Internet director, Barnes Crossing Auto Group
Andrew Warmath’s recipe for success is this: Identify and isolate an opportunity for improvement, become a student of that opportunity and assemble a team to work together to find a solution to win.
Warmath, Internet director at Barnes Crossing Auto Group in Tupelo, Miss., has used this formula in his financial and online marketing roles with the group over the past eight years.
A Kentucky native, Warmath graduated from the University of Louisville with degrees in finance and international business in 2011.
Warmath joined Barnes Crossing in July 2012 after attending a one-year management training program and had brief stints as a salesman and finance and insurance manager. After that, Warmath was office manager for six and a half years — what would now be considered CFO. He helped boost the number of the group’s stores from two to 10 and grow group sales from 300 to 1,200 a month.
“We went from two to 10 stores pretty quickly,” Warmath said, “but once we got to 10 stores, the mindset shifted from, ‘Let’s look externally for opportunities for growth’ to now ‘What can we do internally that we can grow from?’ ”
Warmath took over the marketing and Internet department in early 2019 with much on his mind.
“I needed to improve our overall message of what we were saying to our customers through our advertising. I needed to make sure the message that we had to say was being placed in the right medium, whether it’s traditional, whether that’s some form of digital. The last thing was, once we get that message out and it sticks with somebody and they reach out to us — either through a phone call or a chat or through a website link — are we able to take that inquiry and turn it into a showroom visit?” Warmath said.
“I realized the first two don’t matter unless you have good processes in place that once someone reaches out to you, that you can turn that into a showroom visit.”
Warmath became Google Analytics-certified, studied customer relationship management and vendor reports and examined what was and wasn’t working for the group.
Barnes Crossing was closing only 6 percent of its Internet leads before Warmath took the role. Since then, he has helped double sales derived from online leads.
Warmath also reduced the group’s overall advertising spend from $450 per sold vehicle in 2018 to $215 per sold vehicle this year. The group sells on average 1,500 vehicles a month.
“Once we figured out the follow-up process, then I started diving into our message and where to put that message,” Warmath said.
“If we couldn’t substantiate something, then it was really simple. We would just cut it out and go on to the next [advertising provider or platform]. We leveraged data and went from there.”
— Alexa St. John