Seasoned Software & Technology Executive Scheig to Lead Outsell’s Sales & Marketing Team

Minneapolis, MN, June 14, 2011 – www.outsell.com – Outsell, a leading digital marketing software and services provider, announced today that Software & Technology Executive Richard Scheig has joined the Outsell team as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Scheig is a seasoned sales & marketing executive with over 20 years of experience in the fields of technology and enterprise software.

Scheig is a pioneer in the field of digital marketing software and services. He has a strong track record of leading world-class technology sales teams in the software industry with both public and small/entrepreneurial companies and cultivating strong relationships with senior executive leadership with some of the world’s largest organizations. Prior to Outsell, Scheig was a Vice President at Unica, and a key player when it was acquired by IBM (NYSE:IBM). Scheig was responsible for revenue generating activities, including the development of selling and field marketing strategies in some of largest and most strategic company wins including Cisco, Wal-Mart, Hilton, Schwab, Visa and Best Buy.

Scheig has a unique perspective in an evolving market in the area of digital marketing software and services, having worked with major brands and strategic alliances to drive marketing automation and analytics to drive sales. He will help Outsell to strategically align with major brands, providing them with a simple to use, distributed software platform that will extend their brand message all the way through to franchisees and distributors.

“We are very excited to have Richard on board with us at Outsell,” said Outsell CEO Mike Wethington. “Given his experience and record of success, he is the perfect person to take the company to the next level by building new strategic alliances and positioning our sales and marketing departments to achieve the key strategic goals of the company.”

“The Digital Engagement Platform that Outsell has brought to the market comes at precisely the right time in this space,” commented Scheig. “The industry is crying out for a coherent and interconnected digital marketing solution that effectively leverages consumer data and ties it to digital communication channels. I’m excited to be part of an organization that is able to answer the complex needs of the distributed sellers and marketers in this industry in a really simple and easy to use way, empowering those who are closest to the customer.”

About Outsell LLC

Outsell (www.outsell.com)is revolutionizing the way consumers engage with brands. The Outsell Digital Engagement Platform makes it easy to manage consumer relationships more profitably.

What Makes A Good Facebook Fan Page?

The Audi USA Facebook fan page has been called one of the best on the web. A recent study found their fans to be even more engaged than that of world famous teenage heartthrob and pop star Justin Bieber.

Among pages with more than 100,000 fans, Audi had the highest number of “Likes” for any given status update. Usually, brands that have a higher number of fans have lower engagement on what they post from day to day. Some think their high scores could be the result of recent Like-gating, when people have to “Like” the brand in order to participate in special offers, but that only accounts for overall fans, not “Likes” on individual posts.

While Audi was not listed among the 35 Creative Facebook Fan Page Photo Strips from Social Fresh, many other automotive brands were, with very similar looks and feels to the Audi page. Among those listed were GMC, Buick, and Lexus.

So what makes those pages successful? What makes them visually appealing and ripe for consumer engagement?

Simple steps like having a clever and eye-catching photo strip (the line of five photos across the top of the Wall page) can help intrigue potential fans, and keep current fans interested in updates. Most fan pages start on the Wall page, so the photo strip is the first thing a browser sees when they click your page. Other successful Facebook pages differentiate themselves by having a Welcome page instead of going straight to the Wall.

Using Audi as the example, one thing they do right is content. They supply Livestream video, product information, and even an interactive app looking at stories of the Audi Quattro from real customers. This allows for them as a brand to interact with customers almost as personally as a dealer does.

Another tactic for maintaining a great Facebook fan page is to make use of the Discussion app. Get your customers talking about you. Get them talking with each other. What does Audi and other popular automotive industry Facebook fan pages have in common? Their usage of unique apps, as well as creative use of the apps Facebook offers naturally, like a regularly updated Wall with status updates customers are compelled to “Like”.

This can be done with interesting news as well as offers, so keep your posts fresh. At the end of the day the reason for Facebook fan page success is the same no matter the tactic you choose.

Engagement.

May 27, 2011

Memorial Day Sales

Summer Begins!

Many consumers that did not take advantage of end of the year sales have been waiting to purchase that new or used vehicle Memorial Day. The holiday is one of the most popular weekends for potential car buyers, expecting to come across deal-breaking specials and incentives.

Memorial Day is also important for gauging the state of the economy, as it marks the unofficial start of summer and begins a shift in priorities and activities in American day to day life.

Sellers of new and used vehicles have always thrown plenty of promotional muscle behind their Memorial Day sales. This year, however, the stakes are higher. “While many motorists will be hitting the road on vacation, this Memorial Day weekend, it’s also a great time to buy a new car,” according to Consumer Reports. “There are a number of discounts available, and dealers may be more willing to negotiate since it’s also the end of the month and they want to meet their quotas. ” J.D. Power expects nearly 13 million vehicles to be sold in the U.S. in 2011, up 7% from 2010.

Read more: Six Reasons The American Economy Needs Memorial Day – 24/7 Wall St.

May was the first month of 2011 when automotive sales started to lose momentum. Fewer incentives and vehicle availability have been a factor. Most hope sales will take an upward turn again with the holiday, but there is some speculation that rising gas prices might deter some buyers, especially over this high-volume travel weekend.

Make sure your specials are well-promoted and dynamic to bring in Memorial Day customers, and good luck with your holiday sales!

AutoNation First Quarter Revenue Up 17%

Congratulations to AutoNation and the announcement of their successful Q1 results. AutoNation is America’s largest automotive retailer for new and used vehicles and reported a record net income for their first quarter of 2011. New vehicle unit sales increased 23% overall.

While this is exciting news for AutoNation it is also good news for the automotive industry at large, as those results are reportedly in line with others across the nation. Despite harsh economic times, the crisis in Japan, and continuously rising gas prices, sales and revenue are seeing a huge increase over last year.

Mike Jackson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for AutoNation, said:

“While the underlying recovery in consumer demand for autos remains on track in the United States, due to Japanese supply constraints throughout the remainder of 2011, we are revising our planning assumption for 2011 full-year U.S. industry new vehicle sales downward from 12.8 million units to mid-12 million units. Based on current information, we see significant reductions in vehicle shipments from Japanese manufacturers through year-end, with the resumption of normal shipment levels in early 2012.”

Mr. Jackson added:

“Our diversified business model is resilient and adaptable. We are confident we can manage through the challenges presented by Japanese product constraints. We also continue to be optimistic about the long-term recovery for the U.S. auto market.”

Read the full article from PR Newswire here.

Congratulations again to AutoNation and good luck heading further into Q2 and the remainder of 2011.

Outsell Announces Strong Results & New Platform Functionality

Minneapolis, MN, April 28, 2011 – www.outsell.com – Outsell, one of the leading digital marketing software and services providers, announced today impressive revenue results and new initiatives targeted at continued rapid growth. Outsell revenues for Q1 2011 was up 63% over Q1 2010.

“Outsell’s SaaS Marketing Platform is proving to be a disruptive innovation in the digital marketing space,” said Outsell CEO Mike Wethington. “We’ve managed to create a highly effective, easy to use solution that provides personalized, interlinked messaging across all the digital channels, while keeping installation and usage costs low. We are continuing to invest heavily into resources for the future growth of the platform.”

In major highlights for Q1, 2011:

— Outsell continued to roll out customized, white-labeled versions of the Digital Engagement Platform to dealers from 3 of the major manufacturers operating in the US. Currently the Outsell Platform is only available via exclusive agreement with select manufacturers and advertising agencies. More information is available here.

— Outsell released additional functionality within the Digital Engagement Platform, including a Mobile QR code campaign that allows users to scan imprinted QR codes (which are generally affixed to products or placed within ads) with their smart-phone in order to receive additional information and discounts for a vehicle or product directly to their mobile device. The first campaign using Mobile QR code technology was executed for a new vehicle model launch. Outsell also continued to roll out the Mobile Service Club TM campaign that enables retailers to interact with opt-in users via text message. Notably, Outsell executed a Mobile SMS based campaign for a major manufacturer for the Chicago Auto Show.

— Outsell’s Campaign Operations sent 30.5 million messages to automotive consumers in the first quarter of 2011, communicating with over 10 million American consumers every month. The Outsell Live Chat service handled over 60 thousand consumer chats in the same period, consistently maintaining a lead capture rate in excess of 50%.

— Outsell hired Susan Sperl as the Vice President of Operations. Susan has a depth of experience in directing product and service development, product management, P&L and process optimization of customer services for SaaS-based, packaged and custom informatics solutions and products. She is responsible for Outsell’s strategic account management, campaign operations, dealer services, Live Chat and program management. Prior to Outsell, Susan held senior leadership roles at FICO (formerly Fair Isaac) and Accenture. Click Here to learn more.

About Outsell LLC

Outsell (www.outsell.com)is revolutionizing the way consumers engage with brands. The Outsell Digital Engagement Platform executes intelligent, data-driven digital marketing campaigns that change consumer perceptions, drive measurable sales and deliver more profit per marketing dollar spent

Outsell The Intelligent Marketing Company TM

Technology, Software & Services Management Executive Sperl Enhances Outsell’s Operational Excellence

Minneapolis, MN, April 21, 2011 – www.outsell.com – Outsell, a leading digital marketing provider, announced today that software and product management executive Susan Sperl has joined the Outsell team as Vice President of Operations. Susan has a depth of experience in directing product and service development, product management, P&L and process optimization of customer services for SaaS-based, packaged and custom informatics solutions and products.

Sperl’s over two decades of considerable experience and professional expertise are complementing her new role at Outsell. Susan held senior leadership roles at FICO (formerly Fair Isaac) and Accenture. As a Vice President at FICO, Susan managed a $45 million product portfolio and P&L, developing and executing market strategies and targeting new market segments. As an Associate Partner at Accenture, she managed the utilization of large teams of consultants working on large scale strategic initiatives, programs and projects for clients across a wide variety of industries.

“Bringing Susan on board positions Outsell to expand its value-added services in our account management, campaign operations, Live Chat, and program management departments,” said Outsell CEO Mike Wethington. “Susan’s exceptional work at FICO and Accenture has already paid dividends by augmenting Outsell’s core operations. She joined our team already firmly established at the cutting edge of her professional niche, and her addition to the Outsell team will continue to yield dramatic results for our clients through her experience in market leading informatics and analytic solutions and products.”

As Vice President of Operations, Susan’s day-to-day responsibilities at Outsell include strategic account management, campaign operations, automotive dealer services, Live Chat, and program management.

“The challenging position and dynamic work environment at Outsell, as well as the innovative spirit I’ve already seen at work here has confirmed that I’ve come to work for the right company,” commented Sperl. “I enjoy a challenge, particularly in addressing issues that come from high growth and which relate to sustaining growth. I’m thrilled to work at such an industry-leading and forward-looking company.”

About Outsell LLC

Outsell (www.outsell.com) is revolutionizing the way consumers engage with brands. The Outsell Digital Engagement Platform executes intelligent, data-driven digital marketing campaigns that change consumer perceptions, drive measurable sales and deliver more profit per marketing dollar spent.

Outsell The Intelligent Marketing Company TM

April 8, 2011

QR Code Revolution

An Automotive Industry Game Changer

There has been some unrest since Google dropped support of QR Codes last week and seems to be leaning toward another technology, near-field communication (NFC) chips. Google has said that previous businesses with QR Codes linking to their Google Places pages will continue to work. The company is merely investigating alternative options.

Despite Google’s recent move, don’t underestimate the current viability of QR Codes. They are easy to produce and use, and have been appearing more and more to the average consumer, whereas NFC chips are not as widely known. Waiting on this technology to see what comes out ahead could be disastrous.

Paul Potratz and his “Think Tank Tuesday” for automotive industry tips has had two short videos on the use and tracking of QR Codes, with a huge emphasis on the importance of getting involved now to stay ahead of the industry curve:

[Smartphones are] a game changer for automotive sales and for marketing and for the simple fact of how the QR Code comes into play.”

MORE FROM PAUL POTRATZ

He seems certain that dealerships not using QR Codes for advertising are missing out on dynamically reaching tens of thousands of smartphone savvy customers, and he is not alone.

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March 21, 2011

Crisis in Japan

Japan and Automotive Industry Forever Changed?

The events of the March 11 quake and resulting tsunami in Japan have been the hot topic for the automotive industry and the world. Aftermath repercussions from the devastation are still being discovered and long-term effects are difficult to predict.

National Geographic reported:

“The magnitude 9.0 earthquake that struck Japan [March 11] was powerful enough to shorten Earth’s day by 1.8 microseconds and throw an extra 6.7 inches (17 centimeters) into the planet’s wobble, scientists say.”

READ MORE

Japan itself was permanently moved 8 feet by the events. There are some benefits to the data that was recorded, however. A better standard for predicting future quakes is possible if precursors to the March 11 quake can be identified.

Damage to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant raises additional concerns that have yet to be officially or completely kept under control.

While the cumulative consequences of the quake and tsunami have affected all of Japan, those in the automotive industry turn their attention to the damage and ramifications the disaster will have on production and shipments. Toyota, Nissan, and Honda all put many of their plants on hold.

(more…)