I’ve been around the automotive Web space for awhile. So long in fact, that I’ve been able to attend almost every Digital Dealer conference since the first one debuted in, I believe, 2005. What an evolution!
Digital Dealer 10 in Orlando had a record number of dealer personnel in attendance, a record number of large exhibitor booths (20×20 or larger), and more dealerships sending multiple people from each store or group.
So, you might ask, “Nicole, after more than 6 years of Digital Dealer conferences, how can you still get any benefit from them?” I’ll admit that sometimes, just before jumping on the plane to attend the conference, the thought of those two and a half days makes me tired and I worry that going again may feel like déjà vu. But once there, I’m invigorated by the excitement of new dealer attendees as they pick up any information they can find, inspired by the returning dealers looking for those few nuggets that can tweak their operation, and impressed by the new vendors continually popping up in the digital space, as well as, the growth of the veteran vendors.
During and after my session at the conference, Expanding Your Digital Footprint, I was asked some great questions. They were questions that prove dealers are looking to implement or already implementing the numerous aspects of digital marketing – not just settling for a basic website. The learning was fast and furious as dealers took notes from my session and numerous others, leaving with a priority list of things they can implement back at their stores.
The general session I participated in on the last morning as a mobile expert is also a testament to how far the conference, digital marketing, and dealers’ acceptance of digital marketing tools have come. The discussion covered how important mobile is to the dealer’s business and how using mobile apps, mobile marketing with outbound and inbound texts, mobile websites, and mobile widgets will help them create a new marketing channel and communicate with customers and prospects through their preferred channel. Mobile is just like the Internet was 15 years ago, but growing much faster.
I feed on the changes! As someone who used to change my job role every 1-2 years, being involved in the rapidly changing digital space is exactly where I belong. I have been working with digital products in my current job for almost 5 years and haven’t had time to grow bored. The Digital Dealer Conference mirrors that pace and the amount of change going on in the digital space. It’s a great place for automotive digital marketers to assemble, learn, share best practices, renew friendships and create new ones, and ponder the future of digital marketing.
Hope to see you in October at Digital Dealer 11 in Las Vegas!