AAAS recap by Jon Petron: hot news from Boca Raton

I just took one for the team by leaving Minneapolis in November for the warmer climes of Boca Raton, Florida. My destination was the Automotive Analytics & Attribution Summit, organized by Brian Pasch of PCG Companies – and it was one of the best business events I’ve ever attended.

Why? There were a ton of subject-matter experts – the tone was learning and best practices rather than self promotion and selling. We were in solid, relevant sessions for two straight days with content directed toward dealers with a great deal of actionable advice.

Here are my takeaways from the event:

  • Dealers should care about marketing transparency. Meaning transparency from vendors when it comes to results they claim. Today, it’s common for multiple marketing vendors to take credit for each deal. More transparency would help dealers sort out what really works. Standardization of metrics – an issue being spearheaded by PCG Companies – is something the participants in this event all support.
  • Attribution is more complex than looking at the last click. Cross-device and last-click attribution were big topics at this show, and goals that dealers should be working toward. There was a noticeable shift in focus toward quality outcomes rather than simple reach metrics.
  • Dealers’ own DMS data is a goldmine that many aren’t leveraging. Many dealers focus on net-new leads and give little credit to the data in their own DMS. It’s cheaper and easier to keep a customer than to get a new one – many panelists at AAAS discussed how.
  • Vendors who collaborate in support of transparency help their dealer customers and the industry. Based on what I heard at AAAS, dealers are looking for more collaboration among vendors toward standardization and visibility into the entire consumer ecosystem. Vendors’ efforts in this regard will really help them establish trust with dealers.

These are all issues that Outsell has been talking with customers about for years. In future blog posts, we’ll delve into more detail on these subjects.