Automotive Advertising Agencies And Technology Vendors Consolidate Along With The Auto Industry

The consolidation of the auto industry has forced automotive advertising agencies to take on new areas of responsibility that include integrating sales processes on the virtual showrooms being built on the Internet Super Highway with real world brick and mortar facilities. The internet has sparked new vendor applications and technologies that have forever changed the role of automotive advertising agencies who are challenged to match the message on the street with the message on both the real and virtual showroom floor. Technology has always determined the media used to deliver a targeted marketing message with human nature shaping the messages and methods to deliver it. The Internet and the impact that online social media is having on the shopping and buying habits of consumers is being reflected in the emerging technologies and applications focused on providing efficiencies and short term R.O.I. analytics for advertisers.It is no longer enough for automotive advertising agencies to simply drive customers to their auto dealer client’s websites and/or showrooms. Until and unless their efforts can be sourced to specific vehicle sales and/or repair orders they have not earned their agency fees. Fortunately, new vendor applications have been developed to handle the warp speeds that customers are travelling on the Internet Super Highway. These integrated solutions are being consolidated into comprehensive platforms built on best in class applications that follow customers all the way to the showroom floor and/or the service drive — and beyond with after sales follow up to improve customer satisfaction and retention.Technology vendors that provide specialized applications for the auto industry have been consolidating their products and services to improve selling processes by linking new and pre-owned vehicle sales with fixed operations. Efficiencies in processing customer contacts through integrated ILM and CRM systems tied to in store desking applications and DMS platforms allow automotive advertising agencies to manage and monitor customer contacts with a verifiable R.O.I.. This kind of R.O.I. analysis was not possible when sales and service functions were handled by individual vendor solutions that did not communicate efficiently with each other.The consolidation in the automotive advertising technology sector has been evidenced by the increased market penetration by extensive product suites such as those offered by the ever expanding group of individual vendors that comprise Dominion. The recent acquisitions of Kelley Blue Book and vAuto by Auto Trader represent a recent consolidation of best in class vendor solutions to expand their iconic marketing platform. These complimentary products and services further differentiate Auto Trader from the competition and provide a more comprehensive product suite for the auto dealers that they serve. Similarly, individual vendors have extended their product suites to include applications that compliment their initial offerings such as the expanded marketing services being offered by Higher Gear to extend their CRM application and state of the art mobile applications recently added to eCarlist to compliment their inventory management/marketing platform.These examples of best in class products and services offered by auto industry focused vendors integrated into platform solutions link vehicles sales and fixed operations to improve efficiencies and provide more comprehensive R.O.I. analytics. Auto dealers and automotive advertising agencies that have survived the consolidation in the retail auto industry have turned to these technology providers to leverage their limited resources.The future for auto dealers and automotive advertising agencies clinging to old school business practices without embracing the internet, social media and technologies to maximize the efficiencies that they represent is bleak. Similarly, vendors serving the auto industry must expand their products and services beyond their initial core products to provide complimentary and integrated solutions or they will swept aside by platform solutions that address their auto dealer clients needs in a more comprehensive manner.

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  • Unveiling the World: A Guide to Global Travel

    Embark on an Extraordinary Journey

    The world beckons with its diverse cultures, breathtaking landscapes, and captivating stories. For the adventurous spirit, global travel offers an opportunity to broaden horizons, challenge perspectives, and create memories that last a lifetime. This guide equips you with the essential ingredients to embark on your extraordinary global adventure.

    Planning Your Exploration:

    1. Identify Your Dream Destinations: Pinpoint locations that ignite your passion, whether it’s scaling the majestic peaks of the Himalayas, exploring the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat, or diving into the vibrant coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef.

       

    2. Visa and Documentation: Research visa requirements for your chosen destinations. Ensure your passport is valid for the duration of your trip and obtain any necessary travel vaccinations.
    3. Budgeting Wisely: Set a realistic budget that covers travel costs, accommodation, food, activities, and unforeseen expenses. Research average travel costs and consider utilizing budgeting apps for effective financial management.
    4. Travel Insurance: Invest in travel insurance to protect yourself against unexpected events, such as medical emergencies, trip cancellations, or lost luggage.
    5. Understanding Local Cultures: Research cultural norms, customs, and etiquette of your destinations. This fosters respect and avoids unintentional faux pas during your travels.

    Embracing the Journey:

    1. Embrace Flexibility: Be prepared for unexpected detours and embrace them as opportunities for spontaneous adventures.
    2. Pack Light, Pack Smart: Choose versatile clothing and prioritize essentials to avoid excess baggage and ensure smooth travel.
    3. Learn Basic Phrases: Learning a few key words and phrases in the local language demonstrates respect and enhances communication with locals.
    4. Engage with Local Communities: Step beyond tourist hotspots and interact with local communities. This fosters genuine cultural exchange and enriches your travel experience.
    5. Embrace the Unknown: Approach your travels with an open mind and a sense of wonder. Be prepared to step outside your comfort zone and discover the unexpected.

    Travel as a Tool for Growth:

    Global travel transcends mere sightseeing. It offers a transformative experience that broadens your perspective, fosters empathy, and cultivates a deeper appreciation for the world’s diversity.

    So, pack your bags, unleash your wanderlust, and embark on a journey of self-discovery and global exploration. The world awaits, brimming with stories waiting to be unveiled.

     

    The Accidental Project Manager: A Threat or an Opportunity?

    Good Day AllAre you an accidental project manager?We hope that no one get offended by this term since the use of this term in our view is not offensive at all, rather it reflects a common reality. However, in case anyone object to the term, we truly apologize in advance and humbly ask you to read on and you might find out that our intentions are good-hearted.DefinitionSo what is the accidental project manager? Is it someone who is clumsy and stumbles into too many accidents? Absolutely not!It is a term that somewhat common to use. It typically refers to a professional who is educated, experienced, and practicing in one function or domain, such as: engineering, programming, marketing, human resources, finance, general business, art, and healthcare, among many other fields. This professional, at one time or another, is tasked with managing a project related to their function or department, such as an engineering related project, learning and development project, a media project, or any other project. Now, the challenge is that more often than none, this professional might not have any experience or education or training in project management yet they are still asked to manage a project.In other words, the professional is accidentally, or by chance/coincidence, get to manage a project although that was not likely a preferred career choice. Managing the project can be on a part-time or full-time basis. Once the project is complete, the professional resume his or her normal functional duties and maybe never manage a project again.The OpportunityFor many professionals the above bring about a great opportunity. An opportunity to take on a new challenge, and acquire new and highly valuable skills; management skills. These skills are in demand in today’s economy and life and are transferable to many domains, including managing personal non-work initiatives.If the person does a good job in managing the first project, she/he might be given an opportunity to manage another, and another, and maybe shift totally into project management and become a career project manager. A career PM is someone who chose project management as a career choice and shifted from whatever career they were in before. The transition might not be easy but would be quite rewarding.The ThreatsThe threat to the professional and the organization is that the accidental PM might not be ready to manage a project and as a result they might not do well on the first project. If the project has a significant degree of complexity, then the project might even fail and we are likely to blame the project manager. Could this be the error of the accidental PM? Basically, the professional is given a new “challenge” as the boss might have said, yet this professional who is given the challenge might not have the characteristics that is necessary for a good career project manager. Further, this person might not have been given the necessary education or know how to manage the projects and would not be fair to blame her/him.Therefore, the threat in this case is double edge: on the personal aspects, the accidental project manager is likely to feel responsible for the failure and this situation might hurt them professionally and personally. In some cases the consequences could be severe and detrimental to the person’s career. The other aspect for this situation is the organizational aspect. Here we have a failed project with cost and schedule impact – at least. If the project is for a client, the damage could be significant.In short, all involved lose in this scenario.The SolutionOne solution is to have all project managers educated and trained in project management but we do not believe this is necessary for all type of projects. For major capital investment projects, and projects that are very important for an organization we need the necessary preparation before we should put a project manager in charge.However, many projects, especially those in our day-to-day life and business, can be managed effectively with accidental project managers with some preparation. But we should not throw the person into the ocean and expect them to reach the shores safely if they do not know how to swim. We need to teach them the necessary to survive, maybe in a large pool and not the ocean; for the ocean we need an expert swimmer.How can we do that? Have the professional works on projects to see what it is like. Provide some basic project management learning opportunities. Have the person work as an assistant project manager under the supervision of a more experienced professional. All of these actions will enhance the chance of success and minimize the chance of failure. This way, we would have effectively managed the risk of the accidental project manager and the professional gain new skills while the organization enjoys the benefits of a new service or product.For all professionals out in the world, welcome the opportunity to manage a project and it may change your life. If the organization gives you the task without getting you ready, prepare on your own – seek the new knowledge and best of all learn how to apply it. We wish you an enjoyable and exciting journey of learning and growth.By the way, the author started his career as an engineer and then moved to projects.