The 2017 Dealers United Wrap-Up

Dec 20, 2017 | Company and Events

2017 brought with it a bunch of talented new team members, strong digital partnerships, a collection of game-changing product developments, and BIG company milestones for Dealers United. Check out this 2017 Wrap Up to see everything we did this year:


  • We added 222 new dealer-members in just 31 days thanks to a crazy-successful Facebook ad campaign, and shipped out 222 infamous “Get Out!” buttons!
  • The entire team was registered for training through DigitalMarketer, kicking off DU’s year-long certification obsession.
  • Pete helped install the first-ever Digital Marketing class at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus.
  • Our dealers unlocked the power of Offline Conversions to help measure actual vehicles sales on Facebook.



🖐️  Customer High-Five: Direct Auto Mall received 69 leads from their Facebook Lead Ad campaign for pre-owned vehicles.


  • We finalized “The Perfect Craigslist Template” and added it to our growing resource library.
  • Ava joined Dealers United’s Facebook team.
  • We formed a new team to help manage dealers’ digital accounts: the Performance Team!
  • Pete, Brooke, and Cara became Customer Value Optimization (CVO) certified; Miranda received her Paid Traffic certification.
  • We heard from our dealer-members about an industry-wide market slowdown in new vehicle sales.

🖐️  Customer High-Five: Only Used Trucks in West Palm Beach Florida generated 131 leads with Facebook Lead Ads.


#DMLab party at #TCS2017 #360 #TeamDU – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

  • The DU Team and Darren D’Altorio (our SEO expert) visited San Diego, CA and attended Traffic & Conversion 2017.
  • The Marketing Team went to Arizona and set up some seriously strategic marketing campaigns with Sixth Division.
  • Travis started his webinar series to help dealers combat the new sales plateau and focus on pre-owned sales.
  • We announced our Craigslist Monthly Payment Generator.
  • Dealers United became Digital Marketer’s first automotive Certified Partner.
  • The DU office played a prank on Pete while he was out of office.

🖐️  Customer High-Five: Lost Pines Toyota was featured in our dealership Success Stories after jumping on the Facebook ad bandwagon.


  • The entire team took on the Color Vibe 5k Run.
  • Katelyn joined to help bridge the gap between our Marketing and Facebook Teams, and Corey joined our Performance Team.
  • DU was honored as one of the University of South Florida’s “USF Fast 56,” the Tampa area’s fastest growing companies.
  • We learned some simple but sound advice at Digital Dealer 22.
  • Jenn Hepner and Katelyn became CVO certified.
  • We hosted a “mini summit” and welcomed dealers to a full day of training and collaboration at DU’s headquarters.



🖐️  Customer High-Five: We published Country Hill Motors’ Success Story, “How An Independent Dealer In Kansas Used Craigslist To Drive 581 New Sales Conversations In 30 Days”.


  • Josh was hired as our Controller and Phil became the first addition to our Development Team.
  • The rest of the DU Team earned their CVO certifications.
  • Annette Freetage from Ford of Ventura told us why she loves working with Dealers United for Craigslist and Google PPC.
  • Facebook published Sarasota Ford’s success story on the Facebook Business homepage.

🖐️  Customer High-Five: Valley Buick GMC’s raked in 99 calls, 17 emails, 21 texts and 262 clicks from their Craigslist posts in 30 days and landed the spotlight in our Success Stories.


  • Bill joined Dealers United’s Development Team.
  • DU moved all internal communication to Slack and had a battle about the correct pronunciation of “gif.”
  • Brooke warned dealers to stop pressing Facebook’s Boost button.
  • Heather, Miranda and Ava became CVO certified; Katelyn and Brooke became Content Marketing certified.
  • Our home base in Sarasota, FL was voted best city for young entrepreneurs.
  • Dev Team began the grueling process of normalizing dealerships’ inventory data to easily create dynamic product catalogs.
  • We helped dealers use Make & Model line targeting and interest targeting on Facebook to connect with local veterans.

🖐️  Customer High-Five: Magic City Ford Lincoln reached 8,408 In-Market Shoppers and received 25,179 impressions from their military-focused Facebook campaign

🖐️  Customer High-Five: Valley Buick GMC reached 22,389 In-Market Auto Shoppers and drove 1,285 clicks to their website in 29 days from their “Test Drive For The Cure” Facebook campaign.


  • We had our first toaster oven fire when Brooke burned her bacon in our *new* toaster oven.
  • Our Dev Team launched the biggest expansion to DU’s Facebook program, Facebook Inventory Ads, to help simplify vehicle ads on Facebook.
  • Cara wrote this article to show dealers what’s really happening on their 3rd party listings.
  • Travis suffered an injury from a stray rubber chicken and a new Slack emoji was born.
  • Pete traveled to Austin, TX to visit both DigitalMarketer’s HQ and Facebook’s HQ.
  • We saw just how big an impact removing price from Craigslist posts can make.

🖐️  Customer High-Five: Shelor Motor Mile’s Facebook Inventory Ad campaigns reached 44,123 In-Market Auto Shoppers, drove 3,537 clicks to their VDPs, and were attributed to 63 matched vehicle sales.


  • After Hurricane Harvey, our team joined a fundraising baseball game at Tropicana Field with the Houston Astros.
  • Derek joined our growing dev team!
  • Dealers United and The Cause Network became partners in order to help dealerships support their local communities.
  • We announced our VDP View Guarantee and put our money where our mouth was on our Facebook Inventory Ads program.
  • “Jordan (Jordy) Belfort,” our office’s beloved 5 year old betta fish, said his last goodbye.
  • Pete filmed our first-ever Facebook LIVE video.
  • We launched our 25-part Community Video Series to help dealers tell their unique stories online.

🖐️  Customer High-Five: Lost Pines Toyota added Facebook Inventory Ads to their Facebook strategy and were blown away by the results.


  • Leader Auto Group visited our HQ (again!) for a full day of collaboration on their digital campaigns and strategies.
  • Oracle Data Cloud shared how they work with Dealers United to help dealers use data to paint a bigger picture of auto shoppers.
  • We delivered one of our favorite live sessions, “The Art of PRE-suasion” at Digital Dealer 23.
  • Jim Scott from Jarrett-Scott Ford and Brooke were quoted in this article.
  • We realized not all Facebook Live videos are perfect…
  • Brooke FINALLY (!!!) updated our homepage and resource page.
  • Ava received her Customer Acquisition Specialist certification.
  • Half our team evacuated, the other half hunkered down, and we ALL survived Hurricane Irma.

🖐️  Customer High-Five: Highline Car Connection received 354 clicks, 125 phone calls, 30 emails, and 48 text messages from their Craigslist listings.


  • The team hit a major milestone and took a half day to adventure around Sarasota.
  • We became the first official automotive partners in Oracle Elite Partner program.
  • We shared “The Art of PRE-Suasion” one last time at #DDWNE
  • Katelyn became Social and Community certified.
  • Dev Team created an entire Inventory Ad campaign from scratch using the Facebook API.
  • Pete MC’ed #SRQHacks for the Education Foundation of Sarasota County
  • Derek was promoted from his long-standing role as “Temp”.
  • Our write-up, “Not All Dealerships Are Experiencing A Sales Slowdown: How Dealers Are Coming Out On Top” was featured in AutoSuccess.
  • We celebrated Halloween…

🖐️  Customer High-Five: Hub City Ford matched 13 total sales in 1 month with Facebook Inventory Ads.

🖐️  Customer High-Five: Highline Car Connection used Inventory Ads to drive 17,944 clicks to their website at a CTR of 7.4%.


  • DU sponsored a table at University of South Florida’s “Brunch on the Bay.”
  • Katelyn takes the win for the most DU DigitalMarketer certifications after adding Digital Response and Copywriting certifications to her belt.
  • Brooke’s powerful article was published in The SHOP Mag.
  • Pete served as a panelist at Ringling College’s “Mind the Gap” event to encourage young talent to stay in Sarasota.
  • We celebrated Thanksgiving with our awesome office neighbors, FloorForce!

🖐️  Customer High-Five: Driveaway Motors received over 180 Facebook retargeting leads over the last 2 months.

🖐️  Customer High-Five: Toyota of Wausau ran a “mailer lookalike” Facebook Lead Ad to their direct mail list and generated 6 leads in just over a week.


  • We hosted the STATE OF AUTOMOTIVE webinar with executives from Facebook and Oracle Data Cloud to help dealers unlock secret automotive data in Facebook.
  • The Facebook Team hunkered down to upgrade all New Vehicle Facebook Ads with 2018 models.
  • Luke joined the Dealers United team.
  • Phil made us proud when he landed our team’s first Facebook Blueprint Certification.
  • Our Dev Team published their technology to push Facebook leads directly to any dealer system without the need for a third party CRM integration.
  • CEO Pete Petersen was named to the Gulfcoast CEO Forum’s board of directors.
  • We started drafting the **OFFICIAL** Dealers United Playbook.
  • The DU Team celebrated the holidays the only way we know how: in ugly sweaters!

🖐️  Customer High-Five: Herrnstein Auto Group matched 13 vehicles sold to their Facebook Inventory Ad campaigns in the first 2 weeks of December.

All in all, 2017 was our best year yet with 16 employee certifications, 4 huge product developments, and 8 amazing new team members.

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Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisifed is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

— Steve Jobs

Previous Wrap-Ups:

2016 Wrap Up

Blog Author - Brooke Jensen

Written By Brooke Jensen
Brooke handles all of Dealers United’s digital marketing. In addition to her love for design and copy, Brooke also adores her two dog-like kittens, playing the electric violin, and walking barefoot around the office.

Who is Dealers United?

Dealers United is a game-changing automotive company dedicated to helping auto dealers improve their dealerships. We have helped over 6,500 dealers nationwide cut costs, save time, and sell more cars.

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