Dave Rooney: Consumer events help Chrysler group brands remain on car buyers' shopping lists.
Rooney, 50, directs media operations and cross-brand marketing for Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep and Mercedes-Benz in the United States. He develops national and regional media plans for the company's dealers.
Rooney defines media as all venues that make contact with prospects. That includes events -- an area in which the Chrysler group has stepped up its activity.
Rooney estimates the automaker staged more than 650 marketing events last year. He figures those events exposed 18 million consumers to Chrysler group vehicles.
For example, he says, more than 300,000 people attended Camp Jeep last year. The annual event for Jeep owners offers trail rides, off-road driving courses, concerts and outdoor activities.
At last year's New York auto show, Jeep was the first automaker that allowed consumers into its models with an expert driver at an off-road track. Jeep's indoor show display touted the test drives on the track outside the convention center.
Auto show visitors averaged 21 minutes with the Jeep brand that year, Rooney says, compared with seven at the indoor display in 2003. At this year's New York show customers averaged 52 minutes with Jeep, he says. More than 25,000 people visitors took test drives.
Such events help DaimlerChrysler keep its brands on consumers' shopping lists, he says.
Julie Roehm, the Chrysler group's director of marketing communications, credits Rooney with developing an annual "tech day" two years ago. At this year's event, held in late July, he brought in more than 20 small firms to discuss ways of integrating marketing and technology.
Says Roehm of Rooney: "He's always trying to think more about integration."