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Dealer.com Advertising is a no go according to DDC themselves

Discussion in 'Websites, SEO, SEM, Display, Social, Marketing' started by GreenMtBoy, Apr 29, 2019.

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  1. GreenMtBoy

    GreenMtBoy
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    EDIT BY DEALERREFRESH MODERATOR - we do not know if GreenMtBoy is the author of the email. And we have no way of knowing unless he takes credit for it. The statement "This is flying around inboxes today" is too vague to make an assumption from.

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    This is flying around inboxes today:

    URGENT MESSAGE TO ALL DDC CLIENTS If you use Dealer.com for websites or advertising this message is for you!!! I am a DS, Digital Strategist at Dealer.com and our team needs your help. Helping us will help you and your business greatly. Cox Automotive is making some drastic changes starting May 1st. We as a DS team have tried to stop this from the inside but the managers and directors WILL NOT LISTEN.

    I need to enlist you, our clients to speak up and flex your power. Cox only listens to money and you as a group actually control Cox because without your money Cox has no power. On May 1st the DS Team changes from Digital Strategists to Performance Consultants. Another title change is not a big deal. I have been here over 2 years and have seen many changes. But this is the second worst, I will reveal the worst in a few minutes.

    So why is this change bad for the both of us? The directors have determined that each Performance Consultant will be responsible for 70 websites. As a person who loves customer service and prides themselves in caring for my customers this kills me. I enjoy building a relationship with my clients. I want to constantly review their sites watch their performance and help them with their strategy. I want to be able to take your calls whenever you call and respond to your emails immediately. Can I do that with 70 websites? NO. Lets take May for an example. There are 22 work days in May. If I have 70 websites and 22 days that means you get one third of one of my days for your website. One third of my day is 2.5 hours. That’s it!! 2.5 hours per month to talk to you on the phone, answer your emails, solve any issues, review your site and help you with a strategy.

    Oh and if you have advertising guess what I have to do that in those 2.5 hours too. It gets worse. 70 websites is their “ideal” scenario.

    Well, guess what. Since before I was at the company they have been having a problem keeping people in DS role. Mostly because they burn us out. For example as of this past Friday we lost quite a few members of the DS team in a volunteer buyout. Management's ideal size for our DS team is 91, yes 91. I know, that is very small for all the accounts we have. Anyway they won’t tell us how many left but I bet the number is 15-20. So guess what happens to that ideal number of 70 websites per DS? Did they hire backfills? Not yet. They are waiting until August to hire more.

    So lets get back to the bad news and some more math. If 20 people left and they each had 70 websites then those 1400 websites must now be absorbed by the remaining team of 81. That’s 17 more websites for a new total of 87 per DS. Now you only get 2 hours per month of my time.

    Another problem is their math is off. I looked at a sample of our team members assigned sites, mine included, and almost all of them are over 100. So starting May 1st you now get 1.5 - 1.75 hours per month of my time.

    How much is your monthly bill?

    Wait, there is more. May 1st is the start of what Cox is calling the “trial”. This trial runs for 3 months and if we don’t make a specific KPI then we lose our jobs. To be fair to Cox they will be boosting our pay at the end of the trial and offering a bonus for hitting our numbers. Its a nice pay boost, but I learned this week how much our team really cares about customer service. The DS team is so bummed about not being able to build a true relationship with you and not being able to truly offer the customer service you are paying for and deserve.

    I personally have heard 50% of the team is looking for Jobs outside of Cox and even outside the community. Money can’t buy job happiness.

    We have asked the Sr Director, what happens if half the team leaves at the end of July. His response? “We will be hiring a lot of new people” Well he’s newer than I am to the company. Let me just tell you, to do our jobs it takes a minimum of 4 - 6 months to get to a place where you can be effective. Let’s go back to the math. If half the team leaves or gets fired in July. Cox will take all of August to hire a replacement force and it will be until December before they can adequately help clients. So the DS team will be at 40 people and now most of you will probably just be ignored by us because we can’t really dedicate under an hour per month to you.

    Cox will tell you that they have given the DS time back by creating a new team of Spec Ops. These people will specialize in making changes to your websites and (gasp) your advertising. The problem is most have little to know experience. In the test run they have done a very poor job. They are completely understaffed . The ideal number of websites they are responsible for is 350, yes 350. And that is if they are fully staffed, which currently they are only half staffed with the other half beginning in May, so they won’t really be effective until September. So now the Spec Ops people are responsible for 700 websites to make updates and advertising change requests from.

    Needless to say the quality is going to be horrendous.

    Here’s what I need from you. Speak up. Email your DS, email and call this list: Sr Director of Digital Strategists - [email protected] cell: 802-598-9565 SVP of Performance Management - [email protected] cell: 630-267-5161 President of Retail Solutions - [email protected] cell: 512-740-5808 President of Cox Automotive Inc - [email protected] cell:678-267-9992 Tell them you want in writing that your DS or PC or whatever they call us to have a maximum responsibility of 35 websites. Ask for it in a contract. Do not believe any spin they will try to weave.

    I have told you the true facts from someone in the trenches that really wants to help you. You must threaten to leave if they do not hire the staff it takes to get the number of website assignments to 35. Also, spread the word. The more clients that complain the better chance we have to make this right. Call your OEM reps. This will affect all OEMs. No one is exempt in this new business model.

    Now do I want you to leave DDC? No, but if you must then you must. I don’t want you to have terrible customer service and little to no support. This is not a letter meant to bash Cox or Dealer.com. Honestly we have the best overall websites and tools out there.

    In addition if you haven’t seen or signed up to move to our new VDPs please request it. They are now the best in the business. But of course only if you can have a quality partnership. It’s like buying a private plane but having no one experienced to fly it. But wait I have one more thing.

    This one is the worst. But it must be revealed.

    Its a secret Cox has kept from you for almost 2 years. Its Paid Search. In 2017 Cox bought Haystak. And then promptly fired most of its employees. They were actually amazing at paid search and automotive paid search specifically. Then in August of 2017 they had the bright idea to wave their magic wands and make all of the Digital Advisors into Ad Strategists and rename us Digital Strategists. So thats where the DS title came from.

    They gave us 2 weeks of training and told us to take the Google Adwords certification test. Most of us Googled the test and easily passed. So yeah our certification is a joke, but it doesn’t really matter anyway because Cox will not give us access to edit in Google Ads. We have a proprietary software called Admiral that speaks to another older piece of software that goes in and makes limited changes in Google Ads.

    In addition the true Advertising Strategists have been given website responsibilities. Something they don’t want. Needless to say the true Ad Strategist numbers have been dwindling and are somewhere around I would guess less than 10. These people are truly amazing with Paid search strategy.

    On the flip side your DS is awful and I do mean awful. You are wasting your advertising money.

    Let me make one thing very clear. DDC has the BEST tools and solution for your Paid Search. The problem is you have no pilot again. Instead you have someone at the controls that has the equivalent of say pretending to be a pilot in a Nintendo game.

    Most of the DS team HATES that we are responsible for advertising and all that goes into it.

    It is very time consuming and requires true skill. Most of us would love to have the time to learn more and become dedicated Ad Strategists. As you have seen from above we clearly don’t have the time and I am confessing to you that we do not have the skills. Cox has made this move as a cost cutting measure. The only savior to this is for Cox to hire a dedicated Ad Strategist team or again make us responsible for less websites and give us some proper training and time. Many of us know what we should be doing. We honestly don’t have the time to make the necessary changes to your ad strategy.

    It is costing you money BIG TIME. Like I said there are about 10 people that are truly amazing at ad strategy and if you think you have that person assigned to your account, well odds are really against you.

    We want to be able to do this for you but without the proper time to dedicate to your accounts you are truly wasting your money.

    So what do you need to do? Stop your ad spend with Dealer.com immediately!!! Like Today!!!

    Don’t go into May and the summer months wasting your money. It hurts me to say this because I want to be the best for you, but Cox is not letting me. Should you bring it back? Yes yes yes but only AFTER they have fixed the shortage of Digital Strategists and Ad Strategists. Realistically this would be in September at the earliest but most likely November.

    Please help us. The DS team truly cares about you and your business. Call the numbers I gave you and send emails to the addresses I supplied. These people have the power to make it right, but only if you speak with your money. Thank you and I look forward to making this change together.

    Sincerely,
    Your DS
     
    #1 GreenMtBoy, Apr 29, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2019
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  3. craigh

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  4. Rick Buffkin

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  5. John V.

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    Coming from someone who worked there for 4 years all I can say is whoever this person is, they sound like a spoiled brat. 70 websites? That's really only like 35 accounts or less when you consider groups that have one POC and multi roof tops. Heck - I have over 200+ websites when I was there as a Senior Digital Advisor and my clients loved me (I mean one of them even hired me they like me so much :) ).

    Cox gives you the worlds most AMAZING benefits package I've ever hear of, this individual should be counting their blessings.
     
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  6. John V.

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    Correction *had* & *heard* - cant type today...or ever really.

     
  7. Rick Buffkin

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  8. AWNick

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    Very entertaining to read and not exactly surprising! Thanks for the share!
     
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  9. Alex Snyder

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  10. Roger H

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    There's no doubt that Cox is cutting corners when it comes to training the Account Managers...er, I mean Digital Avisors...um...Digital Strategists...oh whatever they are called. Bottom line is there needs to be a relationship with the customer. I was at DDC for 11 years. It's a great place to work with an amazing benefits package. When I left, there were 15,000 DDC sites managed by 150 people, which gives you an average of 100 website. We were also the first line of communication for the dealership, including support requests. Since support requests bypass the DS, that gives them more time to focus on the websites.

    If this person has an issue with how things are run, he should have gone to his supervisor. Or HR. But seriously, don't send an email like this
     
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  11. john.quinn

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    Certainly not defending the person who wrote the rant, but what I took away was "change fatigue." My gut says that this person and probably the people with whom she/he normally interacts don't know which end is up; over the last 5 years at DDTrox there has been a constantly-spinning revolving door of strategies driven by short-timers. As soon as one thinks he/she is getting a handle on the new people and process, here comes another. 5 years of that would have Mother Theresa F-bombing orphans... I shudder to consider the mindset at more entry-level positions.

    As far as the account structure itself, my very limited understanding is that it's loosely based on the V-Auto model; arguably the best in the business. Of course, what makes V-Auto so special is the talent on the end of the line. While I'm certain that the new model will not include routine 6-figure paychecks for account reps (or DS's or DSC's... or whatever), the rant did mention more money. Unless I'm mistaken (and I could be), VIN is now supported by the model being rolled-out as well, so VIN clients theoretically already have a taste of this model. Talent can make-up for an awful lot... I guess we'll see.
     

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