From David Metter | President, AutoHook
There are two questions that have been asked of me several times over the past few months during my time speaking at conferences, interacting with clients, and hanging out within our family and friend circles. The first one pertains to our recent acquisition by Urban Science and the second one is connected more to the holiday season that is currently upon us. If you know me, I have never been one to shy away from a question and have enjoyed answering them so much that I thought I would make it the focus of my annual AutoHook year-end salute.
So let's tackle the first one.
1. How is the recent acquisition going and what does this mean for AutoHook and its clients?
The best way I can describe the AutoHook purchase and transition into the Urban Science company and culture: refreshing. When you have multiple companies that want to acquire your “baby,” it makes you feel good. That feeling quickly leaves you as the process gets maddening. Things never move as quickly as you want, and business people do strange things. I was fortunate to be connected to a number of “mentors” who had gone through this process and helped me to stay focused and calm (most of the time) as we made decisions on where we would best fit as a team and solution set. I can confidentially say that Urban Science was the perfect fit not only for us at AutoHook, but also for our clients and new prospects looking to drive customers into their showroom and increase sales in 2016. Anytime you can align the industry’s best data provider with near real-time data on car sales, lead scoring and enhancement solutions, customer service history, (I can go on and on) and marry it up with the industry-leading execution engine that works on websites, mobile, third party sites, email, and social channels, it sets the stage for great success in 2016. A few of our OEM clients are already reaping the benefits of the acquisition, and our enhanced dealer solutions aren’t far behind. This was my ultimate goal and what I wanted to do when I was the CMO at MileOne, but had to get a bunch of vendors to work together with the limited, fragmented data available at the time. This is an exciting time for us as we have already established great solutions and built and maintained one central rail system that a manufacturer, agency, dealer group, or single franchise dealership could utilize with multiple vendors. The entire AutoHook team came along for what should be a great ride. Check out the video to see how Urban Science and AutoHook plan to execute for you in the coming year.
Now, on to the second question.
2. What am I thankful for this holiday season?
First & foremost, I am thankful for my faith in God. I know that's not the PC thing to add to an industry newsletter, but it is the absolute truth. It has changed me and allowed me to serve others well instead of serving myself. Second, I am certainly thankful for my wife, Loni, who was my main sounding board during the 127 day due diligence period. As some of you know, she is an industry veteran as well. It's nice to have someone who can empathize with the day-to-day curve balls that the car business can throw at you. Speaking about the car business, I am very thankful for the industry that we work in. It has blessed me beyond anything I could have ever imagined when I started selling cars at Dave Dennis Jeep, Mazda, VW in 1990. It has provided for my family beyond our needs, allowed me to build multiple technologies, meet and work with some unbelievably intelligent people, and have the ability to help others build and enhance their careers on both the dealer operations and automotive technology sides of the business. If I left the industry right now, I would feel fulfilled...
But that’s not going to happen. Most technology transactions are an exit strategy. This was always positioned as a growth move and just three months in, the evidence is starting to show. The AutoHook and Urban Science teams are already synergistic. The product roadmap includes four new or integrated solutions (one of which has already been built), and we are firing on all cylinders. If you are a student of our industry, you know that this rarely, if ever, happens in three months, let alone in the first year. But the proof will be in our offerings, the data evidence, and the support of our customer base. Keep an eye on our process. You won’t be disappointed.
On behalf of the entire AutoHook team, I would like to wish you, your family, and your work colleagues a very happy, healthy, successful Holiday Season, and a safe and wonderful New Year!
Want to hear more about the AutoHook acquisition? Watch the video interview highlights with David Metter & Rod Wright.