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16 minutes | May 13, 2021
"Buyers need to trust the person on the other end of their transaction"
Many marketers are familiar with the traditional four Ps of marketing — which are Product, Price, Place, and Promotion — but here at Cars.com we believe the automotive industry needs its own twist on these marketing principles, especially in today’s ever-evolving environment.Our guest today is Cars.com’s Director of B2B Marketing, Jacob Wittler, who is going to share why automotive marketing professionals need to rethink the fourth “P,” and how to view these strategies through a 2021 lens.
23 minutes | Apr 29, 2021
"Have a good understanding of your "why buy" message"
In today’s landscape, it’s more important than ever for used-car dealers to embrace digital solutions. Zach Klempf is the founder and CEO of Selly Automotive, an industry thought leader focused on the used car space, and is well-versed in the strategies the savviest Independent dealers are employing for success.
13 minutes | Apr 15, 2021
"There's never been a better time for women to enter this industry"
How can dealerships encourage more women to pursue a career in automotive? On this episode of Unscheduled Maintenance, dealer principal Kelly Webb Roberts shares advice on how to do just that, as well as her experience as a woman in automotive leadership.
20 minutes | Apr 1, 2021
"You have to respond; it's no longer optional"
How to win Dealer of the Year. DealerRater GM Jamie Oldershaw and reviews expert Lana Waters join the show to give review strategy advice that will help your dealership land on next year’s list of winners, and attract more customers in the process.
20 minutes | Mar 18, 2021
"Who do you want to reach?"
VP of Data Strategy and FUEL Operations at CARS Chris Marshall discusses audience planning vs. media planning, common pitfalls with audience targeting, and first party vs. third party data.
19 minutes | Mar 4, 2021
"A click is not meaningful enough"
George Nenni has consulted thousands of dealerships over his three decades in the industry on how to identify and follow the right digital marketing data to success. George also shares the questions you should be asking your agency. Episode recorded Feb 02, 2021.
24 minutes | Feb 18, 2021
"We message the experience"
Chip Diggs, Director of Internet Sales and Marketing at Seelye Automotive Group in Michigan joins the podcast to share the success story of Seelye Automotive Group after they made radical changes in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Learn more about Unscheduled Maintenance here: https://growwithcars.com/
20 minutes | Feb 4, 2021
"Your website is a sneak preview of what it's like to work with you"
Design matters when it comes to driving digital success. At Dealer Inspire, Director of Product Design Nate Jones has seen dozens of examples of how to design your dealer site for success. Nate joins us on the show to share common dealer website pitfalls as well as his best tips for creating an excellent consumer experience.
22 minutes | Jan 21, 2021
"Digital retailing has taken on a completely new meaning"
Dealer Inspire CEO Joe Chura joins Steve to discuss digital retailing and gives helpful, actionable advice for how dealers can thrive in this new normal. Consumers have spoken: digital retailing is here to stay.
25 minutes | Jan 7, 2021
"If it's good for the user, it's good for SEO"
New host Steve Gaede is joined by Cars.com’s own SEO guru, Brett Lee, who breaks down everything you need to know about SEO coming out of Google’s December core algorithm update. Fresh off of breaking SEO traffic records in 2020, Brett’s tips will help your dealership stay on top of search.
18 minutes | Jul 2, 2020
"The badge on the hood doesn't tell the whole story"
What makes a vehicle American Made? Is it where it is assembled, the percentage of parts that come from the US, or the share of the vehicle's manufacturing workforce based in the USA? The answer is D - all of the above! Now in its 15th year, Cars.com's American Made Index helps consumers understand which vehicles are truly born in the USA. Senior Consumer Affairs Editor Kelsey Mays sat down with Unscheduled Maintenance to walk us through the 2020 list and discuss why a vehicle's impact on the US economy matters so much to car shoppers right now.
17 minutes | Jun 25, 2020
"You can't be reliant on historical data, because this year is a rule breaker"
What do you get when the first half of your sales year consists of two record breaking high months and two pandemic induced low ones? A very messy set of projection models for the second half of the year! Luckily, CARS Senior Marketing Data Strategist David Greene is here to help us make sense of it all. David sits down with us this week to talk about the impending impact of the lease returns, why crossover shoppers might start considering wagons, and what Google search query findings can tell us about consumer intent moving forward.
21 minutes | Jun 18, 2020
"The next steps might not be unanimous, but maybe they can be consensus"
On a special edition of Unscheduled Maintenance, CARS CEO Alex Vetter reclaims the host mic to sit down with U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint, who represents Michigan’s fifth district. In this episode, the congressman highlights some of the strong bipartisan wins that have emerged in response to COVID-19, what discussions are happening in Washington about public transportation safety and how future government assistance may help ease supply chain challenges. Alex and Congressman Kildee provide listeners a crucial look inside the government conversations that are impacting our industry, so this is an episode you won't want to miss.
24 minutes | Jun 11, 2020
"In a lot of ways this is the opposite of what we saw in 08 and 09"
And the big new car winner of 2020 is... subcompacts? While much is still to be seen, buying behavior has definetely seen some interesting shifts this year. And Cars.com Executive Editor Joe Wiesenfelder has been keeping a close pulse on both the consumer and dealer impacts. Joe joins the pod to talk about how the current lease and incentive deals varys greatly from what he saw in 2008, how gas prices will influence both vehicle sales and trade-ins, and why major metro commuters moving away from public transportation may not cause the future highway gridlock some are predicting.
22 minutes | Jun 4, 2020
"Follow the data, but avoid following bad data off a cliff"
The former president of a coffee importer and a PHD in physics find themselves at a new company on the same team. Are they working to get a cup of french roast to the moon? No; they're looking to connect as many in-market shoppers to qualified car dealers as possible. This is the team that John Thornton, CARS VP of Growth, has built.John is obsessed with building teams that solve complex problems. He is the first to tell you that it's not hard to get your hands on a bunch of data, but you need more than a fair share of creativity and ingenuity to follow the right data to the right conclusions. In this episode, John shares his advice on how to separate qualified shoppers from "Looky Loos," why reducing resources sometimes leads to invaluable data insights, and what steps dealers should be taking to win the local market SEO game. It's an episode that no automotive marketer should miss.
20 minutes | May 28, 2020
"We have to see how the country gets back to work"
Welcome to season two of Unscheduled Maintenance, where we will widen the scope of our discussion to talk about all things related to automotive innovation, insights and leadership.In this episode, we talk about what we may expect to see across the industry in the second half of 2020. What models will we see rolling out with virtual launch parties? How will auto shows adapt to the new climate? And which manufacturers are shifting focus or doubling down on initiatives like electric and autonomous vehicles? While no one has all the answers to these questions, we thought a good place to start would be Cars.com's own Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman. A 25-year veteran of covering the automotive industry, Aaron sits down with us to give his take on what we should be keeping our eyes on as auto continues evolving in the wake of COVID.
20 minutes | May 22, 2020
"A show room of the future"
"You know what would have made this even better... is if they had just brought the car to us." That was the thought that ran through Colton Ray's head after taking off his dealer hat, and experiencing the car buying process first-hand.Colton is an automotive lifer, having started his career in the dealership as a teenager and working his way all the way up to CMO of the Walser Group. As an early adopter of the one-price model, Walser has often stood at the forefront of automotive marketing. And that paid off big this year: the team's work in enabling virtual appointment and home delievery capabilities before COVID-19 swept onto the national stage put them in a great position to weather this storm. Joining Colton is Cars EVP Dean Evans, who has held marketing leadership roles at the dealership, OEM and vendor levels within automotive. We could not have asked for a better ending to season one of Unscheduled Maintenance than to have these two futurists talk through where dealerships go from here to craft their own "Walser Way" approach.
20 minutes | May 15, 2020
"The head will get us out, the heart will get us through"
JD Dantzler, General Manager of Manly Honda, has a simple formula for success: total action, complete focus, and a whole lot of grace. It's these types of philosophies that have helped JD overcome a year of challenges: from the California wildfires that threatened the lives of his employees, to the recent forced shutdowns from COVID-19. But as concerned as he is for everyone's well being on a human level, he can't help but be a bit excited on a business level. JD sees so many positive forces in motion - how much the idea of home delivery is going to excite car shoppers to buy more cars, how better outreach and inclusion for the Latino community can help spur the industry forward. His conversation with CARS Chief Revenue Officer is all about finding the positive forces at play in the toughest of times. Because as JD likes to put it: "without challenge, without problems, we don't grow... this is what we're made for."
21 minutes | May 7, 2020
"Dealers in their hearts, they love to give"
Hyundai Motors America entered 2020 in the midst of a multi-year transformation of their brand and model line, and their much-talked about "Smaht Pahk" Super Bowl spot had CMO Angela Zepeda feeling the wind at their back. And then... COVID. The crisis hit home quickly with Hyundai as one of their own at a Montgomery, Alabama factory contracted the disease, leading to the temporary closure of the plant. As Angela tells us, the nature of the crisis pushed Hyundai to challenge themselves on how they could help. The OEM and their dealer operators, with the help of their charitable partners from the Hope on Wheels program, turned their eyes towards doing all they could to improve COVID testing availability. The results were mindblowing: 4.3 million dollars in relief to help set up drive-through testing facilities at 22 hospitals, as well as the donation of 16K test kits to regions hit hardest by the crisis. Angela's conversation with CARS Chief Experience Officer Brooke Skinner Ricketts is a true testament to just how much good OEMs and their local dealer operators can deliver to communities in crisis.
20 minutes | May 1, 2020
"Listen to the people on the front lines, ask them what they need"
Steve Stasi has faced these types of challenges before. He remembers what it was like working the Chicago Auto Show as the reality of 08 economic collapse was setting in, with so many dealers closing up shop and failing to weather the storm. That experience taught him what changes were necessary to survive when crisis strikes. Steve talks with CARS CTO Fred Lee about tactics the Taylor Automotive Group has been leveraging to combat COVID-19. From the OEM incentives they are leaning into, to the mobile service van they've set up to serve the community, Steve has a roadmap for dealers looking to keep operations flowing.
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