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Autodome’s “Random Kindness” program is all kinds of awesome.

After meeting up for lunch with Sach Raja from Autodome and hearing about his latest idea, I asked him if I could share the concept right here on The Dealer Geek.

Being the all around nice guy that Sach is, he said “of course”.

It’s rare that I get this excited about new marketing strategies from car dealers…..

So let’s get into it.

Sach and Chad from Autodome surprise random drivers with an ARK card

Sach and Chad from Autodome surprise random drivers with an ARK card

We’ve all heard the stories of receiving a free coffee at the Tim Horton’s drive thru from the random stranger in the vehicle in front of you.

It’s never happened to me personally, but my cousin worked at Timmie’s when she was a teenager and said it happened all the time. This gesture really took off after the movie Pay It Forward she explains.

As of last week, the crew @ Autodome decided to spread some random love throughout the Greater Toronto Area by surprising random strangers with one of their ARK packages.

I love this kinda stuff. Total grassroots.

 

What happens?

  • Autodome prints off a bunch of ARK cards with Autodome logo and explanation of what they are doing
  • Attach a Tim Horton’s gift card to the ARK card
  • Tapes on random car window.  Driver’s side preferred
  • Random dude walks up to his car and thinks WTF?
  • Random dude looks around to see if he/she is on camera? They aren’t , Sach and friends are long gone
  • Recipient sits down in driver’s seat and feels something that no free hot dog or inflatable gorilla can produce…..  hope

[click to continue…]

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AMVIC Advertising Update – April 2014 from Kijiji Autos on Vimeo.

Laura Lowe and Lynette MacLeod from the Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council put together this great webinar to educate dealers on what they need to take into consideration when placing ads for their dealership.

Video Length – 30 minutes

Please contact AMVIC directly if you have any questions — AMVIC WEBSITE

2014 DealerTalk Recap – Long one!

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Karbaum wins an Apple TV

Karbaum wins an Apple TV

 

I’ve just caught my breathe.  The event is over. 12 months of planning is complete.

And now it’s time to sit back and hear some feedback.

Conferences are a lot more work than they look like, let me tell you.  This blog post will highlight the day itself and a brief summary on the speakers.

**Disclaimer – This is a friggin long post.

After the inaugural DealerTalk conference last March I really thought it would be almost impossible to “one up” the event this time.

First off there was no Grant Cardone this year.

I received many tweets, emails, and phone calls saying we had to have Grant back.

“That’s the only reason we went” – was some of the common feedback from dealers.

Now I love me some Grant Cardone, but I really wanted to put a fresh line up in place and expose Canadian dealers to some fresh faces.  Grant Cardone 2015?? Who knows?

 

Last summer…….

 

Yes you heard me right.  The summer of 2013 is when I started hashing out what this year’s conference might look like.

Who would speak? How much would we charge? Where would we hold the event? These were the questions that filled the whiteboard.

At the time it seemed crazy to me that we were worrying about this 10 months prior to DealerTalk 2014 but it paid off in a big way.  Check out some video highlights below.

DealerTalk, March 4, 2014 from Kijiji Autos on Vimeo.

New Website please

 

One thing that we did agree on was that DealerTalk needed a new website.

If DealerTalk was going to be a brand that we would continue to build on for years to come, we needed step up our image, and fast.

The original DealerTalk site was functional. You landed on it. You signed up. Or you didn’t.  In the words of Forrest Gump, “that’s all I have to say about that”.

I’m happy with how the website turned out but I do want to add a blog/news component that will allow us to publish updates, video coverage, DealerTalk webinars, and other cool dealer stuff.

More to come on that…..

Location, Location, Location

 

We ended up using The Four Seasons last year by a complete fluke.

Were you aware of that??? The original DealerTalk was supposed to take place at the Sony Centre.   Hey, it was our first one and we were shooting for the stars.

Have you been to the Sony Centre?

Let’s just put it this way, there would probably be a few empty seats.  The Sony Centre is usually reserved for Jerry Seinfeld doing standup or Broadway shows.

Anyway, we were in a bind and the wonderful crew at FFAM (agency that helps put this show together) came up with a few spots.

Royal York? Nah too old.

Westin Harborfront?  Have you seen the traffic on Queens Quay (pronounced “Key”)? No thanks.

Best Western in Mississauga, come on this is DealerTalk!!

What about the new Four Seasons???

Scott (my boss and partner in crime on this conference) and I agreed this could be a good possibility.  I was concerned it wouldn’t be large enough to accommodate 250-300 guests, maybe I was still smoking the Sony Centre pipe, who knows. [click to continue…]

How to “Tune Out” Noisy LinkedIn Connections

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linkedin hide

I’m getting a little too inspired on LinkedIn, are you?

 

First off, let me make it very clear that I do not claim to be  a self – proclaimed “Social Media Guru”.  I don’t know how to get you thousands of followers or help you maximize engagement (so over that buzz word).

I’ve been using LinkedIn since 2009 and must say it’s always been one of my favorite social networking sites.

For the last couple of years on LinkedIn I didn’t have to worry about baby pics, duck face selfies, or “Sign up here to win an Ipad”.

However, with LinkedIn’s gain in popularity, and the evolution of their feed it appears as though my LinkedIn experience is going the same way as Facebook…… 90% junk.

We all have those noisy connections that we want to stay connected with.  It’s just that we don’t want to see their face 20 times a day with a different Inspirational Quotes……. I thought those belonged on Twitter?? Dammit!

Here is a simple way to “hide” (not remove) connections that are clogging up your feed….

1) From the desktop version of LinkedIn hover to the right side of any post in your feed

2) You will notice “Hide” appear

3) Click “Hide” – Don’t worry you can undo if you have second thoughts

Once a month I usually give LinkedIn and Twitter a cleanse.  This helps me maximize the time I spend on these sites.

What do you like about LinkedIn? Let me know in the comments.

ps. Duane Marino is a good guy, he just happened to be in my feed when I needed a screenshot.

 

 

 

Save The Date – DealerTalk Conference 2014 on March 4th

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I will be blogging about the conference as we get closer

Keep reading the blog as I go behind the scenes of DealerTalk

December is a busy month for “Save The Date” cards. My finance and I are debating on actual printed cards vs. e-cards for our wedding next summer.  Mark my words, I will win that battle…. E-cards all the way.

This blog post is acting as my DealerTalk 2014 save the date.

After a massive success last year with the first inaugural DealerTalk conference put on by me and my friends at Kijiji Autos, we have locked in the date for the second annual event.

Now I do have some really exciting news on speakers I want to share with the Dealer Geek Nation, but I will save that for future entries.   Today, I simply wanted to remind everyone to mark their calendars for March 4th, 2014.

Don’t worry about a March Break conflict like last year.  The date was a lively debate.  After a lot of asking around, and talking to the folks in the industry, the big red sharpie marker came out and magical day was circled.

Where ya doing it?

Location was the one thing the committee agreed on from day 1.  Back to the Four Seasons we go.  Did you know that we actually attempted to throw the first conference at The Sony Centre? Long story.

The hotel is pretty much brand new and in my opinion, is the most modern and swanky spot in all of Toronto.   We surveyed the attendees last year and the location got an A++.  “This place is nicer than some of those conferences in Vegas” – random dealer.

If they are serving those cute little sliders again I’m skipping breakfast. [click to continue…]

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1920s factory

 

I  apologize for sleeping on posting this awesome guest post by my man Mike Haeg.  He has taught me a tonne of great things when it comes to the importance of the phone in the dealership AND with my own sales team.- RT

_________________________________

 

Imagine a dingy factory in the outskirts of Chicago in 1922.

An ambitious manager has an idea for improving productivity: brighter lights! He thinks that a well-lit workspace will lead to fewer mistakes and better morale. The manager wants real data to prove the success of his new idea, so he installs a guy with a clipboard to monitor the workers on the day he cranks up the lights.

Productivity shot way up, and our manager is a hero. Better lighting produced better workers.

Or did it?

A skeptical professor asked if he could try something different. He came in and turned the lights down to the lowest setting. Now the factory was even darker than it had ever been. But the professor also made it a point to include the clipboard guy to observe the resulting behavior.

Guess what happened. Yep, productivity went up again. It turns out that the real hero was the person who was monitoring the results. When the workers knew they were being measured, they were better workers. It had nothing to do with the lighting.

This experiment took place in Hawthorne Works, a Western Electricity factory. The revelation became known as the Hawthorne Effect, which states that subjects improve or modify an aspect of behavior that is being experimentally measured in response to the awareness that the behavior is being studied. [click to continue…]

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