Archive for the “auto dealers” Category

HELIOS Blog Talk Radio

WAAOL – Auto Industry Insiders

Auto Industry Insiders is a blog talk radio show that reviews next generation technology based vendor solutions.  The show airing on Thursday, 04/24/14 at 12 Noon EST features an interview with Charles Chamblee III, the founder of xChange, discussing their new social marketing customer engagement/conversion platform – HELIOS.

xChange provides social and mobile marketing services and applications for existing automotive retail market service providers and OEMs.  They develop marketing programs that create lifecycle relationships with online, mobile and social media members, application users and shoppers by establishing a “cradle-to-grave” relationship with them and their vehicle.

HELIOS uses incentive gamification and predictive analytical marketing communications to encourage vehicle services and sales via patent-pending social engagement and conversion processes.  HELIOS, creates a virtual dealership within the Facebook community, equipping the dealer with automated social-mobile customer relationship management, customer vehicle maintenance schedules, maintenance appointment services, vehicle search and shopping, real lease and loan information and instant customer credit checking into a seamless customer engagement and conversion program.  The principal expectation of the program is customer retention, recapture and new customer acquisition by making social members application users, and then convert them through pull-activities that result in recurring lifecycle vehicle services and sales engagements through proactive and reactive data mining algorithms and social communications.

What is the pain point solved by HELIOS?

HELIOS converts social marketing to social engagement, customer conversion to continuous lifecycle management to include the continuation of business and product awareness, all within the social-mobile community.

How does HELIOS solve that pain in a differentiated way?

It sponsors continuous customer engagement through proactive and reactive social communications… software algorithms that learn customer service requirements and sales wishes based on customer interactive behavior within the program application through smart data mining.

Who does HELIOS solve it for?

Their program provides both the social customer and the dealer the opportunity to engage and build lasting relationships through a customer-driven engagement-to-sales conversion process. 

About Charles Shamblee III

Chief Executive, xChange Automotive

April 2010 – Present (4 years 1 month) Charlotte, North Carolina

Chief Executive, ImpactWare

February 2012 – Present (2 years 3 months) Charlotte, North Carolina

ImpactWare is developing the next generation social media integrated ecommerce applications as an online software service (SaaS). Small businesses require management, sales and service applications with real-time integration to 3rd party systems. ImpactWare will provide small businesses with a holistic software solution for fixed and variable sales processing; inventory management; customer finance and payment services; product service scheduling, including maintenance and repairs; parts inventory management; accounting integration and smart data analysis capabilities.

Chief Executive, NeoSynergy

August 2002 – November 2007 (5 years 4 months) Cincinnati, Ohio – Detroit, Michigan

As the Founder and CEO of NeoSynergy the limited liability software development and services company, we built the first complete web-based automobile dealership management system for new franchise dealers. The product DarwinXE, was licensed to and implemented by Assurant Solutions for their US based recreational vehicle dealer market and to Auto-Mate of South Africa for their South African franchise dealer market. NeoSynergy was merged with MotorAlley in 2007 to create NeoSynergy, Inc under a new venture capital oriented management team in cooperation with Gunn Allan Financial at a market value of over $30MM.

Vice President, Car Company Solutions Group, The Reynolds and Reynolds Company

January 2001 – April 2002 (1 year 4 months) Dayton, Ohio

At Reynolds and Reynolds, I was hired by the CEO to consolidate and grow their direct global car company solutions business. I was responsible for continued business development, product positioning and marketing into all car companies globally to include overall customer satisfaction for product implementation and customer support services. During my term the group reached 140MM of annual recurring revenue.

Chief Executive, Baerli Five – DealerKid

January 1991 – November 2000 (9 years 11 months) Cincinnati, Ohio – Detroit, Michigan

As the Founder and CEO of Baerli Five – DealerKid, I lead the company as Baerli Five from its inception as we built and delivered client server network platforms for automobile dealership operations in our early years from 1991 – 1996.  We subsequently merged our platform services into a greenfield software development operation under the new brand, DealerKid in 1996 and created the first comprehensive automotive retail customer relationship management (CRM) solution “DealerKid” for the demand side of the automotive industry.  I was responsible for the vision and leadership that developed and managed Ford Motors and Nissan Motors – Infiniti’s use of the DealerKid software as a part of their enterprise dealer CRM initiatives until DealerKid was sold to Reynolds and Reynolds in the fall of 2000.  The sale of DealerKid brought an investor return of 10-25X depending on entry point.

Chief Executive, ComputerLand Franchise

November 1988 – October 1990 (2 years) Detroit Michigan

After leaving the military, I purchased an existing ComputerLand franchise in downtown Detroit with the financial assist of a non-institutional private equity investor. The business was expanded from a retail only operation to a retail and corporate product and service provider of IBM, Apple, Compaq and Zenith computer systems including network service products from Novell and Microsoft.  The ComputerLand serviced the major Detroit metro counties of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb.  I worked as chief executive of the ComputerLand franchise until it was sold to Inacomp Corporation in 1990.  The sale of the ComputerLand brought an investor return of 4X.

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AAE 04-18-14 Best Practices In Social Media

WAAOL – All Automotive Advertising News All The Time

Automotive advertising agencies don’t know what they don’t know about Social Media.  However, they do know where to find out; today’s Automotive Advertising Experts show!

Philip Zelinger, the President of Ad Agency Online, LLC and host of a free automotive advertising resource portal – AdAgencyOnline.Net – will share best practices in the use of social media being applied by several next generation vendors in both their B2C and B2B social marketing efforts.

Driving Loyalty, an automated marketing platform using proprietary algorithms to deliver equity and service alerts sourced from data collected from an auto dealer’s DMS, is presented as an example of best practices with their newly announced Social Marketing Initiative. They invited several complementary vendor partners to extend the reach, frequency and most importantly influence of their social marketing messages.

More uniquely, their shared B2B efforts extend into the real world with enhancements to the sales and service processes at a dealership provided by CallRevu’s telephone management/monitoring system, IntellaCar’s iPad based sales/marketing solution, DealerAppVantage’s dealer branded mobile app to enhance the customer’s ownership experience after the sale and OfferLogix with their data management software that inserts customer specific lease information and payments into the Driving Loyalty equity alerts.

If you represent a next generation technology based vendor solution serving the auto industry that would complement Driving Loyalty’s solution please comment here or reach out to Philip Zelinger at pzads@bellsouth.net to learn how you can join their networking family.

After all, what are friends for!

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LWP Driving Loyalty Data Base Social Marketing

WAAOL- All Automotive Advertising All The Time

Automotive advertising agencies have learned to manipulate the changing algorithms that search engines like Google and Bing use to drive organic search.  SEO is a fluid science that must now include social media. 

Automotive advertising agencies are dealing with recent changes on Facebook that limit organic search to power messages posted in their social networking community.  In today’s Lunch With Phil show I discussed old school best practices that delivered consistent creative across multiple media and channels to increase the reach, frequency and most importantly retention of message.  This practice can be applied to social media to compensate for now limited organic search and expensive paid advertisements.

I used Driving Loyalty’s data base marketing platform as an example of how consistent relevant and transparent messages delivered via email, direct mail, PURL’s and outbound call centers can extend the reach of social media.  Driving Loyalty has recently introduced their Social Marketing Initiative to educate dealers on how to link their conventional and digital messages to social media to leverage consumer content on social networks.

New “friends” sourced from the auto dealer’s DMS are invited through Driving Loyalty’s algorithms that deliver equity and service alerts to target the specific needs of the customer.  In addition, select vendors have been invited to join Driving Loyalty’s Social Marketing Initiative as networking partners to enhance the customer experience through improved sales and service processes at the dealership as well to develop shared B2B opportunities.

CallRevu is a telephone management/monitoring system that monitors inbound calls to the dealership and delivers real time alerts advising the dealer of missed opportunities.  IntellaCar is a sales/marketing platform that resides on an iPad controlled by the sales consultant that delivers credible third party information throughout the sales process. DealerAppVantage is a dealer branded mobile application offered to the customer at delivery that maintains communication between the dealer and the customer after the sale with service alerts and information to enhance their ownership experience.

The sales and service processes powered by these vendor partners insure that the customers’ experiences at the dealership will meet or beat the expectations delivered in the dealer’s marketing messages.  These positive reinforcements power the viral nature of social networks more than any manipulation of their organic search.

Simply put, the best way to replace organic search on social networks is to insure that the every contact becomes a friend and then a customer; in that order.  The best way to make a friend is to under promise and over deliver in the way that you conduct your business,

After all, what are friends for!

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Most discussions about Social Media between automotive advertising agencies and their auto dealer clients center around R.O.I.; or their perceived lack thereof. I accept responsibility for providing proof of my performance. However, I question short term quantitative evaluations that don’t consider the qualitative long term benefits of customer loyalty, satisfaction, retention and residual income derived from a comprehensive marketing plan that includes social media.

A real world example of a vendor that uses conventional and digital media enhanced by an integrated message delivered through social media is Driving Loyalty. Their data base marketing platform relies on a proprietary algorithm that delivers relevant transparent messages on a regular basis. They use emails, direct mail, personalized websites and most recently consulting services that advise their dealer clients to leverage customer generated content on social networks to reinforce the dealer’s online reputation and relationships with their past, present and pending customers.

Relationship based selling is a proven process that has been made more efficient and scalable through the use of social media and the viral nature of social networking. Forward thinking vendors, like Driving Loyalty, embrace the extended reach and frequency provided by customer generated content. They recognize that word of mouth advertising and referrals must originate from like minded customers vs. the dealer with their presumed self serving agenda.

Fortunately, the R.O.I. from social media can be proven when it is properly defined. Increased traffic to websites sourced from social marketing messages, posts by customers on the dealer’s Facebook pages that evidence positive experiences and improve the dealer’s online reputation and even sales and service appointments sourced from social media tracked by analytic tools built into most technology driven sales and service platforms are all verifiable returns on investment.

Next generation social marketing applications, such as Helios being introduced by xChangeAuto, are even providing conversion platforms that reside on Facebook with integrated real time communications to the dealer’s CRM and DMS. This seamless integration between the customer’s social networking habits and the dealer’s sales and service processes provides the first tool with a verifiable R.O.I..

Simply put, social media matters because in today’s internet driven marketplace the customers are in charge. Auto dealers that prioritize their customer’s experience before, during and after their sale or service at their facility will attract and retain more customers. Social media has the unique ability to insert the auto dealer into the conversation that is the market without having to time their message.

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Philip Zelinger, the host of the blog talk radio show – Lunch With Phil Discussing Automotive Advertising – is scheduled to review a new Social Marketing Initiative being introduced by Driving Loyalty in the second quarter of 2014.  The show will air on Monday, March 31st, 2014 at 12 Noon EST.

Driving Loyalty’s data base marketing platform relies on proprietary algorithms to deliver relevant transparent messages to qualified customers in an auto dealer’s data base using emails, direct mail, outbound phone calls and personalized websites for customers.  Alerts advise customers when they qualify to exchange their vehicle for a new or newer one for similar payments with little or no money down as well as service notifications based on recommended factory maintenance.

The Q2 Social Marketing initiative being introduced by Driving Loyalty will provide information on establishing a social marketing platform for dealer clients as well as content curation services.  The objective is to add social media as a communication channel to the existing messages already being delivered to the auto dealer’s customers by Driving Loyalty on a consistent basis.

Driving Loyalty will be providing a book of best practices in the use of Social Media as an electronic file and as a printed manual for their auto dealer clients.  In addition, they will be offering similar social marketing support services for their vendor partners through shared  online resources like Driving Loyalty Social and Social Marketing Solutions – Auto.

Several vendor partners will be benefitting from and supporting the Driving Loyalty Social Marketing initiative including:

CallRevu – a total call management system that establishes best practices in handling in-bound telephone calls at an auto dealership as well as providing real time alerts delivered to dealership personnel advising them of missed opportunities.

IntellaCar – an iPad based sales and marketing platform with a proprietary process that organizes feature/benefit presentations to match the customer’s individual preferences in selecting a new or newer vehicle

DealerAppVantage – a dealer branded mobile application offered to customers at delivery that sends service alerts as well as providing customer centric information to improve the customer’s ownership experience and increase customer retention for the dealer

OfferLogix – a data management platform that integrates with Driving Loyalty and other vendors which provides information needed to compute lease payments including residuals, money factors and relevant rebates, incentives.

Automotive advertising agencies have recognized the value of consumer generated content in Social Media vs. sales messages delivered by auto dealers through conventional radio, TV and print media as well as Internet or even direct digital media such as emails. Driving Loyalty is acting on behalf of their auto dealer clients by advising them to supplement their existing marketing platform with social marketing and networking.  The decision to share their social marketing platform with their vendor partners is an example of how social networking is able to leverage resources and relationships in B2B as well as B2C applications.

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