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Are OEM-Mandated Marketing Programs Good or Bad?

Feb 12, 2010
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29
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First Name
JD
Pretty much every Refresher knows how this particular poll is going to go. Anyone who has worked at a dealership with OEM mandates for websites, PPC, social media, or anything else has likely run into a situation where they were forced to use a company, product, or service that they didn't believe was the best. I'm looking for compelling reasons to either abandon or support the current state of affairs. Chime in regardless of where you work today because if trends continue, just about every OEM will adopt some form of mandates in the very near future.

My hope is to find compelling reasons supporting or denouncing the marketing mandates that OEMs lay down. If it's a bad thing, give us examples of how it hurts overall sales. If it's a good thing, try to convince us that it's a benefit for you or your dealership. Once we have a strong batch of reasons and enough votes in the polls, I'd love to send this thread to contacts at the OEMs.

I mentioned in a recent blog post titled "Why OEM Marketing Mandates are a Great Thing for Dealers (at least those who do it right)" that I don't believe I nor any individual can have enough of a voice to get anyone's attention. That may be true. However, as a community, DealerRefresh might have enough clout to reach a deaf ear or two and make them hear.

Leave your comments here. Let's have a real discussion. OEM or vendor representatives who are following this thread should chime in as well. Then, vote in the poll above if you haven't already. Thank you for your time. This industry is too amazing to let poor decisions at the top hurt those of us in the trenches.
 

skutchhenks

Full Sticker
Oct 28, 2014
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26
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First Name
Skutch
I think a lot of people are against mandated programs, but won't say anything because of the potential retaliation by the OEM.

I'm for a good choice of vendors or products for dealers to choose from which the OEM has approved or vetted. Forcing a dealer to spend their money on one vendor is a huge mistake. I've heard it's could be to prove, substantiate advertising attribution stats, but I've never seen a reliable, completely accurate attribution model online in this business yet. Also OEM's that restrict options or features with approved vendors is a mistake. Don't hamper the dealers because some aren't adept enough to use the tools properly, it's ridiculous.

I think most dealers understand it's a 51/49 partnership with the OEM in control, but it seems sometimes with some OEM's that they believe it's a 80/20 split in their favor. If that's the case then just floorplan 100% of the dealers cars and pay for all the other technology and assets needed to operate the business. I think dealers need more choices and support, not restrictions.
 
Feb 12, 2010
49
29
0
First Name
JD
I'm for a good choice of vendors or products for dealers to choose from which the OEM has approved or vetted.

Choice is great. I like what Toyota and Nissan did, though it seems like both are heading away from choice, unfortunately. Maintaining consistency of manufacturer brand message is important, but there's true value in having choices that spark competition. I remember when TK was in on the Toyota websites. We tried extra hard to make ours perform better because we knew dealers had a choice.

With the vendors that have exclusivity, there's no need to perform better for individual dealers. OEMs need to understand that when vendors are competing against each other for dealership business, they will perform better for each individual store which means that the brand as a whole gets better service and results.