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In a previous blog I asked the question, "What will be the buzz at NADA 2010?" Now that the show is over, I have some observations to share.

NADA 2010 was a combination of "sizzle and steak." The show included new technologies, and beautiful vehicle models. There were brick and mortar enhancements for dealers to compete on a retail level. Aftermarket Row provided ways to ramp up fixed operations and used vehicle sales for gaining the dealership "orphaned owners."

The atmosphere was more intimate, featuring a smaller and scaled back exhibit hall. Speaking with attendees and exhibitors, the more personal access and "to-the-point" conversations was a refreshing change from the bloated, party-filled NADAs of the past. The market continues to figure out the digital purchase journey of shoppers to buyers. Dealers and their agencies are working to be more effective at spending automotive marketing and advertising money for better shopper and lead conversion. The magic behind the curtain of behavioral targeting is becoming less of a mystery. And we're all starting to connect the dots of offline and online (digital marketing) activity to help suppliers and dealers figure out ad placement and content when delivering a marketing message that is based on consumer needs.

Overall, the integration of data into dealership portals and dashboards is accelerating and is finally beginning to show that all of this information can be placed into a singular business intelligence tool for making better data-driven decisions.

So, I’ll join the rest of the attendees I’ve spoken with, who enjoyed a new, and different NADA and say that 2010 will be another challenging year. Those that were here will come back with the tools and knowledge to take advantage of a slow, but progressively improving vehicle sales year in 2010.

Posted by Brad Korner, Director - Client Sales & Service, Automotive Retail Solutions, Polk (02.18.2010)

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