Archive for the “ecarlist” Category

AdAgenyOnline.Net, a nationally recognized  automotive advertising resource / networking portal, reviews cutting edge automotive advertising technologies and vendor solutions on their hosted blog talk radio station — WAAOL, All Automotive Advertising News All The Time.  This week’s Lunch With Phil Discussing Automotive Advertising show, moderated by Philip Zelinger, the President of Ad Agency Online, L.L.C., will feature a review of InstaQuote in an interview with Carlos Diaz, the founder of InstaQuote and the C.E.O. of Caryote.  The show is scheduled to air live on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2011 between 12 Noon and 12:30 PM EST.

Philip shared his reasons for reviewing InstaQuote as a possible conversion tool for his affiliated automotive advertising agencies and his online audience of automotive advertising decision makers. “To price or not to price on an auto dealer’s website is a question that automotive advertising agencies have already answered with a resounding yes.  Customers demand transparency in their online shopping experience and price is a question that must be answered almost before it is asked.  Some auto dealers stick to the old school philosophy of posting MSRP with an offer to contact them for their best Internet price.  Their intention is to preserve gross profit and incentivize the online shopper to contact them so the dealer can explain why price isn’t as important as their product and excellent service.  Unfortunately, today’s educated consumer knows that the best price is only a click away and they can service their vehicle anywhere after their purchase.  Although, why would they go to the dealer that wanted to overcharge them for the vehicle in the first place?”

“I am reviewing InstaQuote for an Internet Sales Manager who contacted me to ask if they could provide an efficient way to instantly quote a competitive price to his online shoppers as well as in response to his leads sourced from various third party providers.  Frankly, I am not a believer in auto response based systems, however sometimes limited staff and resources force a dealer to choose between an automated response or no response at all.  The solution lies in a hybrid of a timely response with a competitive price followed by a personal reply to fill in the holes and establish a relationship with the customer.  Customers soon discover that most dealers will “meet or beat” any legitimate price so their objective  quickly converts to finding a dealership that they are comfortable with.  Price still matters but people and process are more of a consideration for online shoppers who are compiling their short list of dealers to visit.”   

“InstaQuote is able to quote 100% of a dealers’ new vehicle Internet leads from their own site, the manufacturers’ site and third party marketing platforms in seconds.  They use proprietary multi-point information matching to ensure quotes are generated accurately in a very comprehensive conversion tool on the dealers website using a manufacture-grade configurator that follows business rules defined by the dealer to respond to all inbound inquiries.”

“Perhaps the most unique value offered by InstaQuote is the customer friendly format that the price is delivered in.  In addition to providing the price on the vehicle selected by the customer, they also quote several comparable vehicles as well as providing information on the dealer including a convenient Google based map and directions to facilitate a visit.  When combined with a comprehensive follow up system integrated into a process powered by a motivated staff and efficient CRM I can see InstaQuote as a key ingredient in the sales process.”

About Carlos Diaz

In early 2001, after the “dot-crash”, Carlos Diaz, the founder of InstaQuote was forced to enter the car business as a means to support his family and like most others who first enter the “business”, the transition was not easy. Mr. Diaz had over 7 years of web development experience having worked for such companies as General Electric and UGO.  Carlos was ahead of the curve with in-depth knowledge of the internet and programming. Now armed with car sales experience, he was a perfect fit for the internet department which, at the time, no other salesperson wanted to be part of.

Carlos quickly excelled in achieving his sales goals. However, he still felt the process was too complicated, which was due to his dealership’s refusal to let him answer the number one question presented by all online customers, “What is your best price?”. This was when the idea of a system that could provide price quotes to customers without dealer interaction came to his mind. This was the birth of InstaQuote.

For the next few years Carlos worked for various dealerships. He also continued to evolve InstaQuote from a simple access database to a full featured website designed to help him increase his personal sales goals.

In 2003, while working for a Honda dealership in New Jersey and after achieving numerous awards from both the dealership and Honda, he was taken aside by the VP of Operations and asked what his secret to success was.  Nervously he told the VP about InstaQuote, who proceeded to immediately promote Carlos to Internet Sales Manager on one condition, that he allow the dealership to use InstaQuote. A few months later, and after helping increase the dealerships status to number one in the nation, Carlos was promoted to Director of eBusiness Development.  Carlos managed six Business Development Centers for 7 franchises,  all powered by his InstaQuote system.

About InstaQuote

• Caryote Technologies, Inc. is a privately held, Phoenix, Arizona based corporation.

• The name Caryote (pronounced car-yote) is derived from the words “Car” and “Coyote” which was inspired by an encounter with a pack of 3 Coyotes on the day the company was formed.

Products/Services

InstaQuote was originally designed and developed in late 2001 as a way to enhance the overall car buying experience. It offers the user the opportunity to use the internet as a means to avoid in-dealer negotiation of a vehicle.

The InstaQuote Philosophy

1. Provide a high-quality, intuitive, and engaging email based quote that offers the perfect balance of information and interactivity to satisfy the customers immediate needs and promote dealer communication.

2. Incorporate the latest web based technologies that enhance the overall customer experience.

3. Introduce industry leading features that promote dealer transparency, such as finance and lease payment options.

4. Provide easy-to-use dealer controls that feature simple instructions and familiar layouts that mimic their existing processes for price setting.

5. Allow for simple integration and implementation into any dealer environment, which complements and enhances existing sales processes.

About Philip Zelinger

Philip Zelinger is the President of Ad Agency Online and founder of AdAgencyOnline.Net.  He invested 25 years as a General Manager and Dealer Principal followed by his last ten years in the automotive advertising industry learning from the teams that he built so he can now presume to teach.  His role as a “Dealer Coach” is enhanced by his hosting a nationally recognized auto industry social networking portal and blog talk radio station – WAAOL, All Automotive Advertising News All The Time.  As the author of two books on the auto industry, including “How To Sell A Car – a Career Guide to The Automobile Industry,” he is a recognized authority on market trends and developing technologies with the responsibility of selecting key vendors and applications for his dealer clients as well as forming strategic partnerships for his vendor clients to leverage their shared resources to bring their products and services to market.

About AdAgencyOnline.Net and Ad Agency Online, L.L.C.

AdAgencyOnline.Net reviews automotive advertising vendors and new technologies on several blog talk radio shows in addition to the Lunch With Phil Discussing Automotive Advertising.  Other shows include “Auto Industry Insiders”  and “Automotive Advertising Experts.”  The shows attract automotive advertising agencies, auto dealers, auto industry vendors and O.E.M. representatives that listen to WAAOL to find vendors, applications and technologies to maximize the R.O.I. for their automotive advertising dollars.

AAOL is a national network of independent affiliated automotive advertising agencies linked by an online communication / distribution system developed by Philip Zelinger.  The proprietary operating system that powers AAOL was designed to reduce fixed and semi-variable expenses for full service automotive advertising agencies.  The developing technologies that enhanced the performance of the independent automotive advertising agencies linked by AAOL has served as the role model for the solutions suggested on AdAgencyOnline.Net and represented by AAOL to their affiliated automotive advertising agencies when serving their auto dealer clients.

Ad Agency Online L.L.C is focused on discovering and representing new automotive advertising vendors not yet recognized by the mainstream automotive advertising industry. Recent automotive advertising vendors represented by AAOL include; Argistics – AutoTransaXion, SiSTeR Technologies Video CarLot, DealMaker.Com, CityTwist.Com, Bulldog Marketing Technologies,  Gumiyo, Kihon Media, CarFolks.Com, Ai Dealer, Laser Stream Video, ronsmap and IntellaCar; to name a few.

Previous guests interviewed on WAAOL include a growing number of automotive advertising experts.  Past guests included, Clayton Stanfield from EBay Motors, Mark Dubis from CarFolks.Com, Jared Hamilton from DrivingSales.Com, Dale Pollak from vAuto, Jerry Daniels from Automotive Broadcasting Network, (ABN), Terry Alling from Kihon Media, Brian Ferris and Spencer Sterling from DealMaker.Com, Mike Parsons from Laser Stream Video, Brian Hoecht from Ai Dealer, Ralph Paglia from ADP and host to the auto industry social networking community ADM, Len Critcher from ecarlist.com, Tim Zierden from AAX, Jim Ziegler, consultant to the auto industry, Jeff Kershner, host of DealerRefresh.Com, Jeff Raab from the Detroit Trading Company, (DTX), Mike DeCecco from Dealer.Com, Ken Schwartz from CityTwist, Michael R. Spadafore from R. L. Polk & Co., Kevin Schwartz and Rick Rochon from AdSymetrix, Bruce Cerbone from Argistics, Scott Davis from Bull Dog Marketing Technologies, Matt Watson from VinSolutions,  Michael T. Fay from Colliers International Of South Florida and their C.A.R.S. division, Matt Brown and Zack Powell from TheDealerDashBoard.Com, Mark Burack from Liquid Motors, Pat Ryan, Jr. from FirstLook, Al Cantarella from AutoWebsitePlus.com, Michael Roscoe and Cliff banks from Dealer Communications, Steven Munyan from HireTheWinners.Com, Todd Mathews from WideStorm, James Crouse from CloudOne, Brian Story from VehSmart, Mike Martinez from izmocars and most recently Jim Hughes from IntellaCar.

For more information on Philip Zelinger, Ad Agency Online, L.L.C., InstaQuote or any of the preferred automotive advertising vendors previously reviewed on WAAOL contact Philip through AdAgencyOnline.Net.  Automotive advertising vendors, automotive advertising agencies and auto dealers that would like to be considered as a “preferred automotive advertising vendor” on AdAgencyOnline.Net and/or to hire/join Ad Agency Online, L.L.C. to represent them can contact Philip Zelinger at pzads@bellsouth.net, call him at 888-796-2228 or visit AdAgencyOnline.Net at http://adagencyonline.net.  To quote Philip Zelinger, “Help is only a click away!”  ###

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AdAgencyOnline.Net, a nationally recognized automotive advertising resource / networking portal, will be reviewing a new cutting edge technology vendor — VehSmart — on the portal’s blog talk radio station WAAOL, All Automotive Advertising News All The Time.  VehSmart is introducing a fully integrated asset management and profit enhancement program for the automotive finance and dealership community.  Philip Zelinger, the President of Ad Agency Online, L.L.C. and the host of AdAgencyOnline.Net, will be interviewing Brian W. Story, the Chairman and CEO of VehSmart, and Rich Zellner, the President of VehSmart, on his blog talk radio show Lunch With Phil Discussing Automotive Advertising.  The show is scheduled to air live on Wednesday, January 05th, 2011 from 12:00 Noon to 12:30 PM EST.

Philip shares best practices and new technologies on his blog talk radio shows with automotive advertising agencies who recognize the increasing role that technology and improved processes in sales and service play in today’s consolidating auto industry.  According to Philip, “Most automotive advertising agencies have learned to use today’s technology to coordinate their marketing messages on the Internet with their conventional automotive advertising.  Some have even learned the importance of  integrating sales and service processes on their Internet based virtual showrooms with their auto dealer client’s brick and mortar facilities.  Unfortunately, few automotive advertising agencies focus on other areas of day to day operations that require similar efficiencies to provide more profit from sales and service with less staff, inventory and working capital.”

“Today’s show reviewing VehSmart will take the value of technology to another level by applying efficiencies to commercial floor plan management, dealership inventory management, enhanced dealer to consumer aftermarket sales, retail automobile lender advance and service drive data programs.  I have interviewed the principals from most of the major inventory management / appraisal / marketing vendors including Dale Pollak from vAuto, Len Critcher from eCarList, Pat Ryan from FirstLook and Tim Zierden from AAX.  Each of these platforms effectively cover similar aspects of the sales and service process based on technology driven inventory management data, however, VehSmart offers a number of unique complimentary features and benefits that attracted my attention.  I am anxious to listen and learn from Brian and Rich about their platform during my review of VehSmart so I can continue to teach my affiliated automotive advertising agencies and online audience of auto industry decision makers about the latest and greatest advancements in technology to maximize their R.O.I. on many levels. After all, what are friends, AdAgencyOnline.net and WAAOL for!”

About VehSmart

With applications that reach across multiple business sectors in the burgeoning billion dollar telematics sector, VehSmart™ is focusing its initial product rollout in the automotive and personal safety sector. VehSmart is forging its way into the marketplace with a telematics device which can be installed in any 1997 or newer vehicle sold in North America in just seconds. The VehSmart platform (patent pending) is the only fully integrated solution that ties commercial lenders, dealers, automotive retail lenders and consumers together creating a long term sustainable relationship and dramatically increasing customer retention.

VehSmart’s sophisticated telematics device plugs into a vehicle’s diagnostic computer port and provides two-way information between the vehicle and user.  The VehSmart “plug & play” device, installed on the vehicle while on the dealer’s lot creates an enhanced relationship between the dealer and the floorplan lender.  It provides a valuable risk mitigation tool for the lenders who are financing the dealer’s inventory while providing the dealer a complete inventory asset management tool, the ability to preload an aftermarket product without the out of pocket expense of a typical pre-loaded product.  In addition the dealer receives tremendous benefits from the VehSmart inventory asset management tools which allow them to better manage inventory, improve sales and increase profitability at the dealership. 

The VehSmart Inventory Asset program allows dealership management to know every time a vehicle is on a test drive reducing the ability of salespeople to fail to record a test drive and impact their closing ratio.  Unauthorized use of vehicles is eliminated by notifying the dealership management if a vehicle is off the property when the dealership is closed.  If a vehicle is started, moved, towed or removed from the property after hours an alert is immediately transmitted to the designated manager.  VehSmart reduces or eliminates the cost of dead batteries and the potential loss of a retail sale when a vehicle won’t start.  When a vehicles battery drops below 11.8 volts an alert is sent to the designated person allowing them to start the vehicle before the battery dies.

The same device, sold on to the car buyer, features a full suite of features and benefits such as accident notification, stolen vehicle recovery, emergency roadside assistance, real time traffic updates, low battery warning, low fuel level alert.  In addition VehSmart offers Concierge service, assisting drivers in locating restaurants, hotels and gas stations with turn-by-turn directions and even making reservations and stolen vehicle tracking.   VehSmart also offers young driver alerts and geo-fence capability, sending alerts via text messages or email when young drivers are speeding, or out of a pre-determined geographic boundary.  Additionally, consumers have the ability to register up to 10 family or friends that would receive immediate notification in the event of an impact.

About Brian W. Story, Chairman& CEO

Mr. Story has over 24 years in the automotive industry, combining both his retail and aftermarket experience to bring highly successful and profitable opportunities to auto dealers. Mr. Story began his auto sales career in Southern California in 1984. Ten years later, he surveyed the automotive landscape, resigned as General Manager at a successful Ford dealership in the Los Angeles market and formed his own automotive aftermarket company, Safelite of America, incorporated in 1996.  Through Safelite of America, Inc., he provided highly profitable promotions, products, and services to auto dealers. He created the Slasher Sale, trademarked in 1997, to move used car inventory at a time when lease returns were flooding the used car market and bringing wholesale prices down. Mr. Story eventually licensed the concept to other marketing companies.    Mr. Story is well known throughout the retail automotive industry and has an extremely impressive track record in the aftermarket business.

About Rich Zellner, President

Mr. Zellner has been in the automobile industry for almost 30 years, with over 17 years in automobile finance management.  After twelve years in dealership management roles, he joined AutoFinance Group and quickly climbed the ladder becoming a key member of a company that was ultimately sold to Key Bank for 10 times book value.  As a member of the Key AutoFinance management team, Mr. Zellner was considered one of the company’s sub-prime experts and traveled throughout the country lecturing bank management and dealer groups on auto finance. 

From 1999 through 2006 Mr. Zellner was a Senior Vice President at WFS Financial and ultimately Wachovia after a merger.  During his tenure Mr. Zellner was responsible for policies, procedures and management of a sales and marketing group of over 170 associates, travel and incentive group, and dealer services group.   In recent years Mr. Zellner served as President of Cogent Financial Group, an auto finance and elective surgery medical finance company, offering consumer loans through auto dealers and medical practices.  As President, he was responsible for all facets of the business including credit, operations, funding, collections, accounting, and legal.  Additionally he formed a consulting company, Automotive Resource Group, with a client list that includes companies such as J.D. Power, Blue Chip Financial, and Universal Auction Group.

About Philip Zelinger

Philip Zelinger is the President of Ad Agency Online, L.L.C. and host of a nationally respected automotive advertising social networking portal, AdAgencyOnline.Net.  Philip invested 25 years as a General Manager and Dealer Principal followed by his last ten years in the automotive advertising industry representing auto dealers and technology vendors focused on the automotive advertising industry.

His role as a “Dealer Coach” is enhanced by his hosting a nationally recognized blog talk radio station – WAAOL, All Automotive Advertising News All The Time.  As the author of two books on the auto industry, including “How To Sell A Car – a Career Guide to The Automobile Industry,” he is a recognized authority on market trends and developing technologies with the responsibility of selecting key vendors and applications for his dealer clients as well as forming strategic partnerships for his vendor clients to leverage their shared resources to help them bring their products and services to market.

About AdAgencyOnline.Net and Ad Agency Online, L.L.C.

AdAgencyOnline.Net reviews automotive advertising vendors and new technologies on several blog talk radio shows including Lunch With Phil Discussing Automotive Advertising, Auto Industry Insiders and  their most listened to program Automotive Advertising Experts.  The shows attract automotive advertising agencies, auto dealers, auto industry vendors and O.E.M. representatives that listen to the blog talk radio station WAAOL to find vendors, applications and technologies to maximize the R.O.I. for their automotive advertising dollars.

AAOL is a national network of independent affiliated automotive advertising agencies linked by an online communication / distribution system developed by Philip Zelinger.  The proprietary operating system that powers AAOL was designed to reduce fixed and semi-variable expenses for full service automotive advertising agencies.  The developing technologies that enhanced the performance of the independent automotive advertising agencies linked by AAOL has served as the role model for the solutions suggested on AdAgencyOnline.Net and represented by AAOL to their affiliated automotive advertising agencies when serving their auto dealer clients.

Ad Agency Online L.L.C is focused on discovering and representing new automotive advertising vendors not yet recognized by the mainstream automotive advertising industry. Automotive advertising vendors represented by AAOL include; ronsmap.com, DealerMouth, TeleTextSolutions, GetAutoAppraise, Argistics – AutoTransaXion, DealMaker.Com, CityTwist.Com, Bulldog Marketing Technologies, Kihon Media, CarFolks.Com, Ai Dealer, Laser Stream Video, SiSTeR Technologies – Video CarLot and IntellaCar; to name a few.

For more information on Philip Zelinger, Ad Agency Online, L.L.C., VehSmart or any of the vendor clients represented by Ad Agency Online contact Philip at 888-796-2228 or email him at pzads@bellsouth.net.  Automotive advertising vendors, automotive advertising agencies and auto dealers that would like to be considered as a “preferred automotive advertising vendor” on AdAgencyOnline.Net and/or to hire/join Ad Agency Online, L.L.C. to represent them can contact Philip Zelinger at http://adagencyonline.net.  To quote Philip Zelinger, “Help is only a click away!  After all, what are friends for!” ###

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The consolidation of the auto industry was in response to free market conditions reacting to a weakening economy accelerated by government intervention that many believe went beyond the rules of law.  The impact on auto dealers and the businesses that served them in their surrounding communities was immediate as they were shuttered by the thousands.  Automotive advertising agencies and technology vendors serving the retail automobile industry were similarly affected, however, the resulting changes are only now coming to light.

Philip Zelinger, the President of Ad Agency Online, L.L.C. — a national network of independent affiliated automotive advertising agencies linked by their online communication / distribution system — recently commented on the changing landscape of the automotive advertising industry and the technology vendors that serve it during an interview on the blog talk radio station WAAOL, All Automotive Advertising News All The Time.  WAAOL is hosted on the automotive advertising resource / networking portal AdAgencyOnline.Net. 

“The consolidation of the auto industry has forced automotive advertising agencies to take on new areas of responsibility that include integrating sales processes that begin on the virtual showrooms being built on the Internet Super Highway with real world brick and mortar facilities.  The internet has sparked new vendor applications and technologies that have forever changed the role of automotive advertising agencies who are now challenged to insure that the message on the street matches the message on the real and virtual showroom floor.  Technology has always determined the media used to deliver a targeted marketing message with human nature shaping the messages and methods applied by automotive advertising agencies tasked with maximizing the R.O.I. for every automotive advertising dollar.  The Internet and the impact that social media is having on the shopping and buying habits of consumers is being reflected in the emerging technologies and applications focused on providing efficiencies and short term R.O.I. analytics.”

“It is no longer enough for automotive advertising agencies to simply drive customers to their auto dealer client’s websites and/or showrooms.  Until and unless their efforts can be sourced to specific vehicle sales and/or repair orders they have not earned their agency fees.  Fortunately, new vendor applications have been developed to handle the warp speeds that customers are travelling on the Internet Super Highway.  These integrated solutions are being consolidated into comprehensive platforms built on best in class applications that  follow customers all the way to the showroom floor and/or the service drive — and beyond with after sales follow up to improve customer satisfaction and retention. Technology vendors that provide specialized applications for the auto industry have been consolidating their products and services to improve selling processes by linking new and pre-owned vehicle sales with fixed operations.  Efficiencies in processing customer contacts through integrated ILM and CRM systems tied to in store desking applications and DMS platforms allow automotive advertising agencies to manage and monitor customer contacts with a verifiable R.O.I..  This kind of R.O.I. analysis was not possible when these sales and service functions were handled by individual vendor solutions that did not communicate efficiently with each other.”

The consolidation in the automotive advertising technology sector has been evidenced by the increased market penetration by extensive product suites such as those offered by a group of individual vendors that comprise Dominion.  Similar platform solutions have been developed by individual vendors who have extended their products and services to include applications that compliment their initial offerings. 

Philip Zelinger recently interviewed Len Critcher from eCarList on The Automotive Advertising Experts blog talk radio show. The eCarList inventory management / marketing application has been complimented by new offerings that were discussed in detail

About eCarList

eCarList provides web-based inventory management, distribution, and marketing services to over 1,000 leading franchise and independent automotive dealerships nationwide.  The company’s comprehensive product lineup includes Inventory Management, Vehicle Pricing Analytics, Award-Winning Custom Websites, and a full-suite of Online Marketing Services including Search & Behavioral Marketing, Managed Chat, Video Mobile Websites and more. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, eCarList is an eBay Motors Preferred Provider.   For more information, visit www.ecarlist.com.

About TrueMarket Mobile

TrueMarket Mobile is the first and only mobile appraisal and inventory management application on the market to deliver both wholesale and retail data including Cars.com, AutoTrader, eBay, BlackBook, NADA, AuctionNet, Carfax, AutoCheck and more.  All data is complimented with intelligent market data including Market Days Supply, Price Variance, Option Filtering and Real-time competitive views.

Features of the app include an intuitive VIN scanner, VIN paste and quick-adds if you’re away from the vehicle, and direct integration with the eCarList desktop software.  Our dealers have the ability to photograph, price, edit and upload vehicles directly from the App to our inventory management software which instantly updates the website and retail sites.

Another respected vendor that recently expanded their core application into more of a platform solution is Higher Gear.  Philip Zelinger interviewed Robert Gruen, the founder of The Higher Gear Group, on WAAOL to discuss their CRM application and the newly expanded products and services being introduced to compliment their initial application.

The Higher Gear Group Team enhanced their platform under their new Overdrive banner which includes showroom, customer relationship and lead management systems.  The new products and services that have been added to their simple to use CRM — Done Right application include their integrated eZDesk system defined by their slogan — Multipayment Desking Made Easy, their eZBDC — Follow Up Made Easy and other products with descriptive names including their MyGarage — Be-back system, Super form — All-in-one lead generation, Bargain Button — Interactive Offer System and feature functions like their One-click Navigation, Mobile Site solution, Social Media Integration, High-indexing Search Technology, Affiliate Tracking, Dealer Care Proactive Site Maintenance and their Automated Credit Application Integration. 

About The Higher Gear Group

The Higher Gear Group, an industry-leading provider of software and services to the automotive industry, today announced the completion of an investment in the company by an affiliate of H.I.G. Capital, a global private investment firm with more than $7.5 billion of equity under management. Founded in 1998 by industry veteran Robert C. Gruen, The Higher Gear Group provides customer relationship management (CRM) software and related services to automotive dealers throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada. The Company’s software tracks the entire lifecycle of retail automotive customers, facilitating the management, retention and conversion of customer leads at dealerships.

Based in Schaumburg, Illinois, The Higher Gear Group was a pioneer in the automotive CRM sector, developing custom software solutions specifically tailored to address the unique process of selling cars, trucks and other motor vehicles at retail dealerships. The Company’s leading software was rapidly adopted throughout North America by dealerships seeking to realize a higher return on their significant investments in sales and marketing. In the decade between 1999 and 2009, the Company grew its customer base at an average annual rate of 60%, outpacing its competition and establishing itself as the leading independent player in the industry. The Higher Gear Group currently serves customers in 47 of 50 states.

These examples of best in class products and services offered by auto industry focused vendors integrated into platform solutions link vehicles sales and fixed operations to improve efficiencies and provide more comprehensive R.O.I. analytics.  Auto dealers and automotive advertising agencies that have survived the consolidation in the retail auto industry have turned to technology to leverage their limited resources.  The future for auto dealers and automotive advertising agencies clinging to old school business practices without embracing the internet, social media and technologies to maximize the efficiencies that they represent is bleak.  Similarly, vendors serving the auto industry must expand their products and services beyond their initial core products to provide complimentary and integrated solutions or they will be swept aside by platform solutions that address their auto dealer clients needs in a more comprehensive manner. Read the rest of this entry »

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Philip Zelinger, the President of Ad Agency Online, L.L.C. and host of the automotive advertising resource / networking portal AdAgencyOnline.Net, announced today that he will be reviewing eCarList and their new mobile appraisal and inventory management application TrueTarget Mobile for consideration by his affiliated automotive advertising agencies.  Philip will be interviewing Len Critcher, the CEO of eCarList, on the blog talk radio station featured on AdAgencyOnline.net — WAAOL, All Automotive Advertising News All The Time.  The Automotive Advertising Experts show hosting the interview is scheduled to air on Friday, September 03rd, 2010 from 12:00 Noon to 12:30 PM EST. 

The pair of automotive advertising insiders will be sharing best practices with automotive advertising agencies who regularly tune into WAAOL to listen and learn about new technologies and Internet driven applications that promise to change the way that auto dealers buy and sell cars.  Philip limits his product reviews to cutting edge vendors with proprietary applications and he confirmed that eCarList qualifies on many levels.  “I reviewed eCarList once before during a previous interview with Len Critcher and I knew then and there that I would have to keep in touch with him.  I was so impressed with his inventory management and marketing platform that I recommended him to one of my valued vendor clients, SiSTeR Technologies, Inc..  Based on the successful results of that introduction I am always looking for other shared opportunities with eCarList so when Len offered me a sneak preview of his new mobile appraisal and inventory management platform I jumped at the chance.  I want to take credit for introducing it to my affiliated automotive advertising agencies and my growing audience of automotive advertising decision makers who turn to me to find the latest and the greatest in technology driven automotive advertising solutions.  I am confident that the TrueTarget Mobile suite of products and services being introduced by eCarList will not disappoint them.”

About Len Critcher

With a successful background in marketing and technology, Len Critcher established one of the first Internet focused dealerships in the United States in 2001.  As a pioneer in online automotive sales, Critcher is often heralded as one of the “fathers” of online automotive marketing.  At age 28, Critcher was profiled in Forbes Magazine for his success in online automotive retailing.  Recognized as an authority in online inventory management and marketing, Critcher is often invited to speak to large groups and industry events to share his unique passion and insights into his “real world” automotive successes. In 2006, Critcher founded eCarList and has led the organization in its record growth and is also the chief architect of the company’s product development.  Critcher and his businesses have also been featured in People, Time Magazine, USA Today, CNN, American Way, Dallas Business Journal and more.

Critcher received a BA from Southern Methodist University and resides in Dallas, TX with his wife Pamela, and two young children, Carson and Sailor.

About TrueTarget Mobile

TrueTarget Mobile is the first and only mobile appraisal and inventory management application on the market to deliver both wholesale and retail data including Cars.com, AutoTrader, eBay, BlackBook, NADA, AuctionNet, Carfax, AutoCheck and more.  All data is complimented with intelligent market data including Market Days Supply, Price Variance, Option Filtering and Real-time competitive views.

Features of the app include an intuitive VIN scanner, VIN paste and quick-adds if you’re away from the vehicle, and direct integration with the eCarList desktop software.  Our dealers have the ability to photograph, price, edit and upload vehicles directly from the App to our inventory management software which instantly updates the website and retail sites. Read the rest of this entry »

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AdAgencyOnline.Net is an automotive advertising resource / networking portal with an earned reputation as “The one stop site for all of your automotive advertising news and needs.”  SiSTeR Technologies is a preferred automotive advertising vendor on AdAgencyOnline.Net.  Philip Zelinger, the President of Ad Agency Online, L.L.C. and the host of the blog talk radio station featured on AdAgencyOnline.Net — WAAOL, All Automotive Advertising News All The Time, introduced ecarlist as an approved reseller for SiSTeR Technologies during his Lunch With Phil Discussing Automotive Advertising show.

SiSTeR pioneered the automated Video Walk A-Round industry in 2006 before the search engines and auto dealers recognized the preference by consumers for video when surfing the web to purchase a new or pre-owned vehicle.  Philip described SiSTeR Technologies as “The most dedicated, innovative and progressive provider of video for the auto industry that I have ever reviewed for my online audience of automotive advertising decision makers.  SiSTeR produces comprehensive video analytical reports and has demonstrated that auto dealers using its video applications enjoy increased conversion rates, more calls and lead submission exceeding 70%.”

SiSTeR uses proprietary technology that creates an individual Video Walk A-Round for every vehicle in the dealers’ inventory using existing pictures, data and text.  The production process is fully automated without placing any burden on the dealer.  One of the most valued and unique features of their process is that every vehicle is described using a  real human voice and the music and style of presentation are customized to fit the vehicle’s category.

Potential car buyers are served by the video clips presented through SiSTer’s proprietary 3DF player that is integrated with most web site providers and all of the major industry portals. Thanks to their 3DF technology, SiSTeR provides the auto dealer with valuable information to quantify their R.O.I. including vehicle comparisons and user behavior when they interact with the video.

Of equal importance to the auto dealer is the fact that the video clips are also uploaded to You Tube and indexed by Google.  SiSTeR pioneered the video search engine in early 2008 as the first video provider for the automotive industry that integrated with You Tube. Today, vSEO has become an industry standard as suggested in a recent article by Karen Bradley, a trainer and dealer consultant for Dealer Synergy and one of the few auto industry trainers certified to teach the Franklin Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People Course.

http://www.automotivedigest.com/AutoUSA/AskTheExperts_Vol5Issue2.html

According to Israel Alpert, the C.E.O. of SiSTeR Technologies, “Many providers are trying to follow but none of them has the depth of expertise and experience that is required to achieve top position on Google’s search result.  We just introduced VidBrid  – a revolutionary technology that merges the vehicle presentation and the dealers’ branding with full motion video inserts that are perfectly synchronized with the voice over.  Our productions are not just boring picture stitching or infomercials that turn the audience away.  Our VidBrid technology not only captures the user’s attention but it allows the dealer and the service provider to customize the production to fit every vehicle and style as well as to include the dealers’ messaging, services and special offerings within the video production.  Differentiation is the key to successful marketing and SiSTeR has taken that wisdom to the next level.  Auto dealers are no longer limited to the same cookie-cutter, one production fits all video to market their vehicles and their auto dealerships.”

SiSTeR has developed a national network of distinguished resellers, service providers and promoters which now includes ecarlist.  Their expanding group of respected channel partners can point to direct engagement with large dealer groups.  It has already earned them a pilot program with a major OEM which should be announced to the public at the 2010 NADA Convention scheduled in Orlando, February 13th though February 15th, 2010.  With a combined network of over 600 sale people in the field supported by their philosophy and focus to stay on the cutting edge of video production and marketing to the auto industry they are recognized by many of their auto dealer clients as an innovative vendor partner who is extremely attentive to the auto dealer’s needs.

ecarlist is an automotive advertising vendor with a variety of applications that drew the attention of the automotive advertising agencies that support AdAgencyOnline.Net.  Their new reseller relationship with SiSTeR Technologies will enhance both platforms and provide added value to their shared customers.  ecarlist provides a comprehensive inventory management application and appraisal tool tied to internet sourced market data as well as web site designs and support services which will benefit by their integration of SiSTeR’s video platform.

Len Critcher, the President of ecarlist, was interviewed by Philip Zelinger on his blog talk radio show, “Automotive Advertising Experts” that aired on November 14th 2008.  The new relationship between ecarlist and SiSTeR Technologies developed after the two companies recognized the value of combining their applications to better serve their auto dealer clients.

About Len Critcher

Len Critcher is a dealer principal of eCarLink.com, a leading Internet dealership and CEO of ecarlist.com, a dealership software company in Dallas, TX.  For five years, eCarLink.com has consistently sold over 1,000 vehicles per year exclusively through online marketing.

Critcher has been profiled in Forbes Magazine, CBS News, American Way, and the Dallas Business Journal for his work.  He is often asked to consult dealerships on best practices in selling/marketing online. Critcher’s dealership is currently ranked #8 nationally of ‘pre-owned retailers’ by Auto Dealer Monthly.

About ecarlist

ecarlist serves +/- 500 auto dealerships, including the largest Chevy dealership and the largest pre-owned Lexus dealership in the nation.  They have been marketing their product for less than 2 years but they have recently expanded their offerings to include the following features and benefits described on their website http://ecarlist.com ;

Inventory Listing Management

ecarlist provides more than just inventory management capabilities.  They are one of the most powerful listing tools available.  ecarlist provides multiple ways to input inventory including feeds from a 3rd-party dealer service vendor, integration with an auto dealer’s legacy DMS, or vehicles can be entered manually making the process as painless and intuitive as possible.

Powered by Chrome Systems, one of the most powerful and accurate VIN decoders available, after the initial decode all auto dealers are required to input in most cases is the price, mileage and description (if desired).  Their VIN decode even provides available OEM colors and options for that particular make and model. Total and seamless integration with both CARFAX and AutoCheck allow the option to choose the source of a vehicle’s history report, and ecarlist is one of the first platforms to provide a quick-view CARFAX Highlights summary directly from the vehicle’s inventory page. No more wasting time opening and reviewing CARFAX reports!

ecarlist’s description builder develops a seemingly-customized description about a vehicle without spending all of the extra time. Simply choose the categories to describe, click the check box by the respective description and finalize the arrangement of the descriptions. One of the things that make their description builder unique is the ability to save custom phrases and paragraphs—no more opening up word documents to copy/paste favorite openings or

paragraphs.  Simply type them once, save them to the ecarlist description builder and access them for all future listings.  Their description builder will even update the year, make, model, price and mileage automatically into customized paragraphs, which will save even more time!

Auto Dealers can preview their ad and send their inventory to all of the major sites using some of the most recognizable and acclaimed templates available with just one click.  If an auto dealer prefers a unique, or more customized template, or they feel that there are some better web sites that they would like to use to advertise their inventory, ecarlist will help them achieve what will work best for their dealership.

With ecarlist’s integrated, ‘multi-site’ lead management system, auto dealers can view and reply to leads from many of the most popular marketing mediums directly from their ecarlist account. Auto dealers can choose to view leads based on date received or by vehicle. Even monitor all email communications in thread based formatting.

Email Lead Management

Their included E-mail Lead Management system also allows auto dealers to respond to customer questions, accept/reject/counter eBay Best Offers, and avoid unwanted spam e-mails, which will ensure that auto dealers only receive e-mails that pertain to their business.

Market Price Analysis

The days of only monitoring a competing dealer’s specials down the street are over. The dealership of today must understand the National marketplace and must buy/price their inventory accordingly.  There is an old saying, “profit is made on the buy, not the sale”. With ecarlist’s integrated Market Analysis system – dealerships are better equipped during the buying stage as well as the marketing and pricing stages.  Auto dealers can use ecarlist to assess trade values looking at many forms of data including Black Book and eBay Motors Market Data.  Auto dealers can compare inventory with ‘real-time’ VIN matched vehicles selling online and see exactly what competitors are asking.

A new feature to be added to ecarlist in the near future is their “Classified Market Analysis” including Auto Trader and Cars.com. Also, improved inventory monitoring and inventory price alerts.

Free Inventory Export to Multiple Sites

From eBay Motors and AutoTrader, to Cars.com and Edmunds, auto dealers can list their vehicles to all of the most popular online advertising platforms with just one click.

Free Window Sticker Creator

Auto Dealers can access customized window stickers and buyer’s guides, on demand, with their Window Sticker Creator. No more waiting for 3rd-party providers to put stickers on inventory, no more waiting for graphics companies to deliver stickers a week after they are ordered and no more paying someone else for something that auto dealers can do themselves for ¼ of the cost; simply click and print.

eBay LOCAL Integration

ecarlist is one of only a handful of eBay Motors Preferred Service Providers out of the 30,000+ vendors that eBay works with.

Free craigslist Integration

Auto dealers can easily send all their inventory to one of the world’s largest free, online marketplaces. With more than 7 billion page views per month and an opportunity to selectively market vehicles in most of the country’s largest metropolitan areas for free, craigslist is something auto dealers will definitely take advantage of. A full color ad, branded with  dealership banners will ensure that vehicles get the attention they need from potential buyers.

AutoTrader Tag Line

The eCarList AutoTrader Tag Line, provides the ability to precede each ad with a customer, sales-person specific greeting, that should increase the likelihood that a potential customer knows who to ask for to eliminate confusion on the showroom floor.

Integrated Lease Quoting System

Auto Dealers can populate their ads with auto-generated lease quotes using generic, make-specific or franchise-specific lease criteria (money factors, residuals, terms, etc.). No more manually entering terms on the back-end, no more guessing what the lease payment might be—ecarlist does the work for the auto dealer.

DMS, CRM or Other 3rd-Party Integration

Duplicate entry, switching back-and-forth between various web pages, reconciling an auto dealer’s inventory and corresponding leads all take up valuable time that should be better spent selling vehicles and making money.  That is why ecarlist works so diligently to provide integrations with all of the necessary sources that auto dealers utilize on a daily basis. However, ecarlist goes one step further by ensuring the data from/to these sources are seamlessly integrated into the auto dealer’s account, so the dealer can manage and access everything they need from ecarlist without compromising functionality or accuracy.

Manheim’s Online Vehicle Exchange (OVE) Integration

Lower transaction costs, guaranteed payment, exposure to a national audience of buying dealers…if an auto dealer wholesales any of their inventory, OVE is a necessity. eCarList is proud to be one of the first 3rd-party partners of OVE by providing their auto dealers the ability to list and manage their vehicles directly to this new auction marketplace. All auto dealer clients need to get started is an eCarList account and their Manheim user-name and password.

24-Hour Technical Support

At ecarlist, customer support is paramount. From their technical support and sales representatives, to their executive officers, their goal is that virtually anyone and everyone on their team is accessible when their dealer clients need them most.

Customized “Framing” Upon Request

Framing is a great way to make ads stand out, establish an online image and preserve dealership-specific branding. Additionally, framing decreases the likelihood that a dealership’s ‘likeness’ or vehicle photos will be used in a fraudulent manner by making it difficult for individuals to steal photos without spending a prohibitive amount of time editing them for use as their own.

VIN Explosion Back-up

Although, ecarlist took great care when researching and partnering with the most robust and accurate VIN decode company available, no VIN decoder has 100% success decoding VIN’s. That is why ecarlist is the first, and to their knowledge, only company around that cares enough about their auto dealer client’s time and the accuracy of their listings to employ a back-up VIN decode system. In the event an auto dealer’s initial VIN decode fails, eCarList will automatically generate a VIN decode request with their back-up VIN decode partner, VinPOWER.

A product overview of ecarlist is available by clicking on the link below:

http://www.ecarlist.com/product_overview.pdf 

About AdAgencyOnline.Net 

AdAgencyOnline.Net has and audience comprised of automotive advertising agencies, auto dealers and O.E.M representatives that frequent the site to take advantage of their free automotive advertising resources.  The  blog talk radio shows on the portal include the “Lunch With Phil – Discussing Automotive Advertising” the “Lunch With Ralph – Discussing Automotive Advertising”and the “Automotive Advertising Experts” show.  The shows run weekdays from 12:00 noon to 12:30 PM EST.  They all allow call-in questions to the guests or they can be downloaded anytime at http://adagencyonline.net/ or www.blogtalkradio.com/adagencyonline

AdAgencyOnline.Net provides solutions to automotive advertising agencies, auto dealers and O.E.M. representatives who turn to the automotive advertising site to solve common problems discussed on WAAOL.  AdAgencyOnline.Net also hosts an online Dealer 20+ Group sharing best practices with senior automotive advertising account executives from Ad Agency Online, L.L.C. who monitor the portal to offer free advice. 

AdAgencyOnline.Net has interviewed a variety of nationally recognized automotive advertising representatives in addition to Len Critcher from ecarlist since its launch at the NADA Convention in San Francisco in February of 2008.  Previous guests included Clayton Stanfield from EBay Motors , Mark Boyd and Mark Dubis from CarFolks.Com, Jared Hamilton from DrivingSales.Com, Dale Pollak from vAuto, David Wassmann from NeoSynergy, Jerry Daniels from Automotive Broadcasting Network, (ABN), Terry Alling from Kihon Media, David Marod from LeadConverter, Mike Parsons from Laser Stream Video, Brian Hoecht from Ai Dealer, Ralph Paglia from ADP and host to the auto industry social networking community ADM, Jim Ziegler, motivational speaker and consultant to the auto industry, Jeff Kershner, ecommerce director for The Mile One Automotive Group and host of the auto industry social networking forum DealerRefresh.Com , Jeff  Raab from the Detroit Trading Company, (DTX), Tim Zierdon from JMsolutions AAX™, Mike DeCecco from Dealer.Com, Ken Schwartz from CityTwist, Michael R. Spadafore from R. L. Polk & Co.  Kevin Schwartz and Rick Rochon from AdSymetrix , Jeffery Bennet from Argistics and Ron Morrison from ronsmap; to name a few.

For additional information on SiSTeR Technologies, ecarlist or Ad Agency Online automotive advertising agencies, auto industry vendors and auto dealers can visit the portal at http://adagencyonline.net/ , contact Philip Zelinger directly at 888-796-2228 or email Philip at pzads@bellsouth.net.  To quote Philip Zelinger, “Help is only a click away!” ###

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