Aharon Horwitz is the CEO of AutoLeadStar, a company that uses innovative technology to help car dealerships successfully engage online buyers. Their software automates a dealership’s marketing funnel and provides them with around-the-clock services to drive quality traffic to their websites. AutoLeadStar works with over 30 OEM brands and has been featured in over 10 auto publications, including Dealer Magazine, Auto Dealer Today, and Car Biz Today.
Ilana Shabtay is the Vice President of Marketing at AutoLeadStar and the host of 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:
- Aharon Horwitz talks about the launch of AutoLeadStar’s Customer Data and Experience Platform (CDXP)
- How car dealers have been responding to AutoLeadStar’s CDXP
- How the launch of AutoLeadStar’s CDXP went and the company’s future plans
- Why CDXPs are important and what other players in the automotive industry are doing
- What Ilana Shabtay is currently excited about
In this episode…
Data plays a very important role in the growth and success of car dealerships. Not only does it help dealers learn more about their customers and products, but it also helps in driving digital marketing strategies.
However, dealers need to have the right infrastructure to organize and use this data. This is where a customer data and experience platform (CDXP) comes in handy. It makes it easier for dealers to own their own data, focus on strategic growth, increase efficiency, and provide more value to customers.
In this episode of the InsideAuto Podcast, co-hosts Aharon Horwitz and Ilana Shabtay sit down to talk about the recent launch of AutoLeadStar’s Customer Data and Experience Platform (CDXP). They discuss the benefits of CDXPs, how dealers have been responding to AutoLeadStar’s platform, and what other players in the automotive industry are doing.
Resources Mentioned in this episode
- AutoLeadStar’s CDXP
- Aharon Horwitz on LinkedIn
- Ilana Shabtay on LinkedIn
- Sean Western on LinkedIn
- The LAB Miami
- Mollie Monett on LinkedIn
Sponsor for this episode…
This episode is brought to you by AutoLeadStar, a company that helps car dealerships engage quality customers on the web and convert them into car buyers.
Co-founded by Aharon Horwitz, Yishai Goldstein, and Eliav Moshe, AutoLeadStar’s state-of-the-art software automates a dealership’s entire marketing funnel and provides around-the-clock service for dealers.
Visit their website at www.autoleadstar.com to learn more about their around-the-clock marketing service.
Welcome to InsideAuto Podcast where we feature everyone and anyone you’d want to talk to you in and out of the automotive industry.
Ilana Shabtay 0:14
Ilana Shabtay here with Aharon Horwitz, co-host of InsideAuto Podcast where we interview top dealers, GMs, marketers, entrepreneurs and thought leaders in and out of the automotive industry. Aharon, it is so good to be back. It’s been three months, three and a half months.
Aharon Horwitz 0:31
Welcome back. A lot of action in the last few months.
Ilana Shabtay 0:34
Yes, I’m super excited about today. Before we introduce today’s topic, though, let’s quickly talk about this episode. It’s sponsored by AutoLeadStar.com. AutoLeadStar is automotive’s first and leading customer data and experience platform, CDXP. Top dealers invest in CDXPs to unify dealership data sources automatically create one to one customized journeys and execute omni-channel shopping experiences. It’s all in one connected platform. Talk to if you want to hear more. Today we’re actually going to be talking about this launch. CDXP we launched it softly before I left for maternity leave but now we’ve really gone fully on our on our launch. We just came back from our launch event in Miami, so aren’t going to be here. He’s going to fill us in on everything that I’ve missed everything that dealers may have missed if they didn’t come into our live event which we have recorded. So aren’t how’s it been? Keep us keep us in a loop.
Aharon Horwitz 1:30
We let’s first for our listeners to find this. Are we kicking off season three?
Ilana Shabtay 1:37
I actually think this is season four.
Aharon Horwitz 1:40
I seriously, is this season four. Yeah. Wow. Time has flown. Yeah, yeah. We’re going. Yeah. Probably need to do a highlights of the past four seasons then. I mean, the past three seasons. Are there. I know we did. But we have to like keep doing that. Yes, there. Are there many movies who’s like, I don’t know. What’s a sequel? A sequel? A sequel? What’s this? For? Well, I don’t know what it is. Anyways,
Ilana Shabtay 2:14
let me make like five Home Alone home alone.
Aharon Horwitz 2:17
I was home alone to better than home alone one. I think. Yeah. Also, what was good. One of those Batman movies was better than all the others. The Dark Knight, that was a success. And there’s
Ilana Shabtay 2:32
the Harry Potter’s it does get better over time. I feel like they did. I’m not a Harry Potter person.
Aharon Horwitz 2:38
I like the books. But I wasn’t a huge movie fan.
Ilana Shabtay 2:42
Yeah. Getting better. Why are seasons just keep getting better?
Aharon Horwitz 2:47
As I’m saying we have to deliver on that. Absolutely. Yeah. Well, listen, well, first of all, welcome back to you, you’ve had a lot of a lot of action in your life, we’re excited to have you back at the company. And we did indeed launch officially, our CDXP, which is our customer data and experience platform. We launched it in Miami, which was the traditional office home of our US hub. And we had some dealers involved, which is really important to us always involve the customers. But what we’re trying to accomplish, there is something that I think marketing out of auto did about 10 years ago, which is a lot of work to standardize or build connective tissue between the different data hubs in silos, and bring them into one picture, right, one data view that’s usable. And then the component, the partnership with a complement to that is to actually make it useful. So it’s not enough to just have data. And it’s not enough just to have data organized and cleaned and ready for use. You need infrastructure, use it. And that’s what we wanted to accomplish and why we didn’t just become a CDP. Or just an experience engine, you know, a marketing engine, we really wanted to combine the two of them, and be both about the customer and an extension to the car data. Right? exceed customer see car data. And then of course, the other side of the equation, which is to actually use that data to drive digital advertising to drive email strategies to drive other components of the funnel knows it
Ilana Shabtay 4:32
and how our dealers responding to it.
Aharon Horwitz 4:36
Give us give us the energy well. So it is a shocking experience in some cases for dealers because they went from either doing a lot of manual labor in the routine, nitty gritty or interfacing with a agency or external partner and being involved in these like very granular level decisions without necessarily a science engine behind them right there, they don’t have to do that anymore. And so for the first time, a tiller can say, Okay, I have a strategy for my dijet, I need, you know, pushing new cars used cars, I want to want to balance or whatever it is, but I don’t need to get into the weeds on what really should be 10 15,000 20,000 tests a month, that are being run off of the data that I have, and against the performance in the market with automation that is being done when CDXP freeing up the dealer team members to really focus on strategy and direction on interesting initiatives that can drive extra value. So I think that’s the reaction we’re getting. Sean Western, from court came on to talk about how it was transformative to work in terms of automating things that were done manually freeing up the resources to do other things. And we’re hearing that from other customers as well like over Walzer, and, you know, some of the other ones that we have. So I would say it’s had a big, big impact. I think that what’s coming down the pike, in terms of the next set of features and products that will surround the CDXP, it’s gonna even be next level, you know, in terms of giving dealers power over their own data, and the ability to leverage it.
Ilana Shabtay 6:34
Yeah, so two things here that I think are gonna be revolutionary. One is, it’s not just about automating, like, meaning, yes, you’re automating, but you’re also taking away all the manual, so your team can actually be way more efficient. And then the automation actually gives you the ability to run 1000s of tests. So your, you just can’t, no human can actually do that. So besides for the fact that your team is actually more efficient, you’re, you’re also able to run more tests, and your performance is just going to be stellar because of that, and you’re gonna be able to outperform anyone who’s doing manual. So I think that’s the two things there that you said that I think was worth repeating for those listening. Now, in terms of the use, you spoke about Sean Western who came to the event or spoke at the event, which is awesome. What was the energy of the event? Like? Is this something audibly sir is going to be doing? I mean, I know the answer. But let’s, let’s talk a little bit about this. It’s something that no one in the industry is really doing. So I’d love to tap into that a little bit as well. Yeah,
Aharon Horwitz 7:35
let me talk about them. And then I’ll tell you, I think why it’s important. So first of all, the energy was great. We were in this really cool space that Mollie, our Brand Lead discovered, called The LAB Miami, or the laboratory lab laboratory, that was the lab, The LAB Miami. Yeah, it was like a wrong pool, co working space. And we have a lot of historical affinity with co working, cool design cool rooms, obviously a little Miami energy in terms of like, what was around it in terms of the food and, and you know, the staff that that vibrancy that Miami has, and we had all of our US team in the room, not every single person, but the majority of them, and several of our Israel team that flew in. And so when we did the launch event, we tried to really film it live, we want it to be live, even though in the end, we had a technical difficulty, it was important for us to for it to be live. And that will continue to be important to us. And we we just had such a good time, just such good energy, people cheering and excited. And our vision is really to do this quarterly. Because we think that the pace of innovation is really daily. And auto lead star, if you look at our like release logs of our product, we put stuff out every single week, like improvements here and there little things. But every single quarter we want to focus in for dealers on one key value point. So they are understanding kind of what the technology that we do can do for them. And make sure that that’s coming across in a clear way. In a world that’s very, very noisy. So that’s our our goal. A lot of this is for sure. It’s good for new people to learn about us. But so much of this for the way that we see it is for our existing community of existing customers of existing team members. And, you know, we want our developers who are writing the code and one our QA team, one our product team and our operations team. And, of course the sales and CS and marketing. want everyone to know who the customers are. And to feel like every quarter we have an obligation to them to bring out something that’s going to add value to their business and therefore we focus around these quarterly events and will help us launch. The reason I think it’s important also, Ilana is that, you know, there’s so much changing right now in the world around how businesses and in particular small medium businesses can get to come customers. And you see, on the one hand, like a lot of efforts to make it easier. So Google is releasing a lot of new tools to make it easier just on the digital space, right? Just throw in what you want. And we’ll take care of everything, the tax the keywords, all that you don’t need to worry about that anymore. which on the one hand, is great. But it also represents a flattening or shallowing, of what the the tools are going to do for you. And if you don’t have the ability to inject their the image, like the industry or the nuances of the karbas into that machine, or you don’t have the ability to pull in the data, the first party data and leverage that in a really intelligent way, you’re kind of just going to be that beta of everybody else. And all the alpha value, right, all that like extra value comes, we think it’s about 30% improvement comes really from the types of technology we’re developing, being applied to Google and Facebook and others offer and will offer. The other piece that’s really challenging. And everyone’s seeing this right now, you know, in Facebook and other places is, you know, with all the changes in privacy, it’s very, very difficult right now to market as a small medium business or even as a even larger dealers, and get the type of cost per lead that you wanted to get. In the past. It’s very, very important to have a cross platform brain, which thinks about Google, Facebook, other channels, email website, it’s got to be investing cross platform, thinking cross platform and operating cross platform, as first party data is really important. But sometimes on the third parties, you do get a hit, you find a good thing that you can go after and bring some good quality buyers into the store. So that’s where we really think our quarterly events are going to highlight the way that we’re thinking about this evolving market and evolving suite of technologies that actually bring it home for the dealers.
Ilana Shabtay 11:54
Yeah, that’s an interesting approach. And I think you said a lot of things here that really resonate with our listeners brand and what we believe in. So people should be expecting our quarterly events so that they can tap into this and understand you know, who we are and what we believe in and where the industry is going. So thanks for sharing that with us. Before we wrap up here, because this is really just a quick comeback episode just to say welcome back and to get everyone on the same page as to where we’ve been. When it comes to CDXP, do you see anyone else in the industry doing it? Do you know, and I think it’s important to talk about this stuff, just so that everyone knows what’s out there? What kind of technologies are out there? Or is autolyse are really pioneering this? In the in the industry? We could talk a little bit about outside of automotive as well, just because I know that it’s pretty prevalent there.
Aharon Horwitz 12:47
Yeah, like, I mean, we, most of the big companies in the world are using a CDP or CDXP. Right. And there’s a reason for that. In auto, we we are our attitude towards the market is that it’s a big market, even though it’s not huge, logo wise, there’s a lot of value there. And we want to see the best solutions emerge for the customer. We believe that we have enough value add that no matter who else does want will have our place. And so we would love there to be additional solutions and more, more solutions. And if some great dealer groups that are pushing on this stuff, like falacci, or VP sales was out at Brian patches CXO Summit. And he’s someone maybe we should have AMI Lana, but, you know, was telling me about some of the interesting questions coming from the dealer groups out there. Yeah, they’re pushing for technology, and they want vendors who are thinking strategically. Yeah, I hope that there are others, I hope that that we, you know, we have a good group of people trying to solve these problems, because it’s too big for one company itself. What I will say is where we’ve sort of differentiated ourselves is in our ability to kind of connect the dots, and then to actually make meaningful actions on top of those connected dots. And I think that’s very hard to do. And we’re lucky in a lead star, that we kind of set out to do that for the beginning. So our whole data layer, and our execution engine is built ground up to do those things. It’s not easy to kludge that together, or, you know, with existing software’s and just launch plug them together or take lots of databases just clump them together. It’s very hard to do it well. So you know, I think in that sense, like, I’m very proud of what we’ve built. And, you know, I think we have a unique place in that ecosystem.
Ilana Shabtay 14:45
Yeah, and I’d also add to that, that part of this shift to adopting more of a connected platform means that other technologies in the space need to play ball and play along and I have opened API’s and work together so that everything can be connected to the dealer. So dealerships, dealerships should be also looking, you know, and challenging their partners to make sure that they are working with software’s and technologies that can communicate with other software’s and technologies so that there is a space for that to grow.
Aharon Horwitz 15:17
And by the way, there, I feel like we need to lead by example, I would say, rather, it’s an invitation to others, to participate in our ecosystem, and recognize the fact that sometimes Yeah, we may have a component that’s competitive on the execution engine, but sometimes dealers like vendor a, they’re not going to use auto lead star on that. But maybe we have that data connected to that can make vendor a a lot better and a lot more successful. But we want to, we want to do that, even when it means sometimes, okay, they’re not going to use one of our components. Why? Because ultimately, that’s better for the customers in the industry. And we’re confident that we’ll have a place in that. And that a rising tide here is going to lift all ships, when it comes to those types of connections. So we we plan in the next quarter or two, to really be inviting as many vendors as we can, to tie in and in do just try to build it, and others are doing that as well. And trying to create those consortia. So that we’re all we’re all starting to help the dealer succeed from the same. The same playbook, the same set of systems. Yeah. Wonderful.
Ilana Shabtay 16:27
Well, we’ll be talking a lot about that in this season. Thank you, Arne for filling me in on what’s been when I’ve been out, although, are made fun of me, because I was in the office quite a bit during my maternity leave here probably
Aharon Horwitz 16:40
at least once a week, just doing a lot of what what are you excited about coming back coming back,
Ilana Shabtay 16:45
I’m certainly excited for the just seeing the CDXP rollout, but really how the industry is going to respond to it. I really liked that idea of inviting vendors to participate in this. And just it’s a total change of mentality for the industry. It’s really allowing the dealers to own their data and market on their data, something that has been really challenging for the industry, unfortunately until now. So being a part of that and pioneering that and allowing for that in space is something that I’m really excited about. And certainly certainly looking forward to seeing everyone at conferences, which is something between COVID and maternity leave and moving across the world. I have not been able to do as much as I wanted to. So those are two. Good.
Aharon Horwitz 17:28
Absolutely. We can’t wait for the next conference. Yeah, of course. Lots of lots of inside. Oh no.
Ilana Shabtay 17:33
Yes, and this is InsideAuto Podcast. If you liked this episode, please tune in insideautopodcast.com. We’re on every single streaming outlet. So feel free to listen on Apple, Spotify, wherever you want. And if you have any guests for the inside our podcasts we’re filling up season four, feel free to refer them to me or Aharon. Thank you again on.
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