DealerFire is an award winning website and internet marketing firm that caters specifically to the automotive industry.The following are the top 5 highlights from the October 21st SMPNEW’s DealerFire program held at the UW Oshkosh Alumni Welcome & Conference Center:
Eric Hoopman realized that, more and more, buyers were looking to the internet before making car purchases. On returning to Oshkosh he started DealerFire as he quickly realized 4 things:
– Automotive dealers were stuck
– They were reluctant to change
– They needed to conform to web/marketing practices set by auto manufacturers
– Because of the third point, they had no focus on building their specific brand
An early key to success was the realization that the focus should not be on the auto industry, but how people purchase online. For this they looked to leaders such as Amazon.com. A key point is to look beyond your industry for best practices.
They got their first auto client in 2004. By the end of 2005, they had 50 clients. The recession of 2008 hit the auto industry hard, so DealerFire expanded their platform to offer digital marketing and social media in addition to website development.
They attribute their success to being hungry, eager to please and highly motivated, striving to do the right thing while not worrying about scalability.
Early in 2015, DealerFire was acquired by DealerSocket. As part of the agreement, DealerSocket remains in Oshkosh and as the focus of DealerSocket is CRM (Customer Relationship Marketing), the acquisition is a good fit and ensuring long term sustainability of DealerFire and their customers.
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