One of the biggest reasons that we started Dealer Authority in the first place was because of the high level of smoke and mirrors used by many automotive digital marketing vendors. It’s not just during the sales process. Many of them seem to be addicted to doing everything they can to prove they’re delivering good search, social, or content marketing products. Unfortunately, the majority spend more time and effort trying to convince dealers that it works than actually making it work effectively.

Having gone through the vetting process with industry expert Steve Stauning, I can tell you this: he’s thorough. He understands that there are so many smoke and mirror peddlers out there and his goal during the vetting processes is to sniff out the difference between what they’re pitching and what you can actually get from it. In the video series below, what I call “smoke and mirrors”, Stauning is calling “snake oil”. In this case, they’re one in the same.

In these Short & Sweet videos, Stauning is spot on with his assessments of how dealers can be tricked and he offers advice to dealers on how they can dig beyond the fluff and get straight to the important items in the vetting process. I wholeheartedly agree with all of his recommendations but one: “wait until they’re big enough.” It’s easy and self-serving for me to say that I don’t think dealers should wait until a company has 50 or 100 clients before selecting them because there’s a high likelihood that I will never have 50-100 clients.

My goal is to offer services to a handful of dealers that want to absolutely kill it when it comes to search, social, and content marketing. I can say with 100% certainty that what I deliver to 20 or so dealers will be in a completely different league than what anyone with over 100 clients could possibly deliver. Dealers that are looking for a scalable solution (such as large dealer groups and OEMs) should definitely take Stauning’s advice on the matter, but a dealership or small dealer group that wants the highest level of personalized, nimble, and cutting edge service possible should not dismiss a company like mine just because we don’t want 1000 clients.

With that disclaimer out of the way, I agree with everything else in these three videos. Watch and learn from someone who’s mastered the art of vendor vetting.