Key Takeaways from NADA Show 2019

January 30, 2019

Key Takeaways from NADA Show 2019 -

Another fantastic NADA Show is in-the-books. Was it just us or did this one seem to go even faster than usual? Between the expo floor and all of the amazing speakers, we took a lot away from the event and can’t wait to put it to work with all of our teams. Here are just a few of our biggest takeaways from NADA 2019.

1. Data is Power

Of course, we already understand the power of data for sales and marketing. Data drives everything we do. It was good though to hear Peter Leto, Head of Industry – Automotive Retail Sales, U.S. at Google, speak about this on the first day of NADA. During his super session on Thursday, he told the audience that “data is power. It’s what can differentiate your marketing today.”

Data is a blessing and a curse for a lot of folks in the automotive industry. Dealerships have a mountain of data that they can put to good use in their marketing, however, managing it and getting it organized is always easier said than done. With the focus on data at NADA this year – not to mention all of the other news buzzing around the industry – it’s clear that being data-driven needs to be a big priority on every dealer’s list in 2019.

2. Breed Fearless Leadership

Leadership, in all shapes and sizes, was another big theme for the sessions at the show this year. Attendees had the opportunity to hear from Carey Lohrenz, the first female F-14 Tomcat Fighter Pilot in the U.S. Navy. As a Fighter Pilot in the Navy, Lohrenz is among an elite class of fearless leaders. In her session, she talked about her experience in that fast-paced, dynamic environment and how she and her team worked together to solve problems and perform at the highest level.

Lohrenz told the audience that if they want their businesses to operate at peak performance, “it’s going to take each and every single person on your team to be a fearless leader. You have to get aligned and move forward quickly.” It’s certainly great advice for dealers as the auto industry continues to undergo so many rapid changes with new technology constantly changing the landscape. After all, the more agile you are, the easier it is to stay ahead of the competition, right?

3. Stay Close to Your Customer

Kat Cole, COO and President, North America for FOCUS Brands, offered some valuable insight to her audience. She told them that “the most important thing is to stay close to the customer,” not only listening to what they want but knowing how to meet those needs. She advised the leaders in the room to speak with “the people who are closest to the action, the sales team, the service techs,” because “they know what the right decision is for the business long before the leaders do.” That piece of advice is hopefully something that those leaders will take back and put to work for their organizations.

One of the other highlights from Cole’s session was about how you view the competition. She said that “anytime someone says ‘that’s your competition, they’re going to kill your business,’ I immediately go to that CEO and find out how we can partner.” That type of approach is a bit trickier when applied to the automotive space, but an interesting idea nonetheless. It’s certainly, at the very least, a creative solution for growing business in increasingly competitive markets.

Final Thoughts

Obviously, these are just a few highlights from NADA Show 2019, but we could go on all day so we’ll keep it short. Want to share some of your favorite moments or takeaways from the event? Share them with us in the comments below!


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