Creating a Solid e-Commerce Plan for Growth
Peter Drucker once said, “Action without planning is the cause of all failure!” In the fast-paced and ever changing world of automotive e-commerce, more true words could not be spoken.
Another way to summarize the importance of planning is in the saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
Most successful folks in our industry are great goal setters,” says returning Digital Dealer session leader Tony Rhoades. “But that’s only the half of it, because knowing what you want really doesn’t get you very far.”
A favorite speaker at Digital Dealer, Rhoades is a leading voice on the importance of planning across your areas of responsibility. This session, Rhoades will focus on putting attendees’ e-commerce departments on track with strategic planning.
“To define your goals, and think through the details — the elements that make up that goal, is the basis for creating your plan,” Rhoades says.
Those details may include social media, mobile media — all the various types of advertising and promotion you’ve considered for your e-commerce plan.
Vince Lombardi is well known for starting every season with, “Gentlemen, this is a football.” In his session Tony takes a similar approach in his informative, well-structured session, as he breaks e-commerce into bite size pieces, providing a means of analyzing where dealers are today and sharing ideas to help them chart a course into the future.
Of course, Rhoades first takes his charges through a step-by-step plan for analyzing attendees’ current e-commerce operations, so they can note elements of success and areas needing improvement.
Rhoades never fails to issue some statements and guidelines that may surprise even veteran planners. At the 11th Digital Dealer in 2011, Rhoades raised some eyebrows when he announced, “Planning is a team sport.” That’s contrary to what many think of planning — a solitary endeavor best achieved in a locked room with no interruptions or outside input.
“You’re all on my team now,” Rhoades warmly adds, “and we’re going to have an open conversation. I encourage you to speak up.”
And Tony adds that keeping the goal in mind while working toward that goal is the best strategy.
Tony Rhoades is the Executive Director of Information & Consumer Strategies for the Gunn Automotive Group where he is responsible for Information Technology, e-Commerce and Marketing. Gunn Automotive Group sells Honda, Acura, Nissan, Infiniti, Chevrolet and Buick GMC and runs two independent collision centers in San Antonio Texas. After six years in the US Air Force, where he earned a degree in Electronic Systems Technology, Tony entered automotive sales and found it to be an excellent fit for his disciplined training. Serving Gunn the last 13 years in all aspects of variable operations, he undertook E-commerce in 2009. Again, his technical background, military training and sales experience provided the organizational and strategic skills necessary to succeed, allowing Tony to dramatically improve sales and successfully convert CRM and DMS systems for Gunn.
At the 16th Digital Dealer Conference & Exposition held this May 6-8 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Rhoades will give step-by-step details of his own e-commerce plan that has lead Gunn Honda to achieve placement on Ward’s eDealer 100 list and which has put the Gunn Automotive Group on the path to e-commerce success.[box]Don’t miss this exciting discussion and hundreds more, tailored to your dealership’s needs, at the 16th Digital Dealer Conference and Exposition, this May 6 through 8 in Atlantic City, NJ.[/box]