DETROIT -- ADP Dealer Services thinks its acquisition of digital marketer Cobalt Group Inc. will help dealers solve one of their biggest bugaboos in online selling: a lack of coordination with automakers.
ADP, a giant in dealer management systems, offered Web marketing tools before last month's $400 million buyout of Cobalt. But its BZ Results service lacks the ability to sync with manufacturers' incentives and promotions.
Conflicting Web marketing can flummox potential buyers who might arrive at a dealership for a promotion or deal they found online, only to hear a different message on the showroom floor. "We can help dealers to make sure their virtual showrooms and real showrooms are the same," ADP President Steven Anenen told Automotive News.
Cobalt's Web marketing platform helps 11 automotive brands and thousands of dealers and regional groups market online to potential customers and owners through services such as display ads and by making Web sites search-engine-friendly. Integrating promotions across the spectrum can prevent sending mixed messages to buyers.
"The key strategy is for dealers to spend their marketing money to reinforce the important marketing initiatives that the manufacturers have going," said Cobalt CEO John Holt.
For example, if Chevrolet decides it wants to promote a new lease deal on the Equinox crossover, Cobalt's system can display that on every Chevrolet dealer's Web site with the push of a button.