Automotive thought leader and entrepreneur Brian Pasch recently stopped by headquarters for a town hall focused on the state of digital marketing in the industry. And Brian had a lot to say, drawing on more than 20 years of experience helping dealerships improve their marketing and operational approaches. He has written five books on dealership marketing, including The Automotive Digital Marketing Playbook and Swimming with Digital Sharks, which provide a blueprint for succeeding with digital marketing investments. We had a lively conversation with Brian about what’s working and what is not – and the role plays as a dealership growth partner. What follows are four key points Brian shared, distilled from his talk and questions he fielded from the audience:

1 Audience quality trumps quantity in automotive

“Dealers are starting to realize that more is not better. Having more website visitors is not better. We have to shift the conversation from quantity to quality. has a unique, high-quality audience. With, dealers can be efficient with their marketing. They can be where the customer wants to be.”

2 Dealerships need to take advantage of social media

“I see social media being a whole new channel of discovery. can give dealers the power to connect with its high-quality audience on Facebook, which gives dealers a competitive advantage. And live video on social is a powerful conversational channel for ready-to-purchase consumers. Sales associates that offer to do a live video walkaround in their dealership are seeing a 50-to-60 percent show rate.”

3 Google AdWords has its limits

“Google has done an amazing Jedi mind trick by getting dealers to believe they can replicate the reach and quality of third-party classified websites, like, with paid search. They’ve convinced dealerships that if they spend enough money, they will get all the shoppers through paid search. Dealers are spending money on AdWords,, Facebook, and other channels and their CRM report roll up the results into a category called ‘website leads.’ So the dealers do not see all the influences that created a lead or a showroom visit.”

4 should stay focused to succeed

“Stay on-plan and don’t worry about short-term gains or distractions. represents one of the best marketing investments a dealer can make because of its audience quality and shopper intensity. should be proud of the quality of the audience that your brand attracts. You are not just another portal. You have a unique audience and unique team.”

Thank you, Brian, for spending time with!