The Situation: What do you do with all those Best Practices & How-To articles published everywhere, everyday – if you can actually find them buried in the magazine copy and then figure out how to implement those new ideas in your dealership..
The Real Situation: Dealer managers are always looking for new ways to do things: better processes, more technology, smarter people and spectacular ideas. These so called “Best Practices” come from trade magazines & e-newsletters, NADA literature, consultants’ words and websites, and fellow dealers. Everybody has a better idea, and we all want to see if it will give us an advantage, a breakthrough … and we sure as heck want to sell more cars.
Most Recent Best Practices Publication: If a copy of Automotive News actually made it off the GM or Principal’s credenza and into your hands, you thumbed through nearly 50 pages of a special slick cardstock covered insert called “A Collection of Best Practices” sponsored by Ally Auto (which had to cost them $100K to produce and advertise).
Presentation of Best Practices – Not the Best Presentation:
First off – Editorial Content in magazines and newspapers (and definitely in trade magazines) is NOT edited, laid out, or presented for easy, quick reading and understanding.
You get long sentences in longer paragraphs, non-engaging headlines and topical sentences – no subheads or sidebars – not even occasional blow quotes to show who brilliant the source of the story is.
Where have all those Best Practices Gone? In the case of this Automotive News Best Practices insert, there is exactly one summarizing side bar on Page 4 that quickly and visually outlines all the great ideas that Gary Daniels has for his fellow dealers. If you as a dealer manager wanted to “get” or read or grasp the best practices in the other 35 BP reviews in the rest of the insert, you would have to plow through each of them with a black pen to find and mark the “best practices” that you could possibly use in your dealership. It is ALL vanity unless you “dig in” and read and study the fine print.
Magazines & Newspapers Layouts are Obsolete: This old style of writing and laying out content is restricted to Automotive News, or Automotive Fleet, or Forbes. This and nearly every issue of the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and Automotive News has the same complex, hard to read, jammed together, un-summarized, continued on page X, and paragraphs of blah- blah information that only old retired people or anal journalists will read. No one has time to read all this stuff. Tell me what it is; Tell me now and tell me what it means. I gotta go.
What we need and what will we read? Newspapers and magazines needed to save trees and publish half the number of pages, shorter articles. They need engaging heads, every paragraph with a sub-head with summary lists of content in boxes, sidebars presentations, and infographics out the Wazoo. And even smaller print ads. Place footnotes, QR Codes, and related stats down the right hand side of the page. In other words: show me immediately why I should read all this stuff and what it means. Why is it important or significant? And what should I be doing about it. In other words: So? And So what?