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

Alexander Lau

Sr. Refresher
Feb 11, 2015
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Alex
JFC, never let it be said that I didn't warn you. What did I tell you about their inability to SCALE!? Please son...
 
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Apr 26, 2019
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Hey John, its been a while since we last spoke.

I've known about this change for a while and from what I've been told your assessment is pretty much spot on. I believe VIN has been running this model for a while but the title has been Performance Manager.

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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Alexander Lau

Sr. Refresher
Feb 11, 2015
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Alex


https://forum.dealerrefresh.com/threads/dealer-com-sites-are-down.5888/page-3

Laughable at their lack of being able to scale with THAT much money thrown at them. What a joke!
They scaled up to 13,000 dealership websites and thousands of daily ad campaigns over a 20 year run. That doesn't sound laughable to me. Technology changes and I know one of their biggest initiatives has been to move off of old server systems into a bigger cloud-based world. It is the nature of how technology works.
Looks like they are unable to scale this properly from a resource standpoint, as well.
 
Visit Generations Digital

NickCybela

Refresher
Jul 30, 2009
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Nick
Is the reality that on scale dealers want a very simple program and often a single point to manage? Do they care enough to sign a long term agreement, or pay more for someone that is handling less accounts?

There isn't as much margin as you might think after the intermediary agencies, OEM, and technology companies take their fees. And, conversely, how many great digital folks do you know that want to work the 12+ hour, 6 day work weeks that dealers do (and often demand)?

I'm a huge advocate of dealer groups doing innovative things like digital retailing or test drives online to drive incremental results while most around them do the digital shuffle with "scalable" solutions. But also think that perhaps the issue isn't quite as simple as you imagine.
 
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Alexander Lau

Sr. Refresher
Feb 11, 2015
2,194
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Alex
Is the reality that on scale dealers want a very simple program and often a single point to manage? Do they care enough to sign a long term agreement, or pay more for someone that is handling less accounts?

There isn't as much margin as you might think after the intermediary agencies, OEM, and technology companies take their fees. And, conversely, how many great digital folks do you know that want to work the 12+ hour, 6 day work weeks that dealers do (and often demand)?

I'm a huge advocate of dealer groups taking as much as possible in-house and working with boutique agencies (like us) to drive big incremental results while most around them do the digital shuffle with "scalable" solutions. But also think that perhaps the issue isn't quite as simple as you imagine.
If you're referring to my comments on "scaling," I've talked to countless dealerships that are completely unhappy with their specific level of service and have been for a while (it's what I do as a consultant, listen and then make recommendations).

So, what's the root cause of this? IMO, and let's keep in mind the initial post here, where an internal resource is barking about being slave driven, it's their inability to scale their offerings properly. This goes way back as well. Rather than complain without a solution, let's try and assess the cause of the issue. Spend more money on better resources and more of them, perhaps??? This goes for their internal technology as well (remember dead websites and the SEO issues -- we could bump those threads easily).

I mean, give me a fucking break, it's Cox dude.
 

John V.

Getting Refreshed
Jan 15, 2015
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Scalability is not the problem here. They have all the resources they need to handle 50% of the dealer body in the US if they wanted to.

Back in the mid-2000s when Dealer.com won 100% of all the SOA and CLLC business plus added thousands of retail accounts in a very short period of time, Dealer.com was less than half the size personnel wise at that time and we "crushed it". Why? Your main POC at DDC was also your sales rep. They had a vested interest in making sure you were happy or else you would not buy our product. They made sure your website was rocking and built trust and report with the key decision makers. Granted, this is back when we had to up-sell mobile sites (!!!) It all changed when they made your day to day contact a flat rate employee with no commission. Bring back a commission incentivized Account Manager and watch your support level increase.

Let's not forget where this is all starting from: Some disgruntled employee (I am willing to bet this was their first real job) started complaining about being required to have 70 websites assigned to them. That's little league Intern level client loads. They then used DDC advertising as way to help justify their whining.

Look, dealer.com is not perfect. No vendor is. But this didn't change anyone's opinion of DDC from what your current position was of them before. Be honest.
 

Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
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Alex
When I left, there were 15,000 DDC sites managed by 150 people, which gives you an average of 100 website.
Why? Your main POC at DDC was also your sales rep. They had a vested interest in making sure you were happy or else you would not buy our product. They made sure your website was rocking and built trust and report with the key decision makers.
You are both right. There was a time when the energy was vibrant on 1 Howard Street. But there was also a time when the products weren't as complex and the dealers weren't as knowledgeable.
 

Alexander Lau

Sr. Refresher
Feb 11, 2015
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Alex
You are both right. There was a time when the energy was vibrant on 1 Howard Street. But there was also a time when the products weren't as complex and the dealers weren't as knowledgeable.
That's on them. What, did they think FAR SMARTER competition and dealer knowledge wouldn't flourish? Too bad... and I get that this is an internal gripe post, but the number of complaints and fuck ups are starting to stack, so there's something to this. When will the OEMs wakeup, that's the question???
 

mikesayre

Refresher
Jul 11, 2009
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Mike
Looks like DDC is implementing a business decision to maximize sales in digital advertising & online services? That's what business does, sometimes the process to make that happen and a refocus into a sales culture is challenging. Cox has done this over the years and across the board for all their companies, it shouldn't be a surprise. They are very successful and are focused on progressive growth. It's unfortunate this objection was aired in public, but I wouldn't believe this will be unique to any vendor in the automotive business going forward. Sales and revenue for dealerships will be in question for some time, and cost cutting with vendors is inevitable.

I'll say DDC has been a great partner for us over the years, and I've always had great relationships with my group managers. They are very accommodating, and work with us to implement our strategy's as a group, OEM level, and at the store level, more often than not our strategies being overly complex:) I've never known how many account's were managed or had any issues with my group managers knowledge or talent of understanding the landscape of automotive with my experiences, but I'm not asking the group managers to do everything either, it's a partnership and the dealers have to carry their load as well. DDC was always accommodating with opening up extra tools to manage a large portion of all the websites and digital services we have, and also keeping things organized for me, I realized early on 7 years ago I couldn't do my job well without their help. If DDC changes the partnership we have, makes it always is about selling services or raising digital spend, I guess we'll have to reevaluate and move on, that's just business.
 
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