Andrew Riffee, 39
Chief marketing and technology officer, Dimmitt Automotive Group
Andrew Riffee's auto career began with a Nissan 350Z.
In 2005, Riffee was looking for the sports car on Nissan's website when he happened upon a careers tab. He found a job posting for an entry-level marketing position, applied and was hired. Eventually, he moved into a field representative role, first for Nissan and then for Southeast Toyota Distributors.
That's when one of his clients, Dimmitt Automotive Group in Clearwater, Fla., came calling. Riffee ultimately agreed to join the dealership group, starting in June 2019.
"It's been a really fun ride over these past 16 years," Riffee said. "If I had a time machine and could speak to myself when I was 21 or 22, I would have said, 'Run the exact same play.' "
One of the first goals Riffee was given at Dimmitt was to centralize and modernize the group's business development center. That project included the renovation of the second floor at a Cadillac dealership in Clearwater to house BDC agents who previously worked at different stores.
Riffee restructured more than just the center's physical workspace. The entire process changed, he said, from rewriting word tracks and templates to restructuring pay plans and performance metrics.
"It created much more accountability," he said. "Because of our reporting and analytics, it helped identify which agent needed support and coaching and development on a variety of different topics."
As a result, BDC-set appointments increased 22 percent from the point the centralized BDC began operating in November 2019 through this past spring, he said. Appointments that led to sales rose by more than 20 percent, which equates to about $15 million in additional revenue for the group.
Riffee also boosted Dimmitt's bottom line by eliminating inefficient marketing spending and investing more in digital channels that he said are easier to measure.
Dimmitt evaluated all its marketing providers, renegotiated contracts on a groupwide basis and changed its agency of record, he said. Those changes saved the group more than $1 million in 2020.
"We're selling more, and we're paying less to do it," Riffee said. "So we're reaping the benefits twofold."
— Lindsay VanHulle