Jordan Cox is the Digital Marketing Manager at Gates Automotive, a prominent automotive retail group located in northern Indiana. With a strong passion for innovative marketing strategies, Jordan plays a role in the company’s success by overseeing various aspects of digital marketing, including social media, content creation, web design, user experience, branding, and event creation. One of his notable achievements includes creating and producing the podcast, Car Talk, presented by Gates Automotive.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- Jordan Cox’s journey into the automotive space
- What inspired Gates Automotive to start a podcast?
- Jordan talks about his company’s goals for the podcast series Hot Takes
- Gates Automotive’s centers and marketing strategy
- Ilana Shabtay talks about Fullpath’s evolution
- How Ilana transitioned from the army to Fullpath
In this episode…
In today’s competitive market, developing the right marketing strategy is critical to survival. Dealerships have an uphill task of ensuring they remain top of mind for their audience to stay in business.
To beat the competition, be creative in your sales and marketing strategy. Give your customers more value by providing exceptional products and building brand loyalty. Jordan Cox and his team at Gates Automotive leverage the power of podcasting to tell their story. It is essential to experiment to discover what works and does not, and make changes where necessary.
In this episode of the InsideAuto Podcast, Ilana Shabtay sits down with Jordan Cox, the Digital Marketing Manager at Gates Automotive, to talk about building brand loyalty through content. They also discuss spinning podcast content for various media, Gates Automotive’s marketing strategy, and the evolution of Fullpath.
Resources Mentioned in this episode
- Fullpath (formerly AutoLeadStar)
- Ilana Shabtay on LinkedIn
- Gates Automotive
- Jordan Cox on LinkedIn
- Car Talk podcast
- Hot Ones
- First We Feast
- NADA Show
Sponsor for this episode…
This episode is brought to you by Fullpath (formerly AutoLeadStar).
Fullpath is the automotive industry’s leading customer data and experience platform (CDXP).
Fullpath enables dealers to turn their first-party data into lifelong customers by unifying siloed data sources and leveraging that data to create exceptional, hyper-personalized customer experiences.
To learn more, visit www.fullpath.com
Welcome to Inside auto podcast where we feature everyone in anyone you’d want to talk to you in and out of the automotive industry.
Ilana Shabtay 0:13
llana Shabtay here host of the Inside Auto Podcast where we interview top dealers, GM marketers, entrepreneurs and thought leaders in and out of the automotive industry. And before we introduce today’s guest, this episode is sponsored by Fullpath.com Fullpath is automotive, automotives leading customer data and experience platform CDSP. Fullpath enables dealers to turn their first-party data into lifelong customers by unifying siloed data sources, and leveraging that data to create exceptional hyper-personalized customer experiences. To learn more, visit fullpath.com. All right, today we’re welcoming Jordan Cox. Jordan, how are you?
Jordan Cox 0:53
I am great. Ilana, thank you so much for having me on here today. It’s just gonna be so awesome to hang out with you for the next 15 or 20 minutes.
Ilana Shabtay 0:59
I’m excited. i Your energy is just so contagious. I’m excited.
Jordan Cox 1:05
Thank you. I appreciate that.
Ilana Shabtay 1:07
Jordan is Digital Marketing Manager at gates automotive, a prominent I’m one of retail group located in northern Indiana. With a strong passion for innovative marketing strategies. Jordan plays a role in the company’s success by overseeing various aspects of digital marketing, including social media, content creation, web design, user experience, branding and event creation. We’ll get into all that. But one of His notable achievements includes the creation and production of the podcast Car Talk presented by gates automotive. So that’s really cool. We have a podcast host on this episode. And who knows
Ilana Shabtay 1:42
question or two? I don’t know.
Jordan Cox 1:45
We’ll get to that part. Yes.
Ilana Shabtay 1:48
Awesome. And he just launched his latest series hot takes. So are you’re going to launch it later this month?
Jordan Cox 1:54
That’s right. So we’re launching that this week, the in fact, the first episode we’re producing is literally just in a couple of hours. So I’m super excited about it.
Ilana Shabtay 2:01
That is awesome. And you can find out more at Gamespot tix.com, which is very catchy. Thanks again for joining us. You, Alana. It’s been exciting to just get to know you through LinkedIn. And you know, and so, really looking forward to the conversation to get started into like, all the things that you’re doing, which is so much can you tell us how you got into automotive?
Jordan Cox 2:23
Oh, man, that’s a great question. So it probably would have been about 10 years ago, I was with my, with my best friend at the time, which you know, we were we grew up together and all this stuff. And his dad was a sales manager at an independent location where they did German vehicles there. And what he did that really attracted me to that and this is a very bad initial impression of automotive, but he gets to drive a demo home every night. And of course, your 14 or 15 You’re like all dude, that is so cool. You get to see all these cars all the time and experience that. And again, that was like such a bad first impression of that, like when you have a desire to that but after like getting into it and kind of like learning more. I was like, Man, can I work for you one day. So down the road, many years, he I got my first job with him and automotive sales. So that was very exciting to do that. And just the people aspect of it, connecting with others. And I guess helping someone move to what they want to accomplish was just so much fun. And it was such a passion that I found and discovered.
Ilana Shabtay 3:29
That’s really exciting. That’s cool. I love to know, most people that I interview they they like fall into automotive. It’s not necessarily going backwards. Yeah. Want to go into automotive, get some of the fallen and then they and then you’re stuck like you can never get out of it. Yeah. And it’s only getting, you know, more exciting for us lots of things. Yeah. What if now, when it comes to tell us a little bit about your podcast and your series, before we get into marketing stuff that you’re doing at the dealership, which I’m I’m really looking forward to hearing as well.
Jordan Cox 4:00
Yeah. Well, thanks, Ilana. So about a year and a half ago, we had the desire to help tell our story to our community. And there were a lot of different ways we can do that. But we settled on was creating a podcast and then also doing employee spotlight videos in conjunction with each other. So the podcast in episode in Season One, so that was a year and a half ago, what we would do is long form organic conversation. So I kid you not it’s like Joe Rogan style. Yeah, so there were times where they were almost two hours on some of these episodes. And we were able to not only leverage that with on a podcasting platform, but also we could take, you know, small bits and pieces of that. So let’s say someone was talking about the difference in trim levels on a Toyota Highlander. Now we can take that, you know, two to three minutes segment and now spin the content and create media that way. So that was always really cool to do that. Something else that we did, you know, through the organic conversation a lot of times I always tried to focus on why that person was the hero of The episode. So it’s cool to kind of go through that entire storytelling process, discover what kind of struggles they had, and then also how they were able to overcome that. I’m a huge sucker for stories. So that’s really how it started. So we started producing that, and we had a whole lot of engagement.
Ilana Shabtay 5:17
No, that’s cool, because you could also take the transcription of a two hour episode, and then use that for SEO.
Jordan Cox 5:23
Exactly. Exactly. And again, you make that salesperson or that that employee, the person on your team, the hero of that episode, and they are so much more likely to share that with their own community, whether it’s on social media or just in conversation. I mean, they love being a part of this, it was just a huge thing. And I think that’s what made it so successful was that it was our team. It was real people. And it was telling their story. And that’s why we’re able to have over 460 hours consumed in that very first month that we launched, it was nuts, is not secure. Well, thanks. But it’s not something special. I did it was the people that were involved. That’s what really made it successful. So huge props to them. And huge shout out to them.
Ilana Shabtay 6:04
Bands. Awesome. And then tell us a little bit about what we should expect with hot takes, if you can. I want in Seattle, potheads were breaking
Jordan Cox 6:13
up to so that’s right. Yeah, so actually real quick, I want to touch on season two real quick for the podcast. So we actually, and I forgot about that. So on season two, we went ahead and and took it down. Instead of doing like a two hour episode, we really made it more structured and down to like the 10 to 15 minute Mark talks. Okay, so this allows us to have a guest on their talk for 48 minutes, take a short commercial break, and then go into a new segment where we talk about automotive news that matters to the end consumer. So whether it’s GM having Robo taxi issues in San Francisco, or maybe it’s about Wells Fargo, who got fined $4.7 billion. We’d like to talk about the automotive news and how they can help how we can help get that information to the end consumer. So that’s what season two looks like. And then Ilana your question was, what the heck is hotcakes? What can you expect from it?
Ilana Shabtay 7:05
I think that structure is really unique. And it’s interesting how you can like, I always talk about how you can just everyone consumes news very differently. And today, it’s like, I mean, if you look at like the typical newsletter today at a newsletter from from three years ago, it’s it’s completely different. And so I like the aspect of using podcasts to and the guest, and their specialty uses them and then what the consumer might be interested in to consume news. So that’s, that’s really unique. Thanks for sharing that.
Jordan Cox 7:33
Yeah, of course, my pleasure. And just like you said, if you bring that guest in, and you really get their inside perspective on that, we have found that to be so effective. And all you do is really just provide the color of the conversation going on.
Ilana Shabtay 7:46
That’s wonderful. Okay, hot takes give us some hot takes off.
Jordan Cox 7:49
All right, you ready for some hot digs? Here we go. So this is a spin off of a YouTube series called hot ones with Sean Evans by first we feast. And we’re basically taking the same exact structure of what they’ve already done, and they proven works. And we’re basically making the anti interview with local community leaders within our area. So here’s an example. We will have on TV personalities from the basic news stations, the mayor of South Bend, we also have the Elkhart Chamber of Commerce president that’s coming on people that are just influential in our area. And what we do is we ask them extremely, you know, questions that they liked, that are very personable, that they know. So we actually do like heavy research on these guys ahead of time. So we know their lives up and down. Some people, it’s harder than others, because some are ghosts on social media, or in the news, but there’s a lot of great content out there. So you can really help tell their story. So again, it’s not about us. It’s about that guest. And as we go through it, so we’re going to eat wings, and they progressively get hotter as we go. Oh, yeah, I understand
Ilana Shabtay 8:56
what you’re good at posting about, right? Because you’re posting on LinkedIn about wigs. I’m trying to spice you’re like the content and the wings gets bicyclic. Exactly. Love it.
Jordan Cox 9:11
Yeah. And Alana, you’ll see this in the intro part of it. But hot takes is the series with hot wings and even hotter questions.
Ilana Shabtay 9:18
That’s amazing. We don’t what so the anti interview I like what, yeah, because you know, all the information or any and you’re what’s what’s that? Yeah.
Jordan Cox 9:27
So the the anti side of it is so many people that or, you know, here’s a good example, the Chamber of Commerce, President for the South Bend area, we did invite him and we’re waiting to get into confirmation for that. But he’s so used to going on TV series on other local interviews that way, and it’s very structured. So it’s like, Hey, here’s five questions we’re going to talk about with your upcoming project. And that’s it. That way. It’s more about sharing the information that’s going on. And I think what they’re missing is the personal story behind it. So the Chamber of Commerce presents And we want to make it so that we actually get to know him personally so that we can see what made him who he is today. And that’s what I mean by the anti interview because that’s not what the interview is about. It’s about like information or a release coming up or something like that.
Ilana Shabtay 10:15
It’s really cool. It’s are you co hosting that with someone? Is that all you
Jordan Cox 10:19
all hosted? We do have a producer that’s on site with us. So we will have some extra production staff here and there. But man, it’s gonna be so much fun. We did a we did that. So you probably saw we did a test run last week. With the sauces. Yeah.
Ilana Shabtay 10:33
You didn’t know what he’s doing with these wings now? Me? Oh, my God. Yes.
Jordan Cox 10:37
So it’s very crazy. Our producer that we have, and then also a relative of hers. We went over and we did a test run of the wings. Now. I am not a spicy wing guy. So I had to get through it to make sure that I’m putting other people in the hot seat. And I know that they can accomplish it, too. But man, it’s gonna be great conversation that we come up with.
Ilana Shabtay 10:58
Yeah. Oh, that’s so interesting. I love that. I love the like gimmicky stuff. I feel like it’s gonna get awesome. I wish you luck. All the tuning. Thank you. Yeah, now pivoted back dealerships. So gates, how many stores do you oversee? When it comes? Yeah.
Jordan Cox 11:12
So we have for sales and service centers, we’ve also got a body shop. And then here in the next two months, we’re actually opening up another Chevy store. That is a brand new point. That’ll be open probably next month, sometime. But we’ll have a grand opening for that in September. So we’ve got two Chevy. Yeah. Thank you. Appreciate that. Your hands? We should have your points. Yeah, I know. And then a Toyota. And then we’ve got to use points. So we’ve got five main retail retailers. And
Ilana Shabtay 11:41
I’m assuming Well, tell us a little bit about your marketing Strategy. I like talking about this on this podcast, because leadership comes in, they all have their different, you know, strategies, especially when they’re overseeing a few stores, right? Like, do they did the same Strategy for every single store? Or the same vendors, the same technologies? Or do they really have like, a store per store Strategy? Tell us a little bit about how you approach the marketing for games, automotive?
Jordan Cox 12:03
Sure. And that’s a great question. Because, you know, people are either in a small store, and they have to take everything in house, or they’re in a group and they do everything centralized, or they’re in a group and they let their stores make independent decisions, that they’re the right size. And what we do is we try to centralize as much of that Strategy as possible. So all of the all of the merchandising, all of the site development, all of that user experience is extremely centralized. That way, we know it’s consistent between all of our brands. Now, the reason that we do that is because all of our stores are so close together. So if you drive from the two farthest stores, the total drive time is gonna be about 25 minutes. So they’re all they’re all in the same market. They’re all very close together. And I kid you not there are customers who will go through multiple of our stores, you know, not intentionally, but because we have the inventory everywhere. So we want that to be as consistent as possible, vendor wise, messaging wise, and also process wise,
Ilana Shabtay 13:00
right? And also brand really wants them to walk into your store be like, Oh, I’m in a great store. Got it. Yeah,
Jordan Cox 13:04
Ilana Shabtay 13:07
Have you done any drastic changes in your marketing Strategy, let’s say over the past 12 months?
Jordan Cox 13:13
Yeah, that’s a that’s an excellent question. Because I think a lot of dealers need to pivot to what is upcoming. Now, if you look at what we were doing two or three years ago, we were doing the same thing, even 20 years ago, as far as messaging as far as how we do it. It was all sale based. And I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but I think we need to supplement it with general branding. So that’s really why we came up with a solution like our podcast series. You know, a lot of people want to do a podcast, just do a podcast, and there has to be a bigger Strategy behind that and a solution for it. Exactly. A lot of Andy as you know, right? Yeah. People are like, oh, I want to do a podcast, what equipment should I buy? And I’m like, how about you don’t do it on your phone? Get through a few episodes, and then I’ll tell you exactly what equipment to buy. Because you really need to get through that.
Ilana Shabtay 13:57
Jordan Cox 14:00
Yeah, but back to like the messaging in our marketing. You know, three years ago, it was all sale based. And I think that Mueller’s need to pivot to telling their value proposition and what their unique selling points are. So if they can bring the value to that through their messaging and through their marketing, then it only makes it that much more effective. So we’ve tried to supplement as much of that as possible while still doing our sale inventory. So a few examples are, we’ve really been experimenting with name image and likeness availability with NCAA. Last year, we did a meet and greet event with a local Notre Dame football player, which was a huge success. We were able to get foot traffic of 250 people, we were able to get even more branding out of that through social content creation. And I really think that that’s a big Strategy. And a lot of people think of NFL just as like sports or appearances are pretty similar to commercial but it’s bigger than that. And that’s why we’re doing hot takes is that there are communities out there that follow these people that if we can make that guest, that person, the hero of that of that episode, that, then we can reach that audience. So we’re going in with a big hand first.
Ilana Shabtay 15:13
Yeah, relatable. That’s all anyone really wants.
Jordan Cox 15:17
Exactly. And that’s what these people want to. So that’s why it’s easy to do a collaboration with them. They want to be able to get into that in you know, some, some don’t realize it yet. But I guarantee that this will be the most intriguing interview that they’ve ever done. That’s what our goal is. That’s,
Ilana Shabtay 15:34
that’s admirable. But just like what you’re talking about with the sales, messaging, and then shifting the more than brand marketing messaging that resonates with me, and what I’m doing. We just changed our whole Strategy as well, like, two years ago, last year, we were all about the sales messaging, discounts here and there, and then any actual value we wanted to provide for dealers was gated. So like, yeah, hey, hey, study any white paper, like you have to give your details to get now, and that’s typically called, like, you know, lead generation. And we’ve totally changed that to demand generation where we’re opening up everything, we want to provide as much value as possible. And when someone’s willing, and they understand our brand, and they understand that, you know, the challenge and the solution. They’re they’re going to come to us. And I think like that’s kind of the parallel on the tech side. But I’m really happy to see that dealers are also going down, you know, especially gates Automotive is going down that road, because I think that’s really how consumers shop today. It’s all about loyalty.
Jordan Cox 16:29
Yeah, exactly. It’s all about getting that value ahead of time, and then earning their business through that so that they know where to come to, and especially with car marketing stats. So we say that at any given time two to 3% of the market is in the market for a vehicle. Right. So what about the other 98% of your messaging, if you’re doing saturation, you’re really not reaching the right people at the right time with the right message. So what if you pivot away from that and do exactly what you’re doing a full path, Ilana, where you’re giving that value ahead of time, and you’re giving that those details, those white papers, all that value? It works that way?
Ilana Shabtay 17:04
Yeah. create those customers for life all the time. Yeah, exactly.
Jordan Cox 17:07
So I, I would highly recommend that other dealers do the same thing. And I’m not saying that we’re doing it perfect. Do not take it that way. But right now, we’re in a point where we can experiment with that. And we can figure out what works and what doesn’t. And with our podcast that has been such a hit that we want to continue doing that we have employees on, we are going to start transitioning to having outside guests on as well with that. So maybe a lot in the future. You can be on our car talk podcast as well, a lot. I’ve got a few questions for you now. And I know we were joking ahead of time. Yes. Yes. Yeah. Time. So Oh, no, oh, no, no, no, we got to do this real quick. So all right. Let’s see it was so yeah, let’s do it. So we were joking ahead of time about me interviewing you. And now we’re making it a real thing. So Alana, going through some of your history, you’ve been at full path for a while now. So if I understand it correctly, you started in 2013. And you started there when there were when they were only three other people that were at full path at the time, it was auto lead star. So you guys kind of pivoted before you weren’t necessarily an automotive. What made you guys decide to move in focus purely on automotive?
Ilana Shabtay 18:16
Okay, well, here we go. I’m getting interviewed on my own time. The research I started in 2015. When I started, like four or five people, I think I was the fifth or sixth person here. Yeah. And we were outside of automotive, it was company called 40 Nuggets, actually, 40 Nuggets is still technically our parent company’s name. And we worked in SMB. So like any small medium business that wanted conversion optimization, like really smart AI powered, and at the time, it was like pop ups were all the rage. So pop ups, we call them like overlays. But they were basically pop ups. And it was great. We learned a lot. But we really need the space is completely saturated, we really needed to find a vertical and in the vertical, it was important for us to have like low tech so that we can have a high impact at the type. Automotive not low tech, but in the Senate, where we were coming from it felt like it wasn’t as saturated, and then high lead value, because that’s what we were really most of the time. So there were a few other industries that came in to play and then automotive just made the most sense and 2016 here I was like fresh off the boat going to nada have anything about automotive, and it was the most insane experience ever and never looked back.
Jordan Cox 19:28
That’s awesome. And like with you and your history, so you you went and studied psychology, and then you spent some time in the army. So how did you even make that transition at that point to go from being in you know, psychology having a background in the army, how did you know to go to 40 Nuggets?
Ilana Shabtay 19:46
So it’s a great question. I I did a lot of marketing in college and some I worked in a few businesses as well. So I knew I was interested in that. And then when I was coming out of the army which is And you’re getting a kick out of this, aren’t you?
Jordan Cox 20:03
I love it. I love this. Everybody gets to meet a lot of shop take for once I’m doing podcast now.
Ilana Shabtay 20:09
Yeah, this is really just to crop this all out now she’s when I was getting in the army, I really needed to like I really was ready to just find something here in Israel don’t want to army is mandatory. So it was important for me to go through that I learned a lot about just personal growth and instruction and all sorts of things. But I got introduced to the CEO Arne Horowitz through an investor at the time who I’d worked for in previous capacity. So that was really cool. Again, eight years later, here I am. It was actually literally June 2015. So it’s been eight years. Exactly. Wow.
Jordan Cox 20:44
That’s awesome. Congratulations on eight years. Yeah. That’s amazing.
Ilana Shabtay 20:49
It’s really an incredible ride. Yeah, the growth and the pivot to automotive and, you know, we went global and so many a really exciting things changed her name a few times. We’re very good at you.
Jordan Cox 20:59
You are and you’ve nailed this last time. Faux Pas start to finish. You’re hitting everything. What would you say was one of the highlights of your career during those eight years that you’ve been there?
Ilana Shabtay 21:09
Oh, gosh. Oh, my God. Highlights. I actually have to say leading the rebrand from auto auto lead star to full path was a huge really? Yeah, it’s cool. Because it was we were already like over 100 people at the company. We have clients, it was the biggest project I’d ever managed. And it was a really big deal for us. I mean, we had to, like, go out and we had to figure out, Okay, how are we going to make sure that no detail is lost? All the communication is there, our clients aren’t, aren’t like, you know, all of a sudden canceling us because they’re like little slow one thing of every single scenario and it was a it was really exciting. And also it was just really cool to see how it really re energize the company, which was exciting. Yeah. And that was just like a huge highlight.
Jordan Cox 21:57
Yeah, that’s awesome. Well, it seems like even with that rebrand. It’s like a fresh breath that’s going throughout your company, and huge props to you for leading that charge to make that happen. Because I kid you not. One week, it was out of lead star. The next week, it was full path. And I was wisdom on that next week, there was already InfoPath gear. So that’s amazing. I
Ilana Shabtay 22:14
love it. I love it. Whoever that was, yeah.
Jordan Cox 22:19
But awesome job are leading the charge.
Ilana Shabtay 22:22
I have an amazing and amazing, amazing marketing team. And yeah, you’re right. Team and product team. And, you know, obviously it wasn’t it wasn’t just me, but it was really an incredible process.
Jordan Cox 22:32
That’s awesome. Huge shout out to your team for doing that. That’s amazing. Hey,
Ilana Shabtay 22:35
wow. Okay, so Jordan, do you want to just come and co host this podcast with me because we get to go on and on. I have to give it to you. Your idea. I appreciate you flipping the script.
Jordan Cox 22:51
It was a challenge was fun.
Ilana Shabtay 22:53
Thank you so much for joining us today. It was really fun hanging out with you. And I’m sure I’ll have you back on the podcast. It’s been really
Jordan Cox 23:00
fun. Being Ilana, thank you so much for having me on this today. And I look forward to connecting with you more in the future and even doing some collaboration stuff. I’m looking forward to that. That’s the future. That’s what it is. Yeah,
Ilana Shabtay 23:08
I love it. I love it. For those who liked this episode, please tune in inside auto podcast.com You can find us on all your favorite favorite streaming channels. Thanks again, Jordan.
Jordan Cox 23:18 Thank you.
Outro 23:23 Thanks for listening to inside auto podcast. Check out our other episodes with top entrepreneurs and industry leaders.
Electrical Charging Solutions for Electric Vehicles With Rich McNulty
In this episode of the InsideAuto Podcast, Ilana Shabtay is joined by Rich McNulty, the CEO of Blue Whale EV, to talk about electrical charging solutions for electric vehicles. Rich shares tips for efficiently charging electric cars, the benefits of charging with solar energy, and the future of the EV industry.
Cultural-Based Marketing and How To Leverage AI To Support Dealerships
In this episode of the InsideAuto Podcast, Ilana Shabtay interviews Adam Dennis, Founder and Principal of SurgeMetrix, about the dynamics of cultural-based marketing. They also discuss the benefits of building mobile-responsive websites and leveraging AI to create audience-specific organic content.
Brand Loyalty and EV Strategies for Dealerships With Eric Barbosa
As digital marketing continues to evolve, dealerships are struggling to establish an engaging brand. Consequently, loyalty has decreased. How can you create a unique brand that stands out from competitors?
Eric Barbosa, the Vice President of Variable Operations at Cavender Automotive Group, joins Ilana Shabtay in this episode of the InsideAuto Podcast to talk about brand loyalty in the automotive space. They also discuss Cavender’s electric vehicle strategy, the operational differences between small and large dealerships, and the benefits of pre-ordering EVs.
Fill out this form to schedule a personalized demo today!
We just need a few more details so we can personalize your demo.
Sign up for our newsletter!
We value privacy and would never spam you. We will only send you important updates about Fullpath.