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.

Outsell also announces support for PCG Companies’ Google Analytics specifications

Outsell announced today that its CEO Mike Wethington has been invited to present at the inaugural Automotive Analytics & Attribution Summit (AAAS), taking place Nov 8-9, 2017 in Boca Raton, Fla. Wethington will speak about best practices for attribution in digital marketing.

The AAAS is the first event dedicated to online marketing analytics and attribution for the automotive industry. Auto dealers and manufacturers invest heavily in marketing, yet few standards exist for tracking consumer influence, engagement and conversion. PCG Companies (the organizer of the event) believes that the auto industry and its agency partners and vendors must work closer together to determine the influences that result in a sale.

“In the past year, we’ve seen an enormous increase in dealers’ desire to better understand the analytics of their marketing spend to improve its effectiveness and efficiency,” said Wethington. “But there is a learning curve. My AAAS panel session will focus on best practices for harnessing and using the data dealers collect to improve digital marketing effectiveness and to measure what’s working and what’s not, so dealers can funnel their budgets into programs that drive the best results.”

One key topic for AAAS is UTM code standards. UTM codes are used within digital marketing campaigns to help marketers track results. Today, Outsell also announced its full support of Google Analytics (GA) events and tagging specifications published by PCG Companies. Outsell program performance can now be easily viewed and inspected in GA, which is a big win for auto dealers. By supporting the GA specifications published by PCG Companies, Outsell’s clients will have fully transparent reporting, and be able to verify Outsell’s monthly marketing reports.

“Outsell has always believed that an open ecosystem and full transparency should be key requirements to really advance the state of automotive customer engagement and its effectiveness for dealers. Our dealer customers look to us as a trusted advisor regarding customer engagement methods and their marketing spend,” said Wethington.

“Outsell has transformed digital marketing for the automotive industry and is now leading the charge in helping to create standards and offering dealers easy-to-use tools that enable them to leverage analytics techniques to understand and improve dealer performance metrics,” said Brian Pasch, Founder of PCG Companies. “I commend Outsell for joining in this movement toward greater transparency in automotive marketing reporting and analytics. This solves a critical problem for dealers – clear data to help improve their marketing mix.”

To learn more about the AAAS event, visit

Outsell customer Oxmoor Auto Group to co-present in session on marketing attribution

Outsell announced today that its President Bryan Harwood has been invited to speak at the upcoming Driving Sales Executive Summit (DSES) event, taking place at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, October 22-24, 2017. Harwood’s session, titled, “Marketing Insights and Attribution – Are Your Metrics in Alignment?” also features Outsell customer Chip Alvey, Corporate Operations Supervisor at Oxmoor Auto Group, and takes place on October 22 from 4:00-4:40 pm PT.

Attendees will:

  • Gain a better understanding of marketing attribution models and how to apply them to their dealership’s marketing strategies
  • Receive a checklist of items to discuss at their next marketing meeting that address what their team can do now to best optimize dealership data
  • Learn directly from a dealer about how they successfully use new attribution models and marketing strategies to better track their online efforts and improve overall customer engagement

Speakers: Bryan Harwood, President, Outsell and Chip Alvey, Corporate Operations Supervisor, Oxmoor Auto Group

“Marketing Insights and Attribution – Are Your Metrics in Alignment?”

Driving Sales Executive Summit (DSES), the Bellagio, Las Vegas

Sunday, October 22, 2017 from 4:00-4:40 pm PT

Outsell and auto dealers share best practices on finding the ideal marketing mix

Outsell has partnered with Automotive News to host an upcoming webinar titled, “Dealer Marketing Technology Mixology – Digital, Traditional and Advertising Done Right.” The free, online event takes place Tuesday, October 3 at 2pm ET.

Marketing budgets, revenue, and marketing ROI are always top of mind for dealer marketers, as is the question of just how much of a dealer’s marketing spend should be dedicated to each channel.

Marketing budgets in the auto industry have shifted over the past few years to an almost 50/50 split between digital and traditional. Some dealers advocate for even more digital, while others remain skeptical when TV, radio, and print continue to work for them. But the question remains – what is the ideal marketing mix for each individual dealer?

Featured speakers for this webinar are Dale Early, Dealer Principal of Hyundai of Silsbee, Amy Rothenberger, Director of Marketing and Business Development for Mercedes-Benz of the Woodlands and Mercedes-Benz of Music City, and Tricia Turk, Director of Dealer Success, Outsell.  They will explore best practices for getting the most out of a dealer’s marketing budget in each channel and how they can ideally work together.

Attendees will learn how to enhance customer satisfaction and reach their primary market areas by:

  • Maximizing digital efforts as the automotive landscape shifts
  • Capitalizing on traditional methods for increased brand presence
  • Optimizing advertising budget to improve timeliness of communications
  • Realizing the ideal mix of these channels for your dealership

Speakers: Dale Early, Dealer Principal of Hyundai of Silsbee, Amy Rothenberger, Director of Marketing and Business Development for Mercedes-Benz of the Woodlands and Mercedes-Benz of Music City, Tricia Turk, Director of Dealer Success, Outsell and moderator Jim Treece, News Editor, Automotive News

“Dealer Marketing Technology Mixology – Digital, Traditional and Advertising Done Right”

Online with Automotive News

Tuesday, October 3, 2017 from 2-3pm ET

Outsell and Auto News host July 25 webinar

Outsell announced today that it has partnered with Automotive News to host an upcoming webinar titled, “Boost Retention and Profits with Individualized Marketing.” The free, online event takes place Tuesday, July 25 at 2:00 pm ET.

Savvy automotive marketers are looking for new ways to better understand how to leverage the Internet of Things (IoT). In order to be successful and stay ahead of the game, it’s necessary to apply the IotT’s network connectivity to gather and share data that supports a more advanced and targeted marketing strategy.

The automotive industry is potentially a huge benefactor of this level of connectivity and marketers in this field realize that a good customer experience comes from consistent personalized attention and dependability. Today’s artificial intelligence solutions can offer the automated, tailored one-on-one engagement that consumers demand with the steady stream of communications necessary to keep them engaged throughout their lifecycle, which can ultimately improve a dealer’s bottom line with increased retention and profitability.

Featured speakers Jay McBain, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research; Kristy Elliott, Dealer/Operator, Sunshine Chevrolet; and Guy Super, Vice President, Outsell will explore how the IoT impacts the day-to-day challenges marketers face.

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Combat challenges created by the IoT
  • Increase customer retention utilizing artificial intelligence
  • Maximize consistency for a dealer’s marketing communications
  • Effectively employ marketing solutions using automated, individualized engagement

Speakers Jay McBain, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research; Kristy Elliott, Dealer/Operator, Sunshine Chevrolet; Guy Super, Vice President, Outsell and moderater Mary Beth Vander Schaaf, Managing Editor, Automotive News

“Boost Retention and Profits with Individualized Marketing”

Online with Automotive News

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 from 2-3pm ET

Outsell and Automotive News host May 16 webinar

Outsell announced today that it has partnered with Automotive News to host an upcoming webinar titled, “Key Strategies to Effectively Measure Marketing.” The free, online event takes place May 16 at 2pm ET.

Thanks to evolving technologies and access to more data than ever before, marketers can make smarter decisions that drive more meaningful outcomes. These outcomes allow you to enhance the consumer experience and improve overall performance.

Join Katie Johnson, Corporate Marketing Manager for Village Automotive Group; Chip Alvey, Digital Director for Oxmoor Auto Group; and Outsell’s Vice President of Sales Guy Super as they uncover key strategies to help you master measuring your digital marketing.

Attendees will learn to understand how to measure the influence and effectiveness of your marketing efforts by:

  • Focusing on key marketing measurement strategies
  • Avoiding measurement pitfalls that skew results
  • Making data driven decisions for smarter outcomes

Katie Johnson, Corporate Marketing Manager for Village Automotive Group; Chip Alvey, Digital Director for Oxmoor Auto Group; and Outsell’s Vice President of Sales Guy Super

“Key Strategies To Effectively Measure Marketing”

Online with Automotive News

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 2pm ET

Outsell moderating panel at Digital Dealer 22 in Tampa

Outsell announced today that its Vice President of Marketing, Valerie Vallancourt, will moderate a panel about maximizing marketing ROI at the Digital Dealer 22 conference, taking place April 11-13 in Tampa, Fla.

Panel participants include Kristy Elliott, Dealer/Operator at Sunshine Chevrolet; Billy Frank, General Manager at Clear Lake Infiniti; and David Kain, President, Kain Automotive Group.

As dealers move into the second quarter of 2017, now it’s a good time for them to reflect and re-adjust their marketing efforts. With a multitude of initiatives competing for a limited pool of dollars, dealers should to take a hard look at their marketing strategy. Many are ditching traditional marketing – such as newspaper and radio ads – and going completely digital. That’s because unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing can easily be personalized, works great on mobile devices, and most importantly, it’s measurable so dealers know what return they are getting for every dollar spent.

Attendees will learn about:

  • Marketing initiatives that deliver the best return for dealers.
  • The newest marketing technologies and benefits for dealerships.
  • The criteria to evaluate digital marketing vendors.
  • An overview of what dealers should be thinking about from a strategic marketing perspective.

Moderator: Valerie Vallancourt, Vice President of Marketing at Outsell. Panelists: Kristy Elliott, Dealer/Operator at Sunshine Chevrolet; Billy Frank, General Manager at Clear Lake Infiniti; and David Kain, President, Kain Automotive Group.

“How Dealerships Can Maximize Their Marketing Budget Returns”

Digital Dealer 22

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 from 10:00-10:50 am ET

Join Outsell at the DrivingSales Presidents Club in NYC

Outsell is proud to be a sponsor for the DrivingSales Presidents Club event this weekend, Sunday April 9 thru Monday April 10 at the Grand Hyatt in New York City.

The DrivingSales Presidents Club is a forum for innovative dealers and general managers to collaborate in shaping the future of automotive retail. This event allows dealers to engage with their peers, who are pioneering new practices for their stores and groups. In depth discussion and interactive workshops allow for a deeper dive into maintaining the health of dealer businesses.

What dealers will learn:
• Profit-building strategies from a leadership perspective
• How to maximize your business in the current retail environment
• Understanding structural models used by the most progressive dealers
• Intimate collaboration with the industry’s most progressive dealership executives

As one of the attending sponsors, Outsell hopes to learn valuable insights from this event from participating dealers on what concerns they are facing, what some of them are doing to stay ahead of the current shift in the industry, and how we can work together for a successful 2017.

Learn more about the DrivingSales Presidents Club.

Learn from Outsell how to increase consumer engagement

Outsell announced today that it is hosting a webinar with DrivingSales on the topic, “Maximize Customer Retention and Expand Reach with Marketing Automation,” on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 12:00 pm Eastern.

Matthew Welch, General Manager of Auburn Volkswagen, joins Outsell and DrivingSales for this webinar to discuss the changing nature of digital marketing and how auto dealers can maximize customer retention and expand their reach by utilizing marketing automation.

In this webinar, dealers will learn best practices on how to maximize their digital marketing efforts by hearing:

  • What Auburn Volkswagen does to address customer retention.
  • How to increase service retention and maximize customer retention using marketing automation.
  • What marketers need to do to succeed as new and emerging channels change the scope of digital marketing.

Panelists: Matthew Welch, General Manager at Auburn Volkswagen; Valerie Vallancourt, Vice President of Marketing at Outsell; Adam Shiflett, Senior Director of Marketing at DrivingSales. Moderator: Kara Neureuther, Digital Marketing Manager at DrivingSales

Maximize Customer Retention and Expand Reach with Marketing Automation

Your computer

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 12:00 – 1:00 pm Eastern

To register for the free event or if you have questions, please visit:


About DrivingSales
DrivingSales serves automotive retailers with an integrated suite of technology, knowledge, community and performance insight designed to optimize dealership performance through its people. Founded in 2008, DrivingSales is utilized by two-thirds of franchised dealerships in North America as a resource to improve their business performance. Learn more about the DrivingSales community, news, dealer training or performance analytics at

#NADA100 was an event to remember for Outsell

Outsell attended the New Orleans convention with a brand new booth to greet dealers and received remarkable reception on the design. Several convention-goers stopped by just so they could take photos of the booth.

We couldn’t be more pleased with how the booth represents Outsell and how we engage customers, being inviting from all sides for continual traffic that helped build some fantastic relationships for the new year.

It was especially rewarding to have dealers and other vendors come up to us, remembering when we were a smaller presence with a more subdued booth along the back wall, and remark on how clear it is that we’ve grown as a successful solution for dealers and have become a major player in their digital marketing efforts.

old versus new outsell nada booth

NADA 2016 vs NADA 2017

We convened our first-ever Customer Advisory Board (CAB) the Thursday of the convention to start the event on a high note, gaining great feedback on the Outsell platform, guidance on product direction, and how we can better serve our clients.

One CAB participant, Kristy Elliott, Executive Manager at Sunshine Chevrolet, said:

“The Outsell platform has become an integral part of our overall marketing process. I welcomed the opportunity to participate in Outsell’s Customer Advisory Board, because it gives me a chance to network with peers from other dealerships, and to have an impact on Outsell’s product direction.”

outsell customer advisory board

NADA continued to be a win for Outsell when we were announced as a top marketing solution for auto dealers at the Automotive Website Awards, created by PCG Companies. The AWAs provide car dealers with an independent review of automotive technology, and we were honored to be counted among the select few recognized.

“Winning products in the marketing solutions category are those that we believe can help dealers to sell more cars in a digital age, as they are designed to increase the sales opportunities that dealers can have with in-market shoppers,” said Brian Pasch, Founder, PCG Companies.

awa award with pcg companies

We’ve also seen some great momentum surrounding the new features and products launched at NADA.

Outsell Social Ads integrates with a dealer’s campaigns to:

  • Reach the unreachable in their database
  • Keep active shoppers engaged
  • Acquire and engage net-new prospects
  • Entice lapsed service customers back to their service bays

Additionally, Outsell launched:

  • Single Consumer View: for dealers to view everything they know about a customer in one place including current vehicle, service and sales history, and engagement with past marketing campaigns.
  • Automated Review Solicitation: giving dealers the ability to automatically request reviews from customers and guide them through the process of posting those reviews.
  • CDK Integration: as a CDK integration partner working toward certification to ensure quick, simple and secure connections and data sharing.

“All these new enhancements are designed to help simplify the process of engaging consumers across channels and individualizing offers and content for auto dealers’ customers, including reaching customers via their preferred channel,” said Bryan Harwood, Outsell’s CTO.

It was an exciting way to kick off 2017 and we are carrying the momentum from the show throughout the organization.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by the booth! We hope you enjoyed learning more about Outsell and how automating your marketing efforts utilizing technology featuring artificial intelligence increases consumer engagement.

We’re also happy to see that our Outsell branded socks were a huge hit. We’re a fan of them too.

outsell socks

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