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OEM Site...Fight or Submit?

Discussion in 'Online Marketing & Best Practices' started by AdamMurray, Jan 9, 2017.

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  1. AdamMurray

    AdamMurray
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    Management from our CDJR point approves initiative to find new website provider. Research begins, choice is made, site is built and now it's time to go live.

    FCA owns our URL and won't point non-DDC site? No problem, we have URL's aplenty.

    Then I hear there will be a big announcement at NADA and FCA is going to expand their approved vendor list. Great news, right? Rumors abound that the company we chose is on that list! Yippee...

    Then I read this: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/chrysler-dealers-getting-spanked-again-brian-pasch

    "Wait a second," I say. Is all of our hard work, design and testing going to be thrown out the window as they (in)conveniently transfer us to their new, improved, FCA-approved, templated site? Are those ridiculous FCA banners going to start appearing again in the middle of the night? What else are they going to have access to?

    I'm just at a loss for words right now and that's just not like me. Everything is on hold right now but that does not please the dealer. Newsiteco won't confirm or deny anything nor will FCA.

    Thoughts? Advice? Just roll over, tap out and submit or start looking for another vendor not on the soon-to-be announced list?
     
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  3. Chris Leslie

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    I am sure you already know the value in owning your domain. I have read about legal ways to take control of domains that someone else owns. in the case where the current domain owners domain is the name of a business lets say. You can file trademark on it i believe. If you choose to go down that road..
     
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  4. AdamMurray

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    Thanks, Chris. That has definitely been/being discussed. FCA claims it is all part of our Digital Dealer Agreement but has yet been able to produce a copy of said agreement after multiple requests. At stake, however, are the brand leads from their sites.

    The whole thing is pretty disappointing to me.
     
  5. Chris Leslie

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    I'm not sure how it works with FCA. But with us we are required to have a CDK site. So I have a domain pointing to them which is chevy.vegas and then I have our primary domain fairwaychevy.com

    Are you able to do something like that?
     
  6. Alexander Lau

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    Sounds like somewhat of a conundrum. I've always been in the "have two websites - OEM mandated website provider site (from the likes of Cobalt / ADP / CDK or Dealer.com); 3rd party website provider of your choice (Dealer Inspire [probably going to be approved shortly --- just too good and built on WordPress], DealerOn, AutoFusion, fusionZone, DealerX, etc.)" school of thought.

    Call me crazy, but the more hooks you have in the water, the more fish you'll catch (could be said about any form of advertising) and the more virtual / organic real estate you take up, the better! In all likelihood the 3rd party website provider site will rank much better than the OEM mandated one. I've seen it time and time again.

    In your case, I'd wait to see how the cookie crumbles. In terms of the additional website providers to added to the Chrysler list.
     
  7. AdamMurray

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    We sure can and that was my intent until I read the article from Pasch that I linked to in my original post. It seems the new website company we chose to build the site we were going to point to an alternate URL will now be under contract with FCA and will more than likely have to follow the same rules as dealer.com (much like you suffer with CDK).
     
  8. Alexander Lau

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    I'd just point your new site to a new domain. How ingrained is the domain name? IOW, how long have you had it in place?
     
  9. AdamMurray

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    I was thinking very much along those lines, Alexander....that's why I wasn't too heartbroken when FCA originally told me they wouldn't point the new site to our original URL.

    We won't know the full list until the big reveal at NADA this month but all signals, rumors and innuendo point to Dealer Inspire being on that list and that is who (whom?) I chose to work with after so much research and so many rave referrals.
     
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  10. Bruce E

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    Hey, Adam! (Hello Chris, and Alexander too!)

    I was trolling some of the Dealer Refresh forums and saw this thread so I thought I'd chime in and add my 2¢.

    Adam, Brian's article you reference was designed to offer potential insight on the vendor's business model as it pertains to OEM programs. It shouldn't add any weight to your situation (However, Ralph Ebersole's comment is pretty spot on from my perspective working in other OEM programs).

    Chris and I worked together on the domain switcharoo when moving his site to DI. We took the "seasoned" domain and pointed a brand-new one to the CDK site he was trying to bury. If you've got a few URL's that have gained links and authority, you can use those, no problem. You'll need to create a domain strategy to help overcome not having access to the primary (which we've always helped dealers with).

    Alex, I'd never call you crazy (we don't know each other that well :)), but sticking with your fishing analogy, more hooks in the water is an easy way to get your lines crossed too. Your customers can get so tangled in disconnected promises that you won't be able to reel them in. Marketing should be laser focused and connected. Your 3rd party site (or off-program site) ranks because you care about it. It's where your efforts and the majority of your marketing is. Search engines and, more importantly, your customers see it immediately and reward you for it.

    Since I'm starting to ramble, I'll cut right to it. Speaking from experience the OEM packages that we've helped put together with Shift have always been focused on keeping your dealership's identity. They're designed to give dealers options based on a number of comfort factors, but support, flexibility, and personalization have always been at the heart of it all.

    Will you all be at NADA? You should stop by our booth #6131. We can talk more about this... or not, and just have a beer. :)
     
    #9 Bruce E, Jan 11, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
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  11. Alexander Lau

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    Thanks for your insight. Let's agree to disagree. I don't have the time to go into why the corporate only approach isn't the smartest.

    The truth, a dealer should care about both properties and all of their marketing (I think we agree there), with attribution in mind.

    I'll not be at NADA this year, maybe I'll see you at a Digital Dealer in the near future. Cheers!
     

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