engaging, you will fall behind your competitors. People are really starting to "get it" when it comes to content marketing. Some of these people want to succeed over you. Will you let that happen?

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Ralph Paglia Posted This on ADM and rather than build a separate post, I wanted to create a "Hybrid Post"... Share my thoughts as well as his thoughts and some of the ADM community's thoughts...

My heart goes out to his family and friends for their personal loss. To lose a loved one is a terrible thing. He was an icon, yes but he was a Husband, a Father, a Friend etc... first. 

I personally never had the honor of meeting Zig but I, like most of us in this industry was very influenced by him. I have read his books, studied his philosophy, watched videos of him and was completely enthralled in all that I was able to absorb! It is crazy how people influence other people. I remember reading a Zig Ziglar book when I was first started selling cars on the showroom floor 14 years ago! I remember being so excited to get to the next chapter because his information was so awesome! 

There are little things that I do to this very day that I got from reading a Zig Ziglar book. For example something simple with negotiating I learned from Zig was that in ANY transaction (And I mean ANY). Simply asking "Is that the best you can do...?" to the person trying to sell you something and then waiting for them to respond IS AWESOME! You have to ask it VERY non hostile or aggressive. Almost, "tossing" the question out there...  For example: If you were about to buy something from 9almost ANY sals person),  and they quote you the price. Just pause for a second, take in the price you have just been quoted and then ask them gently... "Is that the best you can do...? People, you will be SHOCKED at the responses you get LOL! I know I was :) People, almost fall over themselves changing it up, cutting their own prices, saying things like... "well, maybe I can do this or maybe I can get you that" :) 

Bottom line, I can go on and on about some of the brilliant strategies and philosophies of Mr. Zig Ziglar! 

Here is what I will say people "Cherish every second of life", it is gone in an instant. Be cognizant of who and what you are. 

Let me tell you what the BIGGEST "thing" I got from Zig Ziglar... His life as a whole, his legacy, his impact on the world, his influence. That is what is truly awe inspiring! 

It is surreal this last year. Zig Ziglar just passed away, recently Dr. Stephen Covey passed away and a close friend of mine (and a friend to a lot of you all) Karry Moore, Co-Founder of Car-Mercial. So, what have I taken from all of this? Well it is a sobering reality that life is a precious gift as is time and we have NO IDEA how much of it we will have. So, what is our purpose? Or what should our purpose really be while we are here for a short stint? 

PLEASE watch this quick video from FranklinCovey, The "80th Birthday"


Wow! Dr. Stephen Covey nailed it with this video! This reminds me of Zig Ziglar. This is what I one day aspire to. I am ONLY 36 years old and I have a long way to go but I am inspired to inspire others. 

Thank You Zig, you have been an inspiration to me on my journey teaching others-

Here is Ralph's Post:

ZIG FANS... HERE IS The ZIG ZIGLAR OFFICIAL COVER PHOTO. If you are a fan feel free to USE THIS AS YOUR COVER PHOTO in honor & memory of Zig. 

Our Friend, Mentor to Millions and Master Motivator Zig Ziglar passed peacefully from this world this morning. Angels are rejoicing and he is now speaking with Jesus. Please leave your favorite Zig Story or message to family at


Zig Ziglar passed from this world today after a short bout with pneumonia. Though his time on earth has ended, he is speaking with Jesus now in his heavenly home. The angels in heaven are rejoicing and his family is celebrating a life well lived. 

If Zig has impacted your life or you want to leave a message to the family, please leave your remarks on his FaceBook page. Don't worry about being too specific or long. Take as much space as you want...the family wants to know. 

Please check back on FaceBook as we will be posting when the memorial service will be held.

Replies to This ADM Discussion

Another great leaves a legacy in all salespersons that bought his books and tapes. Yes, tapes.

An icon for sure.  Thank you for the words of wisdom over the years...God Bless & rest well.

Mr. Ziglar Inspired Millions!

Well he is in good company.  Between Carroll Shelby, Irving (Stering) Silver,and now Zig,  wherever they are, someone is going to be buying a beautifully designed car, from a legend who is there with another legend. 

Let's remember they all operated in a prime time when this message would have been delivered by mail, designed on a drawing board and sold with out any CRM or Internet

Sorry to see any of them go.

You have no idea how great this man truly was. He turned my life around. Get ready for a long winded story. I was 23 years old (I'm 50 now)and working for Resort Vacations International selling timeshares at Holly Lake Ranch outside of Tyler Texas. I had lost my businesses 3 months prior when I was embezzled. I moved back in with my parents and literally even stuck a gun in my mouth, cocked it and came very close to killing myself. The only thing that saved me was the thought of my parents finding my body. 

After hibernating for about 3 months in my room, my father gave me an ultimatum, get a job, or go live in the hunting cabin. Since there was no toilet or TV in the cabin, I chose getting a job. Lone Star Steel had just laid off about 2500 people and jobs were scarce. One of the few ads in the Newspaper (that's where we used to look to find a job back in the old days) was for a sales position at Holly Lake Ranch. It was 35 miles away, but I was willing to take anything.

They immediately hired me. (little did I know they hired anyone that showed up) and I thought I had landed a killer job. Well.... After 3 months, I still hadn't sold a single timeshare. So our Sales Director called me in his office and said," Kenny, we really like you. (which is the kiss of death), But, you haven't sold anything since you started and if you don't sell by next Sunday, we're going to let you go.

One of the perks of working for Holly Lake Ranch was that you worked at a 18 hole PGA golf course. So to work out my frustrations I picked up a bucket of balls and started hitting them as hard as I could. I sliced a ball and nearly hit this "old" guy (hey, I was 23) a couple of tees down. I apologized and he asked if he could give me some pointers. I bit my lip and figured it was the least thing I could do since I nearly hit the "old" guy in the head.

He lined me up, tighten my grip, explained how I should rotate my hips, told me not to hit it so hard and stepped back. I swung, and I watched as the ball just floated into the air and straight toward the peg. It dropped about 5 feet from the hole and I went crazy.

After we finished our buckets, I offered to buy him a soda pop at the pro shop. The guy asked me why I was so dressed up and I told him about working in sales, but they were going to let me go next week. The guy said, "I used to be in sales, maybe I can help". I told him I was a lost cause that all the managers had tried to teach me and said I just wasn't a sale guy. He told me to meet him the next day and he'd have me a plan of action. 

The next day, he asked me to show him what I normally did when I was selling. I drove him around the property pointing out all the things I normally did and then showed him a cabin and told him that I would bring them to the sales office for a manager to close them after that.

So the guy tells me to forget everything everyone else had told me, and he would show me how to sell. Then he gave me a list of things he wanted me to do. Go fishing in Greenbriar lake, Fish in Holly Lake, Go swimming, rent a canoe, rent a cabin and stay in it with some friends, etc.

A couple of days later he brings me to the lodge and says,"I want you to bring your customers here, and get to know them. Don't leave until you've drank 2 cups of coffee". As you bring them to each amenity, get out of the car,  and tell then about you fishing, or swimming or canoeing.

Once you get back to the sales office, fill out your paperwork, and keep your head down without stopping. Even if they say they're not interested, say, "Okay", and ask the next question. When you finish tell them the price of the highest price week you have (which was a red week at $9500.) and if they ask for a discount, look at them like you're a confused puppy. What every you do, don't say anything else.

The next thing I knew I had gone from being dead last on the sales line, to being #1(rotation was based on your closing average). A couple of weeks later, my boss's boss flew in from Dallas for our Saturday sales meeting asking,"who this kid was that had gone from not being able to sell anything for 3 months to being the top salesperson". He asked me to stand up and tell him which manager was responsible for my sudden sales expertise. 

I told him about he guy at the driving range. And he asked me what did he tell you to do? I said,"He said to do the exact opposite of what the managers told me about selling". That pissed him off and he said," Who is this #&&#^@** that thinks he can undermine our sales process. And I said,"I think his name is Tig something". In which I receive a loud response of ZIG!?!?!?, "No I think his name is Tig". At least that was what I had been calling him for the past few weeks.

Little did I know, that the "old man" was Zig Ziglar. I had never heard of him before that. Later that day Zig came into the Main building where we hung around waiting for our "UPS" and you should have seen the sales people light up when he walked into the room. I think even the people who didn't know who he was lit up. He had just that type of charisma and charm that was contagious. Well, That's my Zig Ziglar story, Hope I didn't bore you.

Thanks.... Zig could stretch a good story out too!

Ken Nix - thanks for such a personal and heart warming story that made me smile and brought tears to my eyes. Your story should be in the movie that surely will be made about Zig Ziglar!

If they don't make a movie about that man, something's wrong in Hollywood. I always wanted to cross paths with him again and thank him and see if he remembered me. The funniest part was him having me drink 2 cups of coffee before I could leave the lodge. I got to know people on a very personal level and there were many sudden stops and mad dashes to the woods during my tours. LOL

What a great story Ken!

Ken, wow!! Man thanks for the inspiring share.
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Dealer Synergy & Cactus Sky Communications Create Scholarship Program For AutoCon 2012


AUDUBON, N.J.Aug. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Dealer Synergy & Cactus Sky Communications have partnered with AutoCon to provide 50 Scholarships to dealership personnel so that they can attend the upcoming AutoConNational Training Event.  AutoCon's goal is to provide dealerships with Digital Marketing Training, and they have assembled some of the industry's top experts for this event.

Dealer Synergy and Cactus Sky will provide 50 Scholarships covering the Registration Fee for the event of $895 for a total of $44,750 in Scholarships.  The goal of the Scholarship is to provide an opportunity for a dealership staff member that normally would not be able to attend the event to receive this valuable training.

With over 30% of vehicle sales coming from the Internet, Dealer Synergy and Cactus Sky recognize the need for ongoing training for all the members of the Internet Team, and these scholarships will allow more training and growth in the retail automotive industry.

Sean V. Bradley and Peter Martin decided that one of the best ways to demonstrate their commitment to the betterment of the industry was to commit the funds necessary to support independent dealer focused educational events such as AutoCon 2012.

Automotive Media Partners, LLC and First Class Educators are proud to announce the creation of a scholarship program sponsored by Dealer Synergy & Cactus Sky for the full AutoCon conference registration fee.

Dealer Synergy & Cactus Sky's sponsorship program will provide 50 fully funded AutoCon Registration Scholarships. Fifty automotive professionals will receive the educational, networking, inspiration and innovation benefits from attending the AutoConnections Conference and Exposition. The recipients only have to cover their out of pocket expenses for travel, meals.

Individuals that are interested in applying for a scholarship to the 2012 AutoCon Conference need to go to and fill out the quick application.

For more information on Dealer Synergy, please visit

For more information of Cactus Sky, please visit

For more information on Automotive Internet Sales, please visit

Contact is Sean V. Bradley - You can reach him at 267-319-6776

PR Newswire (

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Automotive Social Media Marketing Statistics, Facts and Figures / Re-Post from Ralph Paglia of Automotive Digital Marketing...


Automotive Social Media Marketing Statistics, Facts and Figures published by reliable resources for December 2010


  • Social network usage by Americans aged 65 and up grew 100% in 2010 from 13% to 26%, and is expected to continue to increase (Pew Research Center)

  • Facebook passed Yahoo in August 2010 to become #2 video site in America (58,600,00 users) behind #1 YouTube (146,300,000 users) (comScore)

  • Twitter now gets more visitors than MySpace, becoming 3rd most trafficked Social Network. had 96 million unique visitors in November 2010 up 76% from November 2009. #1 visited social network is Facebook with 598 million unique visitors. (comScore)

  • 29% of Twitter users 18-24 years old use Twitter to follow their favorite companies and brands

  • 60% of web users visit social networks (PC Advisor)

  • Two thirds of comScore’s U.S. Top 100 websites and half of comScore’s Global Top 100 websites have integrated content sharing with Facebook.

  • The average Facebook user is connected to 60 pages, groups and events (Facebook press office)

  • Twitter adds more than 300,000 new "Tweeps" (users) every day (Twitter)

  • There are more than 600 million searches on Twitter every day (Twitter)

  • YouTube receives more than 2 billion video views per day (YouTube press center)

  • 77% of Automotive Internet Users (AIU) read blogs (Technorati)

  • 60% of bloggers are aged 18-44 (Technorati)

  • Male/Female distribution ratio of Twitter users is 47/53%

  • 51% of active Twitter users follow companies, brands or products on social networks

  • Women aged 55 and up are the fastest growing Facebook demographic in America

  • Two-thirds of bloggers are male:
  • 65% are age 18-44.
  • Bloggers are more affluent and educated than the general population:
  • 79% have college degrees / 43% have graduate degrees
  • 1/3 have a household income of $75K+
  • 1/4 have a household income of $100K+
  • 81% have been blogging more than 2 years.
  • Professionals have an average of 3.5 blogs.
  • Professionals blog 10+ hours/week.
  • 11% say blogging is their primary income source.



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