Toyota CH-R Campaign Honored with Bronze Stevie Award

Outsell announced today with agency partner DSplus, that it was presented with a Bronze Stevie® Award at the 12th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. The 2018 Toyota CH-R Launch Campaign won the award in the Sales Achievement – Outbound Marketing Program of the Year category.

The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service are the world’s top honors for customer service, contact center, business development and sales professionals.  The Stevie Awards organizes seven of the world’s leading business awards programs, also including the prestigious American Business AwardsSM and International Business Awards®.  The awards were presented to honorees during a gala banquet on Friday, February 23 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV. More than 2,500 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were evaluated in this year’s competition. The average scores of more than 150 professionals worldwide in seven specialized judging committees determined winners.

The 2018 Toyota CH-R Launch Campaign
The all-new 2018 Toyota CH-R was about to launch and DSplus and Outsell were tasked to create awareness, encourage test drives and drive sales for over 200 participating Toyota dealerships across North America. For several months prior to the launch in 2017, CH-R teaser emails were sent via each dealer’s sales database in order to gather behavioral data and measure interest in the new 2018 model. The subsequent launch campaign consisted of three main elements: First, a targeted initial ‘trigger’ email to spread awareness and send traffic to a second element – a custom Toyota CH-R microsite. The consumers were encouraged to schedule a test drive and browse local dealers’ inventory via the exclusive microsite. The third launch element was a targeted follow-up drip email to consumers who engaged in the initial email and microsite.

The overall goal was to drum up excitement, create new dialog with interested consumers and close the deal on a new Toyota CH-R. The results were impressive: over 200,000 consumers interacted with the CH-R launch emails and microsite, moving thousands of CH-R’s off the lot for the participating dealers resulting in close to a million in revenue sales. To view examples of the award-winning campaign emails and microsite, please click here: 2018 Toyota CH-R Launch Campaign. The technology behind the campaign is Outsell’s marketing automation platform that increases customer engagement and drives more revenue by transforming how dealers engage with customers and prospects throughout their individual lifecycles.

“We are thrilled to see another Toyota campaign created by Outsell and DSplus recognized with a prestigious Stevie Award. I want to congratulate everyone including the developers, creative, production, and account teams that produced this highly unique and effective multi-faceted campaign,” said Michael Wethington, President and CEO, Outsell. “The well-executed campaign proved to be successful for Toyota Motor North America and is a model example of original use of digital marketing that helped the dealers compete in a crowded SUV market over a short period of time with an impressive ROI.”

“I can only imagine that car sales have to be the hardest sales job in the world. With many brands looking alike trying to distinguish yourself from your competitors seems insurmountable. The program developed took traditional marketing with a new spin and emojis,” read feedback from a Stevie judge that evaluated the Outsell and DSplus 2018 Toyota CH-R Launch Campaign nomination.

“All of our Stevie Award winners should be proud of their achievements. Independent professionals around the world have agreed that their accomplishments are worthy of our public recognition,” said Stevie Awards president Michael Gallagher.

Details about the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service and the list of Stevie winners in all categories are available at

About the Stevie Awards

Stevie Awards are conferred in seven programs: the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the German Stevie Awards, The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards®, the Stevie Awards for Great Employers, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Stevie Awards competitions receive more than 10,000 entries each year from organizations in more than 60 nations. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at

Sponsors of the 12th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service include HCL Financial Services, Rant & Rave, Sales Partnerships, Inc. and ValueSelling Associates, Inc.

Overall company revenue up 23 percent for the year

Outsell announced today that it achieved double-digit growth in revenue in 2017, with an 87 percent increase in direct-to-dealer revenue and a 23 percent revenue increase in its core business.

New AI-driven solutions helped drive Outsell’s swift revenue growth.

“AI is going mainstream for auto dealers,” said Mike Wethington, Outsell’s founder and CEO. “Whereas two years ago we had to explain to dealers what AI was, now they are asking for solutions grounded in artificial intelligence – and that’s been great for our business. No one has more experience with AI in automotive than Outsell.”

Highlights from the year:

  • Launched a new addition to its AI-driven marketing platform: Inventory Mover, the industry’s first inventory recommendation engine that automatically sorts through consumers in a dealer’s DMS and CRM, extracts data on in-market shoppers, predicts which VINs will appeal to each consumer, and dynamically shows unique live inventory recommendations to each consumer via automated, individualized communications.
  • Launched Outsell Social Ads, adding another channel to its flagship platform that helps dealers reach the unreachable in their database, attract new buyers to their store, and keep active in-market shoppers engaged with relevant, eye-catching ads on the world’s most popular social platform – Facebook.
  • Formed its first Customer Advisory Board. Comprised of Outsell dealer customers representing major auto brands and varying dealer sizes, its mission is to ensure that Outsell maintains a deep understanding of dealers’ marketing challenges and needs so that it can continue to provide the most effective marketing automation solutions.
  • Made enhancements to its core platform to help dealers gain a single view of customers.
  • Promoted CTO Bryan Harwood to President. Harwood is a six-year veteran of Outsell who’s been instrumental in driving Outsell’s recent growth and success.
  • Received the AWA award naming Outsell a top Marketing Solution for Automotive Dealers as well as being named one of the 10 Best Small Companies in Minneapolis.

“2018 is shaping up to be another exciting year full of growth opportunities,” said Wethington. “There is a strong demand for AI-driven marketing solutions that help dealers and OEMs better anticipate customer needs and smartly communicate with them in an individualized, relevant way throughout their lifecycle.”

Outsell expert & dealer present proven best practices for individualizing communications

Outsell announced today that it has partnered with Driving Sales on a new educational webinar. Taking place live on December 19, the event is titled, “How to Combat Customer Engagement Challenges.” Featured speakers include Kenneth Veit, Marketing Director at Steve Moyer Subaru, and Trevor Stemm, Dealer Success Manager at Outsell.

Often, there are large segments of customers in a dealer’s database who have been neglected. This webinar will explore how to deliver an unforgettable experience for these potential buyers, and why dealers should not attempt the enormous task of individualized communications and content personalization without assistance.

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Assess marketing vendors
  • Strategize for vendor accountability
  • Evaluate success of vendor products using unbiased third parties

Speakers: Kenneth Veit, Marketing Director at Steve Moyer Subaru; and Trevor Stemm, Dealer Success Manager at Outsell.

“How to Combat Customer Engagement Challenges”

Online at

Tuesday, December 19, 2017 at 1:00 pm ET/10:00 am PT

Loyalty Graphic

Four Tactics to Increase Customer Loyalty

Customer loyalty isn’t dead—just ask MarketingBitz. Some dealers simply use better tactics and incentives to keep their customers coming back. You need to be one of those dealers.

The more you know about your customers, the more targeted you can engage with them and appeal to individuals on a personal level—which, ultimately, leads to increased customer loyalty and more sales.

Here are four tactics you can employ today to increase your customer loyalty.


Loyalty Programs

Success isn’t as simple as handing new customers a punch card anymore. Consumers are more likely to engage with a loyalty program they can access from their phone, and if rewards and points are updated automatically so they can see immediate results.

Think Starbucks. Their creative approach to rewards and customer appreciation goes a long way, even allowing customers to order ahead of time from the app on their phones so they can glide through their morning routine that much faster.

When 81 percent of consumers are more likely to continue doing business with a brand that offers some sort of loyalty program, it’s irresponsible to offer nothing.

Reputation Management

Reputation management is like your least favorite vegetable. You know it’s good for you but you groan at the thought of dealing with it. Well too bad—you still have to do it.

One way to get ahead of reputation is to request reviews from your customers outright, driving them back to your website and social media pages. They will be more likely to purchase or service from you again, and more likely to recommend your dealership to someone else if you positively engage with them.

You can also use satisfaction surveys to listen to the customers who have been with you for a long time. Reviews and survey responses throughout the customer lifecycle help you more quickly address those who might defect to a competitor and allow you to immediately share positive responses.

Dynamic Communications

Consumers are way beyond ignoring and blocking SPAM. Now you are competing with the emails that make it into their inbox for who knows that customer better and who can immediately meet their needs. If you can’t, they are going to delete you—maybe for good.

Dynamic communications, tailored to each consumer’s preferences and behaviors, shows them that you know them and know what they want. When consumers feel like they’ve been listened to, they have more incentive to purchase from you again and stay loyal to your dealership over time.

A sincere thank you after an oil change or a note over Facebook congratulating someone on driving off with their new vehicle goes a long way, but it is so much more impactful when you also know that customer is considering trading in their current vehicle for a new model and you get in front of them with specials before they check out your competition.

Artificial intelligence

Insights matter. Forrester’s 2017 predictions declared that this year would be when the big data floodgates opened, and they were right. Dealerships that use artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the Internet of Things (IoT) to tap into deeper insights win over more consumers than their competitors.

Two years ago, when Outsell started offering our first machine learning-powered marketing solutions, dealers had no idea how that technology was relevant to them. Today, they ask for it on the first sales call because they know they can’t compete in this industry without it.

The primary benefit of artificial intelligence is its ability to process huge data sets quickly and accurately, and find patterns your BDC and Sales teams can’t. Alexa, Siri, Netflix and Pandora all use AI and machine learning to personalize services to your tastes. Over time, as they learn more about you, their recommendations become more and more accurate—and that’s what keeps you loyal.

There is no reason in today’s advanced and ever-changing landscape that dealers can’t do the same for their consumers, and not doing it is to your detriment.


The dealerships that think customer loyalty is dead aren’t putting their customers first. You still can. If you don’t have a loyalty program, start one. If you aren’t tackling your reputation management aggressively, change your tactics. And if you haven’t been keeping consumers engaged with the content they want to see through artificial intelligence-driven communications and dynamic content, ask yourself:

Would I open an email from about something I’ve never shown interest in or the one from Amazon offering recommendations based on past behaviors and preferences?

It’s a no brainer that some dealerships are already taking advantage of, and you should too.

Learn more here.

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.

New AI-driven solution help boost sales to auto dealers

Outsell announced today that it exceeded revenue and profitability goals for the third quarter. Increases in both areas were driven by the success of its revolutionary new solution Inventory Mover, which meets an unmet need for dealers by taking their individualized communications to the next level.

“We are seeing significant traction with Inventory Mover, an add-on to the base Outsell platform that provide auto dealers with significant benefits including increased conversion rates and more visitors to their stores,” said Mike Wethington, CEO of Outsell.

Highlights from the quarter:

  • Outsell launched a new addition to its NeuroMotics® AI marketing-driven platform: Inventory Mover, the industry’s first inventory recommendation engine that automatically sorts through consumers in a dealer’s DMS and CRM, extracts data on in-market consumers, predicts which VINs will appeal to each consumer, and dynamically shows unique live inventory recommendations to each consumer via automated, individualized emails.
  • Outsell launched new product packages that enable dealers to accelerate their move to digital. Designed to meet the most common needs of dealers, the packages help dealers quickly determine what they need for digital marketing.

In addition, just before the start of Q3, Outsell announced that it had promoted CTO Bryan Harwood to President. Harwood is a six-year veteran of Outsell who’s been instrumental in driving Outsell’s recent growth and success.

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 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 also launches new marketing automation product packages

Outsell launched today a new addition to its NeuroMotics® AI marketing-driven platform: Inventory Mover, the industry’s first inventory recommendation engine that automatically sorts through consumers in a dealer’s DMS and CRM, identifies in-market consumers, predicts which VINs will appeal to each consumer, and dynamically shows unique live inventory recommendations to each consumer via automated, individualized emails.

Outsell is already known for its NeuroMotics® AI brain that powers its comprehensive marketing suite. Outsell employs a real-time customer lifecycle based approach that helps dealers accelerate sales by individualizing consumer messages. Its BuyerScout® software detects and tips dealers off to in-market buyers. Now with Inventory Mover, dealers can automatically highlight and match would-be buyers with specific inventory to help them move inventory off their lots faster.

For every month a car sits on the lot unsold, a dealer pays $150-300 in interest, cutting into profits. For that reason, dealers prefer to move inventory within 60 days of receipt. Outsell’s Inventory Mover helps by:

  • Analyzing consumer behavior to determine which vehicles in inventory are best for each person, and dynamically serving up those vehicles through individualized marketing communications.
  • Identifying aging inventory and matching VINs to people who are likely interested in those models.
  • Driving traffic directly to dealer Vehicle Detail Pages (VDPs).
  • Updating recommendations seamlessly as inventory is rotated – dealers can specify which vehicles to highlight, or let Outsell completely automate the process.
  • Monitoring shopping behavior and updating recommendations daily.
  • Generating direct leads with availability form, conveniently pre-filling the form for customers so they can indicate their interest with one click.

Back-end integration is via API – Outsell Inventory Mover simply connects to the dealer’s existing inventory database.

“Outsell’s Inventory Mover takes AI and inventory recommendations to the next level,” said Brian Pasch, Founder of PCG Companies. “This solves a critical problem for dealers – accelerating inventory turnover and minimizing their carrying costs.”

Bryan Harwood, President of Outsell, said:

“Inventory Mover significantly enhances a dealer’s ability to move their inventory quicker. Outsell not only helps dealers determine who’s in market, but can now match the right inventory that appeals most to individual consumers. Our dealer customers are excited about this new solution – a significant number have already subscribed to it, pre-launch.”

Outsell also launched today new product packages that enable dealers to accelerate their move to digital. Designed to meet the most common needs of dealers, the packages are:

  • Optimize: Provides all the basics for effective, individualized digital marketing, including buyer identification, inventory matching and automated communications that are individualized for each consumer’s unique needs and preferences.
  • Capitalize: All of the features of Optimize, plus the tools required for Conquest campaigns for obtaining net-new customers.
  • Specialize: Designed for smaller OEM dealers handling exotic brands, this package provides everything required to automate individualized email communications.
  • Socialize: Dealers who want to connect with customers via social media can leverage the Socialize package to serve up relevant, individualized content that encourages customers to leave reviews, increasing customer satisfaction and helping attract more business.
  • Maximize: This package includes the full suite of Outsell solutions for buyer detection, inventory matching, automated and individualized communications, and social media optimization.

“Outsell’s new packages help dealers quickly determine what they need for digital marketing,” said Harwood. “Nearly all our customers use a combination of Outsell solutions. Our new packages expand their ability to automatically and continually engage their consumers throughout their lifecycle, drive measurable sales and profit results, and save them some money.”

To learn more about Inventory Mover or Outsell’s new product packages, visit

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