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Who is innovating?

Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
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The car business is behind some and ahead of many.

:iagree: @Stauning had an excellent post about this a few weeks ago. I would agree that if you're looking at tools built for the consumer-facing aspect of our industry that things could be much better. So many industries are far stronger at online consumer technologies than we are. But in a few operational tools areas, the car business is pretty strong. I would argue that inventory management is a good one. Even CRM isn't bad.... yeah, you'd be surprised.

A lot of this boils down to the simple fact that dealers are willing to spend more in some areas. As a percentage of business, websites aren't as highly regarded in spends as they might be in a true eCommerce business. But CRM, due to how dependent we are for follow-up, brings a much higher ratio than many other industries. Most industries do not have a direct employee to consumer relationship. While many industries have the capability to fully transact on a website, thus eliminating the need for a highly paid salesforce. That enables them to spend less on customer retention-type softwares and more on eCommerce.

Make sense folks?
 
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Reactions: craigh
Jun 8, 2010
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Brendan
Very valid point Alex and to that end I think that is where folks like Hireology are innovating. With such dependency on that consumer facing employee its all that much more important to hire, train and retain the best talent. Also, where that person to person experience isn't taking place on things like the website companies and dealerships that try to personalize that experience through data are innovating as well. Millennials are here and they gravitate towards experiences that are personalized to them. The more that this industry can create positive, personalized physical and digital experiences the better off we'll be.
 

Alexander Lau

Banned
Feb 11, 2015
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Alex
Innovation and evolution don't always equal disruption. Way too often we are looking for the "Next Big Thing", rather constantly improving what has proven to work.
Surely, but disruption can also equate to a model's evolution. There are countless examples of start-ups that essentially copied a model and made it better, which supports your claim of "improvement." It depends on how disruption is defined. How many companies become lazy or complacent and a competitor comes along and knocks them off, by mimicking and making better? :)
 
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Alexander Lau

Banned
Feb 11, 2015
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Alex
Partial definition from Dictionary.com "a radical change in an industry, business strategy, etc."
(emphasis added by me)
I would disagree with radical. There are plenty of start-ups that have come along, changed up the model (ever so slightly), stolen market share or even put the originator out of business (I'm sure at times, just due to a stronger marketing strategy). I don't feel as if it's always a radical change. In our world, I can think of Car Gurus (started in 2006). They were nowhere to be found when Autotrader (started in 1997) and Cars (started in 1998) started, but have moved in on the market, disrupting it. Which, I believe goes along with what you had said "Way too often we are looking for the "Next Big Thing", rather constantly improving what has proven to work." Agreed.
 
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ed.brooks

Boss
Jan 15, 2010
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I would disagree with radical. There are plenty of start-ups that have come along, changed up the model (ever so slightly), stolen market share or even put the originator out of business (I'm sure at times, just due to a stronger marketing strategy). I don't feel as if it's always a radical change. In our world, I can think of Car Gurus (started in 2006). They were nowhere to be found when Autotrader (started in 1997) and Cars (started in 1998) started, but have moved in on the market, disrupting it. Which, I believe goes along with what you had said "Way too often we are looking for the "Next Big Thing", rather constantly improving what has proven to work." Agreed.
It all boils down to the definition of disruption. I don't think AutoTrader, Cars.com, or now CarGurus, disrupted the business of Automotive retail - they changed it for sure, but not disrupted it.
They DID disrupt print classifieds.


Uber disrupted taxis and transportation.
Amazon disrupted retail.
Streaming disrupted video rental and sales.
Cars are still being sold primarily on the showroom floor, person to person. Not disrupted... yet
 
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Reactions: Alexander Lau

Alexander Lau

Banned
Feb 11, 2015
2,498
765
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Alex
It all boils down to the definition of disruption. I don't think AutoTrader, Cars.com, or now CarGurus, disrupted the business of Automotive retail - they changed it for sure, but not disrupted it.
They DID disrupt print classifieds.


Uber disrupted taxis and transportation.
Amazon disrupted retail.
Streaming disrupted video rental and sales.
Cars are still being sold primarily on the showroom floor, person to person. Not disrupted... yet
Totally agree with you there, it depends on the definition. Showroom / lot sales are king, regardless of the Internet. What I see digitally, it's more a support system (push) for the inevitable. But, like you said, there might come a day... I don't think it will be soon.
 

ed.brooks

Boss
Jan 15, 2010
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Ed
Totally agree with you there, it depends on the definition. Showroom / lot sales are king, regardless of the Internet. What I see digitally, it's more a support system (push) for the inevitable. But, like you said, there might come a day... I don't think it will be soon.
I think the move to 'Digital Retailing' - at least partway, if not 100% - is here now for some and coming soon for most. And that will surely be disruptive.

And you thought Internet shopping was disruptive...
from November 17, 2014
 
Mar 21, 2012
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Ryan
Last few years innovation has been taken by many as a sales pitch and somehow frowned upon.

I blame Digital Dealer for their “no sales pitch” policy.

That was the best thing for the car industry, everyone’s product in amazing behind closed doors alone with the dealer, I want to hear the pitch with another 50 people. Try to squeeze something iffy then.
I was hesitant to attend another Digital Dealer after it seemed like every session was just a sales pitch / product demo. I sit through enough of those while in the office, I didn't spend my money and time to travel away from my team, work, family, and friends to sit through the same product demos disguised as "learning sessions".

Maybe we're unique, but I expect to learn actionable items that we can implement ourselves without hiring the presenter's company. I've since been going to non-automotive digital marketing conferences like PubCon and coming away with a lot more.