ATLANTA — Throughout 2012, AutoTrader.com will be hosting Interactive Dealer Summits, a new series of educational events designed specifically for auto dealers. Themed “Behind the Internet Curtain: Technology that Drives Dealer Success,” the events will enable dealers to learn about key factors for online marketing success, exchange best-in-class processes and strategies, as well as gain insights from industry thought leaders. The first event in 2012 will be held on March 13 near San Francisco, Calif.
These summits are one facet of the overall educational opportunities AutoTrader.com provides for dealers, which include customized in-dealership training, seminars, webinars and the recently released Dealer Learning Center (www.dealerlearningcenter.com), where dealers have 24/7 access to educational content and videos.
“At AutoTrader.com, we are committed to working closely with our dealer customers to ensure that they have the most recent and relevant information about effective online advertising. The Interactive Dealer Summits offer one more avenue to help us achieve that goal,” said Allyson Estes, director of industry relations and dealer learning at AutoTrader.com. “These summits are an extension of our already-robust dealer educational programs, which we provide at no additional cost to our dealer customers.”
Specifically designed for dealer principals and owners, general sales managers and Internet managers, these half-day events will offer a forum for AutoTrader.com’s dealer customers to gather, network and gain valuable insights to help dealers succeed.
Attendees can expect lively discussions around how the various facets of online automotive advertising can help dealers reach and influence automotive shoppers. The summits will include a mix of general sessions and workshops, ensuring that attendees will walk away with plenty of new insights as well as actionable strategies to implement at their dealerships.
The first summit, held near San Francisco, will kick off with AutoTrader.com’s Director of Industry Education, Howard Polirer, discussing the fundamental shift in the way consumers shop for cars and how those changes affect the way automotive marketers should approach advertising online. Then, John Griffin, vice president of performance management at vAuto, will provide information on how dealers can influence shoppers and drive conversion. Bill Pearson, co-owner of Velde Lincoln Volvo, will wrap up the general sessions with a discussion on how transparency in the trade-in process can enable dealers to acquire high-quality used inventory based on his own success.
Following the general sessions, there will be two interactive workshops where attendees will hear from AutoTrader.com national dealer educators. The first workshop will focus on how dealers can develop and improve communications with car shoppers, and the final workshop will cover how smart, consistent merchandising works online and offline.
The first summit of the year will be held at the Hilton Pleasanton at The Club, just outside of San Francisco, on Tuesday, March 13. Dates for more local Interactive Dealer Summits will be announced throughout the year.
Atlanta-based AutoTrader.com, created in 1997, is the Internet’s ultimate automotive marketplace and consumer information website. AutoTrader.com aggregates in a single location millions of new cars, used cars and certified pre-owned cars from thousands of auto dealers and private sellers and is a leading online resource for auto dealers, individuals and manufacturers to advertise and market their vehicles to in-market shoppers. The company also provides a robust suite of software tools for dealers and manufacturers to help them manage and market their vehicle inventory and display advertising on the Internet. AutoTrader.com continues to grow key business metrics, including revenue, profitability and site traffic. Today, AutoTrader.com attracts millions of unique monthly visitors who utilize the site to review descriptions, photos and videos of vehicles for sale; research and compare vehicles; review pricing and specials; and read auto-related content like buying and selling tips and editorial coverage of major auto shows and automotive trends. AutoTrader.com operates one other auto marketing brand, AutoTraderClassics.com. AutoTrader.com also owns used vehicle management software company vAuto, Kelley Blue Book (Kbb.com), HomeNet Automotive, a leading provider of online inventory management and merchandising solutions for the automotive retail industry and VinSolutions, a leading provider of end-to-end solution platforms for dealers. AutoTrader.com is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. Providence Equity Partners is a 25 percent owner of the company and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is also an investor. For more information, please visit www.autotrader.com.