Social/Digital Media

TIDAL partners with Mercedes to give drivers one year free music

STUTTGART, Germany - 

Mercedes-Benz and global music and entertainment platform, TIDAL have partnered to provide Mercedes drivers who connect their car to the brand's me Portal with access to complimentary TIDAL HiFi membership.

By next year, Mercedes drivers will be able to stream TIDAl’s more than 50 million songs, over 185,000 music videos and special Mercedes-Benz playlists at no cost for a year, the companies announced on Tuesday.

“Thanks to the cooperation with TIDAL, we are enhancing the Mercedes me lifestyle range with a unique entertainment experience,” Mercedes-Benz Cars marketing vice president Jens Thiemer said in a news release.“Our customers can stream music and videos at home or on the go virtually unlimited. We also offer exclusive opportunities to contact artists or experience them live.”

Mercedes-Benz and TIDAL are celebrating the launch of their collaboration with an exclusive concert on Friday, Sept. 15 during the upcoming me Convention at the Frankfurt International Motor Show hosted by Mercedes-Benz and South by Southwest.

Convention participants can sign up for tickets during the convention using the event's app. Additionally, more tickets will also be raffled over the social media channels of both TIDAL and Mercedes-Benz.

“TIDAL is honored to partner with the world’s premier automobile manufacturer,” added TIDAL’s Lior Tibon. “The joint mission of superior quality and excellence is a natural synergy between both brands. Mercedes customers value ingenuity and we’re proud to share TIDAL’s elevated music and entertainment experience with them.”

automotiveMastermind adds GM data, its 15th brand


General Motors dealerships can now partner with automotiveMastermind to access its technology, the company announced on Tuesday.

The company's technology shows dealers which customers are ready to buy and the reasoning behind their decisions. Its data now includes Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac.

With the addition of GM, the behavior prediction technology provider now has 15 brands utilizing its predictive analytics technology.

"As General Motors' vehicle lineup continues to evolve through 2018 — from the new Buick Regal TourX to the GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Traverse — we can help dealers now precisely target those potential buyers," Mastermind chief executive officer and co-founder Marco Schnabl said in a news release.

Mastermind said it captures thousands of data points from dealer management systems and combines it with what's known as big data.

The big data includes information from social media profiles, financial records, product and consumer lifecycle information and socio-demographics.

"We are looking forward to bringing the success we've had with Cadillac dealers — helping them sell more than 7,000 vehicles in the first half of 2017 — to, Chevrolet, Buick and GMC and are confident the Mastermind technology will help them successfully target and convert the best possible buyers into loyal customers," Andrew Gillman, vice president of sales and marketing for Mastermind, added in the release.

Additionally, Mastermind provides dealerships’ sales teams with highly personalized marketing campaigns and customer-specific motivational talking points on the desktop.

Search Optics joins new Mazda online marketing co-op program


Search Optics has been named a preferred provider for Mazda North American Operations’ recently launched Mazda Digital Certified Program (MDCP).

The new program offers Mazda dealers new online marketing solutions designed to increase qualified website visits, attract more traffic to showrooms and provide customers a consistent shopping experience.

“At Search Optics, results always come first – and for MDCP, our priority will be to create customer demand and increase the flow of qualified traffic to Mazda dealer websites and dealership locations,” Search Optics chief executive officer David Ponn said in a news release.

“As a Mazda preferred provider, our qualifications are second to none and include unparalleled experience with the Mazda brand, an innovative mix of integrated technology, and a staff that has earned the automotive digital marketing industry’s highest number of Google certifications,” he continued. 

Search Optics’ collaborative business relationship with Mazda spans nearly a decade.

As one of Mazda’s original preferred co-op program providers, Search Optics has worked with the automaker to develop and implement dealer group websites, according to the company.

“In supporting Mazda and its dealers as an independent digital marketing agency, Search Optics has always steered clear of cookie-cutter digital marketing solutions,” said Ponn. “Instead, we’ve focused on customized approaches that drive stronger results and improve sales. We’re very excited to continue our tradition of success with Mazda as a preferred provider, and we congratulate them on the launch of the new program.”

Additionally, Search Optics also recently worked directly with both Google and the Mazda Western Region to implement a market-wide paid search initiative.

As a result of the initiative, Search Optics said Mazda dealers quadrupled their campaign click-through-rates on Google search pages.

The global digital marketing provider received Google’s 2016 and 2015 Google Channel Sales Mobile Champion Award last year.

Each year, Google presents the award to companies it determines has the highest levels of real-world results based on several quality metrics.

Contact At Once! aquires new patent for mobile messaging


Contact At Once! announced Monday that the United States Patent and Trademark Office recently issued it a patent for a system designed to analyze messages and initiate communication sessions for clients.

The new patent was developed to enhance the service that Contact At Once! customers are able to provide consumers who wish to communicate with businesses via chat and mobile messaging sessions, according to the company.

"Contact At Once! has continually invested in technological innovations to allow in-market shoppers and businesses to message at scale through a variety of media,” Contact At Once! vice president of product and strategy Marc Hayes said in a news release.

“This latest patent is another example of our commitment to helping our brands seamlessly connect with consumers in innovative ways that are most convenient for shoppers," he said.

Additionally, the company said the newly acquired patent expands on another recent patent by Contact At Once! that features a system and method for publishing online advertisements and search results.

CDK Global Partners with ActivEngage to create chat tool for sales


CDK Global announced recently that it has partnered with ActivEngage to create Concierge Chat, a messaging tool built directly into CDK Next Gen Websites.

The integration of Concierge Chat with the CDK platform provides customers with a professionally managed chat service fitted with features designed to help to drive qualified sales opportunities, the company said.

“The integration of Concierge Chat into our Next Gen websites further builds upon the fully responsive platform we’ve developed to allow dealers to connect with their customers no matter how they shop,” CDK Global vice president of product management Max Steckler said in a news release.

“As the industry continues to be flooded with standalone product innovation while lacking best-in-class integration, the creation of Concierge Chat is just one example of how CDK is meeting the challenge and enabling end-to-end automotive commerce via an open exchange,” he explained.

Concierge Chat’s notable features include:

• behavioral technology

• inventory sharing

• data mining technology

• seamless integration

ActivEngage joined the CDK Global Partner Program when it launched last year.

Currently, the program includes over 15 partners whose services are optimized and integrated across CDK Website workflows.

“CDK Global recognizes the power of giving consumers the opportunity to interact with dealers in real time via messaging solutions like chat, text or social media,” said Todd Smith, ActivEngage chief executive officer.

“Our partnership with CDK Global will allow our company to share new innovations that will help consumers navigate the purchasing journey more effectively, while creating better results for the dealer,” he added.

Podium welcomes new VP & 2 partnerships to collect dealer reviews

CARY, N.C. - 

Podium recently announced the appointment of Matt Murray as senior vice president of strategic accounts as well as new partnerships with DealerSocket and DealerVault.

Podium’s latest integration with DealerSocket and DealerVault automates dealers' common interactions, such as collecting reviews and sending text messages.

The new partnerships will allow dealers using DealerSocket and DealerVault to integrate Podium technology with their existing dealer management systems, according to the company.

“With the addition of these partners Podium now covers nearly every franchise dealer in the country," said Murray in an email interview with Auto Remarketing.

Prior to his current role, Murray most recently served as vice president of strategic growth and retail solutions at Cox Automotive, Dealertrack Technologies and As senior vice president of strategic accounts, Murray has been tasked with overseeing Podium’s cross-vertical strategic account strategy.

He said both DealerSocket and DealerVault customers have reported substantial increases in total reviews captured since the integration.

“Podium’s integration points automate a significant portion of the reviews process for dealerships, alleviating the burden from employees, and ultimately optimizing their local SEO strategy,” Murray explained. “We are helping to ensure that they will get found, get chosen, and receive valuable insights from both new and existing customers."

According to Podium, its recent growth within the automotive sector follows a $32 million Series A funding round from investors such as Accel, Summit Partners, GV (formerly Google Ventures), and Y Combinator.

“We're delighted to now support a broad network of solutions providers in the automotive space, giving a significant number of dealerships a better way to interact with their customers throughout the entire customer journey, and foster valuable, long-lasting relationships,” Podium chief executive officer and co-founder Eric Rea said in a news release announcing the new partnerships.

Online video provider launches ad-serving TV service with AutoDealerNetwork


Advertising online video provider Vidillion recently announced its partnership with AutoDealerNetwork.TV to provide dealership customers visiting sales and service waiting rooms with up-to-the-minute news, entertainment and targeted and programmatic ad-serving from Vidillion.

Vidillion allows dealers to both feature their own commercials and block any commercials of their competitors.

The new service’s private live TV network to dealerships includes news, sports, travel, lifestyle, business and weather content from the portfolio of networks provided by Turner, a Time Warner company.

“The AutoDealerNetwork.TV product gives dealerships the ability to feature their commercials- whether that means dealership or auto brand specific spots- while blocking competitor's commercials,” Vidillion president and chief executive officer Tom Engdahl said in a news release. “We feel that is a big deal and really brings a level of targeting into a space that can certainly benefit from local spots hyper-tailored for each market.”

More than 50 northern and southeastern U.S. dealerships took part in the initial launch of the content and monetization network in May.

This year, an additional 3,000 plus dealerships throughout the U.S. are expected to launch the service, according to Vidillion.

“A single AutoDealerNetwork.TV set top box and one TV will display approximately 7,000 to 10,000 commercials each month regarding your products and services,” said Dirk Newsome, operations manager at AutoDealerNetwork.TV.

“If multiple boxes are installed in a property, the revenue opportunities and ability to reach customers in a meaningful way with special offers and direct dealership storytelling are exponential,” he said.

Dealerships can install an AutoDealerNetwork.TV set top box for use with existing TVs.

"This service has unlimited uses and can be applied in auto sales & service businesses, but also in healthcare, spa services and any environment where there is a waiting room," added Engdahl.

Karma Automotive celebrates inspiration for logo: the solar eclipse

IRVINE, Calif. - 

During Monday’s total solar eclipse, Karma Automotive took advantage of the rare occurrence with a multi-city shoot along the path of totality.

Titled, “A Day to Remember,” Karma’s special video footage celebrates the historic event and the inspiration behind its own logo.

“The inspiration behind the Karma logo was an eclipse, showing a spark of sun, the eternal symbol of endless renewable energy,” the company said in a news release.

The brand’s Revero model is the first electric extended range vehicle sold in the U.S. to be powered by the sun.

“We felt it was essential to capture this rare phenomenon,” said Karma chief revenue officer Jim Taylor in the release. “It was an opportunity for us to both document the total solar eclipse and produce our own unique content to celebrate the company's ethos to lean on natural elements in what we do.”

Additionally, the front and rear of each Karma vehicle is fitted with individually hand-painted badges of the company's logo.

Hagerty acquires 'Airbnb of classic cars'


Classic vehicle insurance provider Hagerty announced Monday it is stepping into the car-rental space with the company's latest acquisition of the peer-to-peer online marketplace for classic cars: Classics&Exotics.

Hagerty has relaunched this marketplace, which is boasted as the Airbnb of vintage and exotic cars, as DriveShare by Hagerty.

The peer-to-peer marketplace has connected American drivers with classic cars owners from across the country since 2014.

Peter Zawadzki, Classics&Exotics founder has joined Hagerty as director of DriveShare since the acquisition.

"I started this company so people could try out these amazing vehicles and owners could make a little money to defray the cost of ownership, and that's still the mission today for DriveShare," Zawadzki said in a news release. "It's a great way to bring more people into the hobby. What we've seen is that people who rent these cars often become classic car owners themselves."

Many of the vehicles listed are also available for events and special occasions. Hagerty said owners can offer discounted daily rates for event rentals.

Rental prices are set by each owner. Drivers can review each renter's profile to find their rental history and rental certifications.

Renters must be at least 30 years old and approved by DriveShare. There is a sign-up process where DriveShare checks each renters’ driving history to ensure they meet the company’s eligibility requirements.

While rental deposit rates vary because they are set by each vehicle owner, DriveShare requires a security deposit minimum of $500, according to Hagerty.

Additionally, each rental includes up to $1 million in insurance protection and access to a comprehensive full-service roadside assistance program designed for just for classic vehicles.

At no cost to the owner or renter, all DriveShare rentals come with Hagerty Plus, which features 24/7 roadside assistance and access to dispatch operators who understand classic cars.

"DriveShare gives people an easy way to get behind the wheel of cars they've always wanted to drive," said Hagerty chief executive officer McKeel Hagerty. "Our goal is to provide a common platform that connects enthusiasts and owners to expand the community of people who love cars."


Auto/Mate launches new texting engine built into DMS


Auto/Mate Dealership Systems recently unveiled a new texting engine built into its dealership management system designed to help dealers quickly communicate with customers.

Sales and service departments can use the new texting engine for a variety of customer experience related functions, according to Auto/Mate.

"Auto/Mate’s Texting is simpler and far less expensive than most tools currently available in the market," Mike Esposito, Auto/Mate president and chief executive officer said in a news release. "Texting allows dealers to meet customer expectations, have a written record of messages sent and received and improves customer perception of their brand."

The company said its texting engine is designed to be as easy to use as messaging applications on smartphones.

The texting engine also allows users to manage "do not text" records, create message templates and send welcome messages, according to the company.

Dealership personnel  receive  alerts from the DMS when texts from customers arrive.

"The increased opt-in rates and use of messaging allows dealership personnel to communicate with a higher percentage of their customer base on a regular basis, which is critical for establishing and maintaining relationships," Esposito explained.

Additionally, the texting engine can be used by dealerships to follow up with leads and set and confirm appointments.

Texts can be sent to customers from Auto/Mate's CRM.

"Texting is practical in service because it creates a written record of customer approvals and communications that can be used to identify issues within the dealership, retrieve details of discussions, monitor advisors and resolve customer conflicts," Esposito said.

Dealership personnel can use messaging to send service reminders, appointment reminders, service recommendation approvals, vehicle status updates and notifications that a vehicle is ready for pick up.

"We have reached a point where dealerships must embrace and use texting, or they risk being perceived as behind the times," Esposito added. "Our Texting engine makes it easy and affordable for dealerships to implement texting, delivering a better customer experience in both sales and service."