page contents Automotive Thought Leadership: Ralph Paglia: July 2014 My title page contents

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Vendors: Don’t Be So Darn Annoying! - Automotive Digital Marketing

Vendors: Don’t Be So Darn Annoying! - Automotive Digital Marketing

This article has resulted in over Six Pages of Comments, Debate and Point-Counterpoint... Passionate arguments have followed the publishing of this article by Sara Callahan. Fascinating perspectives and fierce passions have emerged on both sides of the Dealer/Supplier community as a result of the comment based debate.
So far, there has been only one casualty... Will there be more?

Friday, July 11, 2014

What the Buzz is Cross Channel Advertising Optimization?

What the Buzz is Cross Channel Optimization?

What the Buzz is Cross Channel Optimization for Car Dealers?

Cross Channel Advertising Optimization

by Dana Fornasar, Sr Product Marketing Manager, Advertising & Business Intelligence  & Part-time Digital Demystification Delegate at Cobalt.
Are you tired of listening to the marketing mumbo jumbo that everyone loves to use but hates to explain? Sometimes ya just gotta say, What the Buzz? Let’s debuzz digital, break down the chatter that matters and expand our digital dictionaries... all in seven sentences or less. Today’s buzzword is cross channel optimization. We’ve asked one of our resident Digital Demystification Delegates to explain what it is and why dealers should care.
Cross Channel Optimization
  • A multi-channel advertising strategy spreads your dealership’s message across consumer channels--- in digital, this usually spans paid search, display advertising and retargeting.
  • Most multi-channel advertising platforms require dealers to set predetermined budgets for each individual channel each month.
  • Cross channel optimization allows dealers to set one overarching advertising budget which is then spread across all three channels.
  • It’s impossible to predict how shopper engagement, or demand, will change within each channel on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis.
  • Cross channel bidding technology enables dealers to invest their budget based on exactly when, and in what channel, their next advertising dollar should be spent.
  • When demand peaks in one channel, or when a channel is performing better than the others, cross-channel technology moves budget in real-time to the channel(s) that will generate the most reach, impact and ultimately the greatest ROI.
  • This means your dealership advertising at the right time, in the right place and most importantly, at the right price.

Want to learn more about cross channel optimization? Download the new eBook, Automotive Moneyball eBook download, to get an exclusive insider look at a cross channel optimization platform at work.

Are you dying to say, What the Buzz? Tell us what buzzword you want debuzzed in the comments below, and we’ll put our Digital Demystification Delegation on it!

Featured eBook

Automotive Digital Advertising

Take a peek behind the curtain of a cross channel advertising platform. Download the new eBook, Advertising Metrics for Dealerships, to learn how to set your advertising budgets based on the metrics that move metal. 
About the Author
Dana Fornasar, Sr Product Marketing Manager
Dana Fornasar is a Sr Product Marketing Manager, Advertising & Business Intelligence at Cobalt. Her first car was a royal blue 1974 Volkswagen Super Beetle. Dana’s VW sadly met its demise during a sorority caravan en route to a Pearl Jam concert in Atlanta, where it fell victim to what was later confirmed to be the first and only rear-end collision caused by a flighty sorority girl. Blaring from her blown-out speakers at the time of the collision was ironically Pearl Jam’s newly released song Rearview mirror. True story. She brings 10 years of digital marketing experience to Cobalt. Before joining Cobalt, Dana worked with advertising & marketing teams at Expedia, Microsoft, and Paramount Pictures. Feel free to reach out to Dana at

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Dean Evans: Former CMO and Subaru Marketing Chief Takes On LotLinx CEO Role

Dean Evans: Former CMO and Subaru Marketing Chief Takes On LotLinx CEO Role

Dean Evans, former Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for Subaru is new CEO of automotive marketing software company LotLinx. 

Dean Evans Now Runs LotLinx...

Evans, 45, who left Subaru in May, succeeded Jason Knight, who had been running LotLinx since the end of 2012, before the company was launched. Evans says that Knight remains with the company as COO. Evans was quoted in an interview with Automotive News that LotLinx approached him a few months ago while he was still serving as CMO at Subaru.
“It’s really exciting to go from a corporate job to a smaller company,” Evans said. “I’ve been assessing the business model, the go-to-market plan and the new growth strategy.”
It wasn't that long ago when Dean Evans, then Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Subaru of America, Inc. turned over the keys to the Subaru "Drive Performance" Magazine accessorized WRX to Dr. Joel R. Anstrom of Penn State University. Since then, Dr. Anstrom has utilized the car in the Penn State’s Graduate Automotive Technology Education (GATE) Program.
Above Photo: On hand to turn over the Drive Performance Magazine Subaru WRX to Penn State were Subaru CMO Dean Evans (left) and Penn State GATE Program personnel Dr. Joel R. Anstrom (center) and graduate student Max Ripepi (right).

LotLinx was launched last October (2013) to provide car dealers with an inventory marketing platform that directly links online car shoppers from search engines and automotive research sites to dealership website Vehicle Detail Pages (VDP). This strategy and its implementation turns the dealer into a lead provider while helping customers avoid becoming a "third party lead" such as those sent to dealers by and
The video from LotLinx that I embedded in the original article on will help dealers and automotive marketing professionals better understand the new company's value proposition... And, watching this clip may even shed some light on why Dean Evans would leave his CMO position at Subaru to take on the arduous task of guiding yet another marketing technology start-up to success in the auto industry...

LotLinx Reality Check - Their Website States:
“We are a company built and run by Automotive Industry leaders.”
Which may be one of many reasons why Dean Evans was recruited to replace Jason Knight, whose primary experience before LotLinx was based in the consumer products, and food and beverage industries according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Knight had been CEO of HMR Foods Inc. and COO of Mozzarella Fresca Inc.
Dean Evans’ Resume Features Both Automotive and Technology Industry Experience
Evans started his career in Boulder, Colo., as a Pontiac dealership salesman in 1990. He became a field representative for Chrysler from 1991 to 1996, before managing a dealership in San Francisco from 1996 to 1998.
He began working at technology start-ups in 1998, left Nextag to go to Autofusion in 2000. During the bubble implosion of 2001, when Autofusion ran out of money, Evans rejoined the auto industry as digital marketing manager for Land Rover’s U.S. operations.
Starting in 2003, Evans began working for Dealix, which was then owned by Cobalt.
When he was fired from Dealix by John Holt, CEO of The Cobalt Group, Dean went on to accept the CMO position at Dean's work as CMO at helped propel the enormous growth of the company's dealer website market share. After over 5 years at Dean Evans left to take the chief marketing officer spot at Subaru Of America (SOA) in September 2011.
As chief marketing officer, Evans implemented an increased focus on basic digital marketing strategies which had been lacking at Subaru, such as Google paid search ads. He also created "Competitive Conquest" search advertising campaigns that were designed to redirect car buying consumer traffic searching for Subaru's competitors to SOA and Subaru dealer websites... Which sounds to me a lot like the strategy that LotLinx deploys, sort of.
As LotLinx CEO, Evans will oversee strategic direction, customer relations and the company’s Vehicle Display Network.
“LotLinx is the first disruptive technology marketing product that I have seen in the last five years that delivers such a compelling competitive advantage to dealers,” Evans said in a statement. “The metrics prove that VDP advertising should be prioritized ahead of paid search, third-party lead buys and targeted display spends because it presents consumers who are lower funnel at a lower cost.”
During his Automotive News interview, Dean Evans stated that while he hopes to eventually return to automotive retail, he see the technology that LotLinx is developing as being vital to auto industry progress. Because of the disruptive nature that Evans sees in the LotLinx approach, he wanted to seize the opportunity to participate in the automotive marketing evolution that LotLinx will accelerate.
“When I saw this emerging technology coming up … it was something retail really needed,” Evans said. “I wanted to go back to the technology side and go though another wave of evolution.”
I have personally known and dealt with Dean Evans since his days at and Dealix, where he impressed me with his willingness and ability to take effective action. Since those days we went on to compete with each other, with me serving at ADP Dealer Services while Dean was at Regardless of the heated nature of our two company's competition for OEM and dealer business, Dean and I were always willing to call and speak with each other to discuss issues involving our teams and continue the good natured relationship that had been established prior to our roles at ADP and

It is exciting to see an automotive professional as capable as Dean Evans has proven himself to be, join a tech startup such as LotLinx. I wish Dean Evans all the success he can handle in his new role at LotLinx... and I would also like to congratulate LotLinx for their success in convincing Dean Evans to take on the challenging role of CEO at a technology start-up in the car business.

Dean Evans can be contacted at the LotLinx corporate offices by calling or by email t The LotLinx team is listed below, as shown on their website