How many of you have read the book by Scott Davis, The Shift? For 9 years now, it has been my inspiration in marketing.

What Davis says is that nobody is in a better position to drive growth in a business than marketing. Nobody is in a better position to do that. It’s because marketing crosses all customer segments, products and services.

That visibility into the entire product lifecycle gives you access to data about what’s going on with the customer that nobody else at the dealership has access to, and most don’t have as part of their responsibilities.

Marketing is progressively being tied to all things internet, data, behavioral intelligence, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things. These things are happening now in our industry, and marketing is in the middle of stitching them together at the dealership. That puts you in a unique position to be able to own customer growth at your dealership.

Here’s the self- test for you: Can you nod in agreement to the following statement: ‘I am the growth leader for my dealership.’

It’s a difficult question and generates all kinds of responses.

With all the tools you’re going to be hearing about here at the Summit, you can say “I’m going to go generate leads. I’m going to go execute a campaign and look at conversion rates. I’m going to go do some tactical thing with the dollars that I’ve been given, then I’m going to show that I moved some needle.”

And that’s a small victory. As marketers, the investment to be made in you will vary proportionately to your ability to show those outcomes. If you’re committed to generating the lead, yet don’t know if the lead ever converts into a sale, then the investment in marketing won’t increase much. If you believe in what you’re doing, that it will drive growth and that it’s being underinvested in, then start by deciding to own business growth at your dealership as a marketing leader.

“As marketers, the investment to be made in you will vary proportionately to your ability to show those outcomes…”

All of us in this room are marketing leaders. You just heard that you are in the top 1% for being in this room today. Start with just one campaign and use that as your business outcome measurement. Say, “I’m going to go all the way through, end-to-end, and show the business outcome that I can drive growth in this product support area or in this wholegoods sales area, etc. How far you go and what you do with all the tools depend on whether you believe you can own customer growth.

It’s not easy going in everyday marketing life, especially with all the “Buccaneer Marketing” that is still out there. But keep after it and own the growth at your dealership. That’s the most important thing.

Titan Machinery’s Jeff Bowman: 7 Key Changes to Transform Dealership Marketing

#1. Own Customer Growth: ‘Nobody is Better Suited to Drive the Growth Agenda Than the Head of Marketing.’

#2 Build the Waterfall: Align Marketing, Sales & OEM from Top to Bottom

#3. Brand Beyond the Iron: “Is Our Brand Presenting the Image You Want Across Thousands Upon Thousands of Interactions With Customers?”

#4 Pull The Triggers: From Dirt to Decisions: Unearthing the Value

#5 Make Moments Core to Your Business

#6 Finish Strong Online

#7. Change the Game