Dealerships – Caught in a Viscous Cycle!

Over the last few years dealerships have started to wake up to the fact that the Internet is here to stay, however many are lost on how to address it. So they are hiring so called “Internet Managers” who claim to be Internet Professionals. Don’t get me wrong, there are tons of very qualified people who bring a great wealth of knowledge, but there are also many Internet Managers that have been dealership hopping.

The average life span of an Internet Manager is less than 6 months. Why is that? Typically, what happens is a dealership hires a new manager, the new manager comes in and assesses their website and suggests changes to fit their work flow method. They may have a favorite website provider or a way of doing business that they are comfortable with. The question is, if it worked why aren’t they at the same dealership? Anyway, the dealership follows his/her suggestions and hopes for the best. The dealership waits for results and if they do not happen they decide to make a change in personnel and the vicious cycle starts all over again with a new ISM and a new website.

This constitutes the majority of dealerships in the US today and what confuses me is why dealerships don’t focus on the real issue, which is driving traffic (marketing) and following up. Instead of spending months adding functions to a website, tweaking content, and adding bells and whistles, why not focus on campaigns, search engine marketing, search engine optimization, and marketing their website, thus driving traffic. Shouldn’t this be the primary goal? Then all the managers have to worry about is making sure their people follow up promptly.

So next time a dealership interviews for the Internet Manger they might want to ask them what their game plan is and they better hear ‘drive traffic’ and defining ‘work flow process’, otherwise you just hired a website manager that will spend their days focusing on features vs. results. You can have the best website in the world, but if there is no traffic coming to it then what good is it?

Brian Cox
Dealer Impact Systems

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