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Celebrating 100 Episodes of the InsideAuto Podcast: Mashup Episode

  • April 16, 2024
11 min read
Celebrating 100 Episodes of the InsideAuto Podcast: Mashup Episode

Ilana Shabtay
VP of Marketing, Fullpath

Ilana Shabtay is the VP of Marketing at Fullpath and the esteemed host of the InsideAuto Podcast. She is an experienced marketer, innovator, and growth hacker with expertise in digital marketing, artificial intelligence, and automotive. Ilana is also a Dealer Marketing Expert Panelist.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [0:21] Why traditional metrics are no longer the gold standard in automotive marketing
  • [0:52] The value of participating in automotive communities 
  • [1:14] The importance of ad copy relevancy and creativity tailored to your market
  • [1:40] Creative storytelling techniques and their surprising role in the industry
  • [2:07] Top tips before starting a vehicle acquisition center 
  • [4:22] Strategies for setting up client’s success for first time buyers
  • [5:25] The power of networking within exclusive industry groups
  • [5:42] How interest rates are influencing consumer behavior and dealership operations
  • [6:33] Empowering advice for women and minorities in the automotive industry
  • [7:02] The rapid advancements in AI technology in the automotive sector

In this episode…

Ever wondered how the automotive industry’s brightest minds navigate its challenges? In this 100th-episode mashup, Ilana Shabtay highlights the importance of shifting from outdated metrics to more impactful ones like leads and cost-per-lead. She also emphasizes the role of community-driven platforms like Auto Genius in advancing automotive marketing practices.

The episode discusses a rich blend of insights, from crafting effective ad copy with Dustin Schuler to discussing data privacy concerns with Nick Williams. Topics range from the transformation of radio marketing to the significance of continuous learning and adapting to market dynamics.

In this special mashup episode of Inside Auto Podcast, we revisit key moments and discussions from 100 episodes with host Ilana Shabtay, providing an overview of the evolving landscape of automotive marketing and the strategies employed by industry leaders to stay ahead.

Resources mentioned in this episode

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 

Episode Transcript

Intro  0:03  

Welcome to InsideAuto Podcast where we feature everyone and anyone you’d want to talk to you in and out of the automotive industry. InsideAuto Podcast hit 100 episodes, and to celebrate, we’re getting you a mash up of some of its finest moments. Let’s dive in.

Ilana Shabtay  0:23 

Bob also has, you know, been everywhere in the past year. And he talks a lot about making sure that you have the proper metrics in place, and you’re not just reporting on metrics that really don’t matter. So for example, impressions and clicks. Well, that used to be exciting, that’s not exciting anymore. Because you want to know your leads, or you want to know your cost per lead, and you want to know how efficient your marketing is when it comes to the leads rather than impressions. 

Ilana Shabtay 0:52

Are you an OG AG? Are you an OG? 

Joe Brown  0:55  

Pretty close to it. I could call myself an OG AG, yeah.

Ilana Shabtay  0:58  

That’s great. Okay. Ben, if you’re listening, Kyle, if you’re listening, OG AG.

Joe Brown  1:03  

There you go. I love that. You know, you interact. So for people that don’t know, auto genius is primarily a Slack community of some of the sharpest minds in automotive with a big emphasis on marketing. 

Dustin Schuler  1:14  

So they don’t know the ad copy, they just don’t paint a check. And you know, some of these, it’s $10,000 20,000 apps a month, they add up super quick. But you gotta be able to look at the creative, you have to be able to know because you know, your market better than anyone else, you know, your customers that come in every day, does that ad copy actually speak to the customer? Or is it you know, sometimes there’s cases where simple is better. But there are other times where, you know, it’s not really relevant to your market. 

Nick Williams  1:40  

It’s when things are going rough is when you start to be like, Alright, so what’s this? What’s this provider doing? What are they doing for us? What is this, you know, how well is just performing? How well is this not working? You know, I think soon we’re gonna be able to get a real, true, clear path. And now, you know, some of these providers might be in trouble in the future, because we’re gonna start to see that they’ve been selling our data anyway, to maybe constantly you know, because, you know, allowing consumers to see different, you know, content of our dealership that they might have already seen anyways.

Josh Detzel 2:07

If anybody is trying to or thinking about starting a vehicle acquisition center. I’ll tell you a couple things number one. It’s incredibly difficult. Okay Um, it is not something that happens overnight um, and in the beginning you will lose money, um, it takes time and um, And patience like you said but in the beginning, you know, we were barely breaking even and fast forward we’re still under a year in the making and um, we are and this is just the beginning.

Ilana Shabtay  2:41  

Is it still like that with radio? 

Ally Piñon 2:44

Um, I don’t think not so much as, as it was before when I was selling it. Yeah. Because we still when I was in radio, we started diving into digital marketing. And so obviously, like their radio ads would be more driven to digital. So we would have to offer a digital plan for them. So like their budget was getting cut in half and moved into digital, or more than half really like 25 percent. 

Don Erwin 3:10

I think two challenges, having someone who really has grown up in the car business and understands the importance of data has actually sold a car who actually has managed to deal with those sort of things uh and and then not being afraid of it. If you want to improve you’ve got to look at the historical data uh and then make future judgments and future decisions off of what the past has shown you.

April Simmons  3:33  

My storage, majorly, because I watched this happen in the 2008 crash, which we dealt with and got hit with heart just before that, you know, you didn’t have to have any skills, you could sell cars, and it was easy. And you know, it was not a problem. And then 2008 hit, and boom, suddenly, you had to really have the best skills, the best service, you had to do the things that nobody else would do. 

Sean Western 3:58

Coming into the industry, you know, like whether you’re, you know, You’re a member, you’re you’re new to automotive digital marketing, to kind of see what everyone else is doing and to kind of get a good foundation. You know, conferences like Digital Dealer are great. But I wish there was almost like, you know, it’s a great digital marketing auto, you know, one on one, we want to get to the stage stage two, and go beyond that. And that’s kind of, you know, where, where we’re at now.

Jeff Revilla  4:22

People are intimidated, you know, when you’re walking on to a dealership, or especially if you’re a first time buyer. So if you can alleviate that and kind of set them up for success before they even walk in. They’re not like these guys, right? These brilliant guys that create content that crushes and can talk on camera and all that. But no, they’re just regular people. And if they can see themselves in them, then it’s just going to create an opportunity for them to apply. And actually, we had a lot of applications come in because of that.

Erin Sparks 4:52

I think a really good analogy for that, that I learned early on, was that you kind of look at your entity and your business as like, a highway, right? You have the highway and say you’re in a tunnel or anything like that, you can’t jump off the side and go completely rogue. So you’ve got some barriers there that are going to keep you all going in the same direction. But that doesn’t mean you want to be in the same lane.

Ilana Shabtay  5:16 

I’m sorry, I interrupted you, though. You said you’re going through your people. Yep. And then there were a few companies on that list. You companies. Were there people associated with those companies that you have?

Matt Lasher  5:25 

For sure. I mean, most of the companies aren’t unknown to me, right? So I do think it’s a challenge for a startup company or somebody that’s getting established to build these relationships with dealers that NADA, because like me, like, I feel like I’m like a fish being gobbled up by like, the water or whatever. Like everybody’s hunting for dealers.

Anthony Cameron 5:42

The answer is the obvious, which is interest rates, right? That’s impacting everyone from consumers to the buying hate behaviors and habits to the carrying costs for inventory. Right? So you gotta run track and run as soon as possible. Right? That’s a little can’t. The biggest challenge I’d say is that we’ve had hats off to Matt and Karina, they’ve, they’ve the deal family, because I saw I just read an article in automotive news where they were top seven.

Daniel Govaer  6:11 

One of the things that’s very important to us is to give every team member the opportunity to speak candidly with their manager at least once a month. It insists upon the managers to ensure that that happens. And these discussions, these are one on ones that aren’t performance related. This is talking about how good the foundation is, between you and us, and how good is your foundation when you’re not here. 

Liza Borches 6:33 

I’ll try to dial it into just a couple of key points first. I think if you are currently a woman in automotive, and we are certainly in a male dominated industry, but I always say embrace it and use it as an opportunity to stand out. You know, sometimes you could be the only female in the room, if you’re the only minority in the room. If you’re the youngest in the room. That’s your opportunity to shine. And sometimes we shrink in those situations. And I always encourage women when you’re the only one in the room, this is your opportunity to stand out.

Jacci Grillo Noto  7:02  

Engaging in technology, like the vi360 Like AI. Let’s talk about this for a minute. We are moving so fast. In the space of AI, right, we now have text and video AI that’s come out and there are companies with call centers that are really ahead of target development right now.

Ilana Shabtay  7:29  

Thank you so much for joining us today. Thanks for your time and if you liked this episode, please tune in

Outro  7:38 

Thanks for listening to the InsideAuto Podcast. Check out our other episodes with top entrepreneurs and industry leaders.

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