The 2021 Dealers United Wrap-Up
Whoa… 2021 has come to a close! We don’t know about you, but it’s exciting and almost unbelievable at the same time. What we CAN believe, however, is that it was one of our most innovative years yet: we forayed into omnichannel advertising, doubled-down on remote work, and strategized around our industry’s low inventory challenges.
Check out some of the major accomplishments we’ve had over the last 12 months in our 2021 Wrap-Up.
- Chris S., Partnership Manager, and Stefanie B., Executive Assistant, joined the team!
- We launched the 2021 Tax Season Playbook with 20 different assets.
- Dealer-Partner South County CDJR had their first DU Success Story published, detailing how they switched Facebook Ad partners and matched 164 vehicle sales to their new campaigns in just 92 days!
- Our first blog of the year, “8 Resources To Jumpstart Your Dealership’s 2021 Sales Strategy,” hit the presses!
- Shea earned the top performer and Sales Manager of the Month honors!
- We launched our Offline Event Uploader so our dealer-partners could upload their own Offline Events and match their vehicle sales to Facebook Ads.
- We put the finishing touches on our “2021 Essential Guide to Dealership Facebook Ads” resource that was presented at Digital Dealer Now.
- We welcomed Sandra S., Facebook Specialist, Bryan M., Performance Manager, and Craig A., Project Manager, to the team. As of February 28th, we earned the milestone of having our employees #WorkingFromWherever in 15 states!
- The Ad Ops team churned out tons of new playbooks, including campaigns for Honda Zero Percent Event, Ford Truck Month, Nissan Service, and Toyota Certified Pre-Owned.
- Rachel B. got Facebook Blueprint Certified!
- DELLA Mazda was featured for their latest Success Story around their model line and branding campaigns.
- The Marketing team showed dealers how to combat Vroom and Carvana’s brutal superbowl ads.
- We love our Ford Dealers! We added a new page on our website showcasing how our Ford Facebook and Instagram strategy works.
- Many of our dealer-partners were caught showing off some DU swag!
- Jeff C., Sales Development, Melissa B., Performance Manager, Phil M., Head of Ad Operations, and Molly D., Brand Manager, joined the ranks!
- Wow – what a month for our employee certifications! Kristen H., Shea P., and Sarah B. became Facebook Blueprint Certified, and Sandra S. and Chris S. received their Customer Value Optimization badge!
- To be more in-line with Facebook’s Best Practice guidelines, the Ad Ops team began creating new video ratio sizes for all accounts!
- The Creative Team wrapped Q2 with a whopping 110 Model Line Playbooks added to their arsenal!
- We released a new Success Story featuring How Healey Brothers Automotive Matched 193 Sales To Facebook In 1 Month!
- Love shiny objects? We do, too, which is why we couldn’t help but show off our dealer-partners’ shiny new dashboard (+ 6 features they love) in this blog.
- We published our secret sauce behind our Mazda dealers’ Facebook Ad strategies!
- In March, we first began sharing our vision for “Omnichannel” social advertising, where shoppers’ actions are monitored and targeted across more than one or two platforms. (Wait to see how this vision came to life in upcoming months!)
- Katelyn M. closed on her 1st house, and we all competed in a very competitive Egg Decoration contest…(Shoutout to Samantha K. for taking home the win with her rendition of Egg Starry Night!)
- We quickly bolstered all of our technology and client accounts in preparation for iOS 14 changes to ensure they mitigated as many changes to their ad performance as possible, including helping dealers ensure their domain was verified ASAP. (Huge shout out to the entire DU Team for tackling this head-on!)
- Katelyn M. finally got hitched after her wedding was postponed last year!
- With inventory at an all time low, the Creative Team launched a new Buyback Playbook, full of 13 assets. Catch the ad previews here.
- Cody L. was awarded “PM of the Month”!
- One of our long-time team members, Miranda, welcomed a baby girl into the world!!! 👶
- The Marketing and Sales teams gave dealers a look behind-the-curtain into how our Full Suite Advertising package works throughout the Auto Buyer Journey. Watch now!
- The DU Sales Team attended a 3-day Sales Summit to sharpen their skills.
- Andrew R. was promoted to Manager of Customer Experience. Well-deserved!
- Bryan M. closed on his 1st home!
- In our first dive into Omnichannel, we activated ALL U.S. dealer-partners on MSN Autos Marketplace!
- In April, our dealer-partners’ ad spend growth was Up 117% YoY.
- The Creative Team updated the Buyback Playbook to deliver “cash offer” and “buy back event” messaging and released a new version with exclusive creative for our Canadian dealers.
- 4 dealers were featured in our Buy Back Success Story: Nelson Auto Center, Zeigler Cadillac, Paoli Ford, and Dahl Ford! Catch their results here!
- We unlocked our “Got Buy Back Ads?” resource to help any dealer overcome their inventory challenges.
- Chaz S., Support Analyst, joined the team and immediately hit the ground running!
- We hosted our first of many Customer Advisory Board meetings with some of our most innovative partners!
- Lorenz D. bought his 1st house and Nathan P. got engaged!
- 100% of the Client Services Team (Facebook, Creative, Performance, and Partner Teams) got their Snapchat Essentials Certification!
- Bob Boast VW snagged their very own Success Story detailing their 66% YoY climb!
- We helped 3 of our dealer-partners present their “Best Idea” at their 20 Group Meetings.
- The Marketing Team uncovered “Everything Your Dealership Needs To KNow About Snapchat.”
- Did you know Snapchat has an Auto Playbook, just like Facebook?! Check it out here.
- What the heck IS Omnichannel? We put together this Omnichannel website page to explain our new vision and help dealers join our alpha and beta tests.
- What’s better than one Digital Dealer presentation during Digital Dealer Tampa in June? Three! Check out the two speaker sessions we hosted below:
- 27 Questions You Need To Ask About Your Facebook Strategy (Live w/ Pete Petersen)
- Boosting? Marketplace? Ads? How To Choose The Right Facebook Path (Virtual w/ Molly Dennehy)
- Our education breakout, “7 Undercover Direct-to-Consumer Platforms You Need In 2022” was accepted to be presented at NADA 2022!
- Sanjay M. bought his 1st home and Danny W. completed construction of his new home!
- It was a HUGE month for education! Cody L. earned his Customer Value Optimization badge and Lauren B. snagged her Copywriting Specialist badge; Melissa B. became Blueprint Certified; Kristen H., Sarah B., Jordon S., Andrew R., Sandra S. and many more finished their Snapchat Ads Manager & TikTok Ads Academy courses.
- Our CAB (Customer Advisory Board) dealers went LIVE with their Snapchat Ad beta tests, and we began alpha-testing TikTok and Pinterest ads.
- Our remote team was getting stuck in the “noise” of emails, Slacks, and meetings, so we set up an internal 4 hour time block on Wednesdays to help our teams be more productive, where internal communication goes COMPLETELY quiet. (It’s been a huge success!)
- Molly D. hosted our 1st of many external “Learn it Live!” sessions where we dive into the Facebook Automotive Playbook for Dealers!
- Healey Brothers snagged their SECOND Success Story about their incredible Buy Back results…20.6% of their units that were “bought back” were attributed to their Facebook campaigns!
- We restructured our Performance (PM) Team into Pods to increase the amount of attention placed on our dealer-partners accounts.
- One of our dealer-partners, Power Ford, was featured in AdAge for their success on Facebook! Congratulations Power Ford Team!
- We welcomed Liz H. to the team as a Partner Specialist!
- Chaz S. became Facebook Blueprint Certified; Samantha K. became Community Management certified while Joshua C., Melissa B. and Sanjay M. earned their Copywriting specialist badges; Phil M., Miranda K., and Rachel B. finished their Snapchat Ads Manager courses!
- Molly D. established DU’s “First Friday” Newsletter, which recaps the top industry news, DU updates, and more each month.
- Jeff C. made the cross-country move to San Diego, CA!
- We hosted two “Learn it Live!’s” around “Maximizing Fixed Ops”, one of which was joined by Casey Jenkins at Jenkins & Wynne Ford, Honda & Lincoln.
- On September 13th, Facebook removed the ability to post inventory automatically to Facebook Marketplace. Here’s what we did to help our auto dealers navigate this massive change.
- Both CEO Pete and Brooke J. closed on their new homes: Pete’s in New Jersey, Brooke’s in the middle of nowhere!
- Brand new pilot campaigns were launched on TikTok & Pinterest, and we added more A/B tests to our Snapchat campaigns.
- Shout out to the Ad Ops team, who willingly jumped in and aligned under a new team structure, and quickly organized around a new direction!
- Samantha K., Chaz S., Jeff C., and Liz H. all received DigitalMarketer certifications ranging from Data Analytics to Email Marketing specialties, while Jordon S. and Chaz S. got Facebook Blueprint Certified!
- Pete and Molly hosted one of our favorite Learn it Live!’s about the importance of an Omnichannel strategy. Watch it again here.
- WOW! Gearing up for the new year, the Creative and Ad Ops team added 31 new Model Line playbooks, and created 73 templates for 2022 Model Lines!
- Leadership team met in New York for our quarterly retreat for the first time since the pandemic!
- Two more dealer Success Stories got the spotlight in September: Paoli Ford and Jim Baier, Inc. were both recognized for increasing unit sales and profits.
- We launched 3 new product pages on the DU website to educate our dealers on Snapchat, TikTok, and Pinterest!
- The Development and Product teams finalized Omnichannel reporting and onboarding in the Dealers United Dashboard, helping auto dealers easily visualize their results across multiple platforms.
- We unveiled the most powerful tool in the auto industry: the “MarketAnalyzer,” which helps auto dealers determine what channels they should be on, how much to spend on each, and even expected ROI!
- Alix Y. earned her Customer Value Optimization certification, Rachel B. received her Service Software certification for Hubspot, and Bryan M. got Facebook Blueprint Certified!
- We hosted two “Learn it Lives!”: Know Your Audience and The Importance of Team Culture.
- Cody L., Shea P., and Sanjay M. went to Chicago and helped Zeigler present their dynamic and innovative ad strategies to the rest of their auto group..
- We began alpha testing ad campaigns on Pinterest, initiated “Buy Back” campaign tests on Snapchat, and launched full-funnel Messenger-based Lead Forms on Facebook!
- Shea P. had her wedding after needing to postpone it due to the pandemic!
- One of the most popular campaigns this year, the “Custom Order” playbook, was released!
- Kristen H., Rachel B. and Sarah B. were represented one of our Core Values, “Jumping In,” always doing much, much more than their typical job duties.
- Facebook rebranded to “Meta!” Here’s what this means for auto dealers.
- Our team went to Vegas for Digital Dealer and DrivingSales, where we met up with some of our CAB dealers, presented two speaker sessions, and gave away $1,500 in free ads to attendees!
- Our VP of Marketing, Brooke J., was selected for the SRQ Magazine’s 35 Under 35 Competition, which recognizes young professionals who have distinguished themselves with their leadership in the field. Congratulations, Brooke! 🏆
- Bilal M., Frontend Developer, joined the team!
- CarFive presented Dealers United at their 20 Group and won best presentation!
- Our Leadership Team, Directors and Managers all completed a Gitlab + Coursera course on “How to Manage a Remote Team” to help us be better leaders in a remote world.
- Shea earned Sales Manager of the Month, for back-to-back months!
- In honor of one of our Core Values, “Learn and Lead,” many team members set up massive Google Classroom training courses to help our team cross-train and level up!
- We hosted our “Seasonal Mixology” culture event, where we brought in one of Sarasota’s favorite bartenders to teach our team how to make 3 fun drinks, virtually over Zoom! 🥃
- The Ad Ops Team developed new, highly-engaging Black Friday ad creative and campaigns.
- Dealers United sponsored University of South Florida’s, “Brunch on The Bay” event to invest in our young leaders!
- We hosted a Leadership, Director and Manager Retreat in Sarasota, Florida, where we did the Spaghetti Tower Challenge, were inspired by Steve Stauning’s “Ridiculously Simple Leadership” principles, and made huge strides in team building, objective alignment, and amplifying our vision!
- The Marketing team organized one of the biggest events of the year, State of Automotive, “5 Days of Omni-Social,” which gave agencies and vendors access to exclusive interviews with Pinterest, Facebook (Meta), Snapchat, and TikTok, plus over 23 FREE, brand-new resources. Catch the FULL recap here!
- We hosted a local nutritionist in as a team-wide virtual event to help us understand the nuances of all things “nutrition!”
- To celebrate the holidays, the entire team joined in on a virtual White Elephant gift exchange, where some of the gifts included a Burrito Blanket, Baby Yoda NFT, and a Portable Campfire!
- We also hosted a Gingerbread House contest, where the only limit was our imagination…kudos to Justin for taking the “cake” with his New England Sugary Seaside creation! (#1 on the collage below)
- As a gift to all our team members for their hard work this year, we decided to close down our office on the final week of December to give everyone a chance to reset, relax, and be with their family and friends.
That’s A Wrap!
We are so lucky to work with the best team and coolest clients. Thank you for being along for the ride!