I began my auto industry journey in early 2009 in a business development position for an automotive technology company. At the time, I didn’t know anyone who worked in a car dealership. There was very little public information about marketing roles in dealerships. Today I run an in-house agency that I founded. I oversee all marketing for a large auto group. With all the social media and technological advances in the world today, I can now share with others who want to make a change and share different types of opportunities that are at a dealership.
CMO, Vice President Marketing, Vice President Marketing and Communications, Marketing Operations Manager, Communications Director, Creative Director, Social Media Manager, Videographer, Photographer, Marketing Intern, Marketing Analyst, Marketing Coordinator, E-Commerce Director, Communications Manager.
I like to call the marketing department the heartbeat of a car dealership. It is the voice of the business (or businesses) and every single department within the dealer. The marketing department plays an essential role in the retailer’s brand image. The marketing roles can vary in a given dealer depending on the structure. However, every single department within a car dealership has services that need to be marketed publicly and in a positively relevant light.
It is not so common to have a marketing department with a single dealer. With the development of social media, there are more opportunities for marketing in retailers. Merchants are now hiring marketers to improve their social media. Social media has made it possible to position the retailer’s marketing department as a robust profit center. Many dealer groups with more than 2 locations usually have an in-house marketing team. Sometimes dealer groups not only use in-house marketing, but also an external agency. An in-house agency can handle everything from soup to nuts, much like an external marketing agency. An in-house marketing department takes care of everything from creative, supplier management, digital marketing, social media, website management, media buying, copywriting, PR, event management and reputation management.
Business Development Center (BDC) or Internet Department:
Marketing and Business Development Director, Business Development Manager, E-Commerce Manager, Internet Sales Manager, Internet Manager, Internet Sales Rep, BDC Rep. Administrator of the Business Development Center (BDC).
Another profit center within the dealership is the Business Development Center. The aim of the Business Development Center is to develop and increase the sales and service business for the dealership. The structure for this varies from dealer to dealer group. Most dealers have some form of BDC, which can be a call center or a department with salespeople. A BDC call center can answer incoming sales or service calls, make outgoing calls, manage customer loyalty, make appointments for the various departments and notify guests via email. Her additional responsibilities include building dealership opportunities, customer satisfaction, growing internet business, and managing internet leads or inquiries through the dealer website and online channels, among others. I’ve met managers in these departments who play a hybrid role and oversee all of the dealer’s internet marketing there.
IT director, IT manager, deputy IT manager
The IT department oversees the installation and maintenance of the computer infrastructure
(including telephone systems) within a dealer. This may only require a single employee or, for larger dealers, a team. In some retailers, the IT department is integrated into the marketing department or is part of the same. You can create websites that update websites monthly, code and provide technical support for dealers on various systems needed for daily work activities.
Working at a dealership in any marketing role is fun, exciting and you learn so much about every single facet of the business. Depending on your experience, your desires, your willingness to learn, or your interests, you may be suitable for any of these roles. There are so many exciting, diverse career paths that you can pursue in marketing at a retailer.
As a working mother in a car dealership, this was my source of inspiration for my children’s book “Our mother works with cars”.
Melanie Borden has spent most of her 14-year marketing career in the automotive technology industry. Melanie has worked in a variety of atmospheres, from social media startups to a public tech company in consulting, marketing and business development. She has increased her clients’ marketing efficiency along the east coast from NYC to Burlington, VT. Melanie is the driver of the marketing vision and strategy from inception to execution for the clients she has worked with. She is currently the vice president of marketing for Celebrity Motor Cars, a franchise highline auto group based in New York and metropolitan New Jersey. Melanie develops and implements every single facet of the marketing and advertising strategy and single-handedly builds a house advertising agency.