Andrew Street is an automotive advertising technologist who has made his mark in the industry by mastering cost-effective advertising platforms. While working as a Local Business Consultant for Facebook during the platform’s ad rollout, Andrew gained invaluable insights into unlocking its potential.
Wanting to revolutionize the automotive advertising landscape, he founded Dealer OMG — a marketing firm recognized for its unique blend of creative design and precise ad targeting using their AdTech, vinAMP. Under Andrew’s leadership as CEO, Dealer OMG has grown from an idea to an Inc. 5000 fastest-growing company in the US.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- [6:10] How Andrew identified and capitalized on a niche market within the digital advertising industry
- [9:34] How to translate digital advertising metrics into language that clients can easily understand
- [14:45] The importance of having a team capable and equipped to handle new technologies and strategies
- [18:36] The value of focus and knowing when to expand your services
- [28:20] The challenges and opportunities of scaling a bootstrapped business
- [31:48] The impact of creating a culture that values all team members
- [36:46] The significance of knowing your team personally and caring about them
- [44:06] The benefits of joining organizations like Entrepreneurs’ Organization for support and resources
In this episode…
Step into a world of automotive marketing transformation with Andrew Street as he guides us through his entrepreneurial journey from being a Facebook consultant to Dealer OMG’s CEO. He shares his strategic insights and profound experiences that have revolutionized digital marketing for car dealerships.
Andrew discusses how niche focus and the power of adaptation help any business grow. He mentions the crucial ideas in creating compelling advertising and the challenges of scaling a bootstrap business. According to him, if you’re running an agency, the key to success is balancing agency and software development.
In this episode of the Inspired Insider Podcast, Andrew Street shares a roadmap for entrepreneurial success. Join our host, Dr. Jeremy Weisz, as they delve into the automotive advertising landscape and explore lead generation, agile adaptation, and team empowerment. He also discusses the art of nurturing talent, embracing change, and maintaining a vibrant company culture — all crucial to scaling a dynamic business.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Neil Maier on LinkedIn
- Mike Edge on LinkedIn
- David Christopher on LinkedIn
- Todd Taskey on LinkedIn
- Jason Swenk on LinkedIn
- Dealers United
- Tread Partners
- Entrepreneurs’ Organization
- [Top Agency Series] Most Valuable Advice When Selling Your Agency With Todd Taskey of Potomac Business Capital on Inspired Insider
- Building a Great Team and More Helpful Insights with Jason Swenk Host of The Smart Agency Master Class Podcast on Inspired Insider
- “If you’re not looking to grow your sales, services, or trades for your dealership, we can just be friends.”
- “We’re not looking at customers for months, we’re looking at long-term relationships.”
- “We’re an ad agency at our core, we just now happen to have a software component that helps to fuel a lot of our decisions.”
Sponsor for this episode
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Cofounders Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran credit podcasting as being the best thing they have ever done for their businesses. Podcasting connected them with the founders/CEOs of P90x, Atari, Einstein Bagels, Mattel, Rx Bars, YPO, EO, Lending Tree, Freshdesk, and many more.
The relationships you form through podcasting run deep. Jeremy and John became business partners through podcasting. They have even gone on family vacations and attended weddings of guests who have been on the podcast.
Podcast production has a lot of moving parts and is a big commitment on our end; we only want to work with people who are committed to their business and to cultivating amazing relationships.
Rise25 Cofounders, Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran, have been podcasting and advising about podcasting since 2008.
Insider Stories from Top Leaders & Entrepreneurs…
You are listening to Inspired Insider with your host, Dr. Jeremy Weisz.
Jeremy Weisz 0:22
Dr. Jeremy Weisz here founder of inspired insider.com where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders today is no different. I’ve Andrew Street of DealerOMG.com and Andrew before I formally introduce you. I always like to point out other episodes. People should check out of the podcast we are talking about. Neil Maier, Mike Edge, David Christopher at Tread Partners, they serve tire shops, right and we’re going to talk about niching because Andrew has a really niche down to dealerships. And we’re gonna go deep on that but they have a great podcast over there, Neil and Mike and David so check them out. Tread Partners gained a traction podcast, also a great guest since this is part of the top agency series. tasking. Todd Taskey has a second bite podcast and Todd helps pair agencies with private equity.
And finally we talk about valuation and, and everything around what he’s found in the agency industry. But he’s found that some agencies made more on the second bite than they did on the first so they sold then the private equity sold again and some of these agency owners made more on the second bite. So his second bite podcast is amazing. I think I’ve listened to every episode at this point, as well. So check all those out on inspired insider.com and this episode is brought to you by Rise25 at Rise25 we help businesses give to and connect to their Dream100 relationships and partnerships. How do we do that? We actually help you run your podcast we’re an easy button for a company to launch around a podcast. We do accountability, strategy and full execution and production.
So that it makes it easy for them. You know, we call ourselves Andrew kind of the magic elves that work in the background and make sure everything happens. So the host could sit back, relax, build the relationship and run their business. So you know for me the number one thing in my life is relationships. I’m always looking for ways to give to my best relationships. I’ve found no better way over the past decade to profile the people in companies that I most admire and share with the world what they’re working on.
So if you have questions, go to Rise25.com And we’re you know, we’ve been doing it for over a decade, so feel free if you have anything podcast related. I’m excited to introduce Andrew Street, CEO of Dealer OMG. He bootstrapped it from an idea to an inc 5000 fastest growing company in the US and his digital marketing firm is best known for lead generation and digital advertising innovation for car dealerships. And he actually started out working as a local business consultant for Facebook. And he witnessed their ad platform rollout and got a front row education on how to unlock its power. Now he does that for dealerships. So Andrew, thanks for joining me.
Andrew Street 3:10
Jeremy, I’m honored to be here. And that was a really impressive introduction with the elevator pitch for you and the sponsors and all in one take. I’m happy to be here.
Jeremy Weisz 3:22
Even if I mess it up. I still keep it so it doesn’t matter. Yeah, it’s a one take regardless, is human, but talk about Dealer OMG. And what you do I mentioned briefly but tell us
Andrew Street 3:33
a little bit more. We were formed by my business partner myself, branched out from Facebook. And started working in e-commerce. It was a big focus of mine because I really liked outdoor apparel. That was mountain hardware in North Face, Columbia arcteryx and all these cool outdoor sporty kinds of gears that I like to see myself in. And we were doing kind of complicated Co Op programs between the manufacturers and retailers, helping the manufacturers sell through the retailers. And what we found was a lot of labor. And there was constantly reinventing things coming up with creative campaigns that were giveaways and things like that.
And we picked up one car dealership in town. And it was a Toyota dealership that I didn’t have a lot of understanding of how they worked. But a lot of the same approaches that we were doing with e-commerce were working really well with their car dealership. And over the course of like a year we were under a different name at the time or call for kicks marketing. We watched their sales go from 200 cars a month to about 1000 cars a month. And it was new management and it was new inventory and whatever they were doing, they were getting a ton of success. But a lot of what They were doing they’re pointing the finger at us. And they grew their spend tenfold over the course of that year. And so it started catching my attention like, Okay, let’s start figuring out more about these dealerships.
And they introduced us to another dealership, where we started doing the same processes with Facebook and Instagram and Facebook advertising at the time. And saw them grow from 200 to 700 cars a month. It’s like, okay, so I ended up on a plane going to a dealership conference and sat down next to somebody that worked at the dealership, who’s in their marketing department, and I just bought them a Bloody Mary or to ask them all the questions about how the dealership works? People are talking about the fixed ops department. What is that? Exactly? And you guys can sell new cars but lose money. We lose $200 per car on average, how do you guys stay in business? And just explain it, ask them all the stupid questions of
Jeremy Weisz 6:06
That doesn’t make him seem like a stupid question to me.
Andrew Street 6:10
At the beginning, it was working with score and working with consultants and coaches along the way. Like, I feel like we’ve had a lot of resources that we would use, what limited budgets, we had to hire consultants, coaches based on what we need, whether it was operational, or positioning. And then we hired Jason Swenk, who you might have come across for a little while shout out to Jason swing, but he gave us a little bit of advice that went a long way. And one thing was just like quickly to pick a niche and be the big fish in a smaller pond instead of a small fish and a gigantic pond if we do digital advertising too. And it put us in a position where I put together a chart where we looked at the current accounts that we were working with.
And it was elective medical, so plastic surgeries, skincare, stuff like that. It was multilocation retail, or it was car dealerships, because we had all three, and we had a pretty good recipe for each one, kind of stemming from a background with e-commerce. And so I made a chart that was an upsell opportunities network. You know, the value that we’re able to drive for that industry, networking opportunities for conferences, the way to establish authority through publications, things like that, an automotive one, and I kind of like cars. And I’ve gotten way more into cars since we started doing this. And we were working with one Toyota dealership at the time, which was Mon Toyota. And they went from, like 250 cars sold a month to about 1000 over the course of a year and a half. And they began pointing the finger at us as a big reason for their success. So another Chevrolet store called capital Chevrolet in Austin, where we live picked us up. And they went from 300 to 600 cars a month in sales. So we were looking really good and they were spending a lot more money. It was much more consistent than some of the e-commerce and retail things that we were doing.
And so I got on an airplane and flew out to an industry event called Digital dealer. I didn’t know it existed, but I bought a ticket for like $1,500 or something and flew out there with one of my dealers with the marketing director of a dealership. And he was sitting next to me, his name’s Dale, Duke. But Dale, some bloody marys and like, Look, I just want to ask you questions that I had a moleskine notebook, and I just went through like, Okay, you guys sell cars, and you lose money per car, you say you sell? How are you still in business? How do you cover payroll? Okay, the manufacturer gives you kickbacks for selling a certain volume.
And you get him with finance, you get them with fixed ops. Okay, I’m glad you brought that up. What exactly is fixed ops? Okay, its services and its parts and everything that’s not selling cars. What CRM do you use? What language does that speak? What resonates like what is your boss? Look at you. How do they gauge your success as the marketing director, who manages the general manager and who was the GSM, the General Sales Manager? What kind of discretion do they have and how is their performance measured, in a sense to be able to speak their language and then to be able to translate between digital advertising into English and then from English into automotive and back and forth.
And it’s, you know, in time, it’s put us in a great position to become a much bigger fish in that smaller pond and speed To paid social advertising for car dealerships. And so if this helped us with, it’s helped me personally just with going out to dinners where it’s not like, Oh, you say you own a chiropractic clinic, okay? How’s that doing? Okay? It could be better. But instead it’s like if you’re not looking to grow your sales services or trades for your dealership, through Facebook and Instagram, then we can just talk and talk about business a little bit, but we can just be friends.
Jeremy Weisz 10:30
Andrew, what’s interesting is a beginner’s mindset. And some of the best direct response marketers, copywriters on the planet, I feel like have this beginner’s mindset where there’s no dumb question. They just want to really keep digging deeper to find out more. At that time. Did you have a set of questions that you want to go through? How did you know what to ask? Just to dig deeper, because, you know, even people I have found, they’ve been in industry for 20 years, and they’re writing copy or they’re doing ads, they kind of still come at it from a beginner’s mindset, like, let’s assume I don’t know everything. And it allows them to learn more, and dig deeper. So when you were having that conversation, did you have set questions or now? Do you have set questions that you go through just to understand, really the deep needs and
Andrew Street 11:26
in the client? itself? Yeah, I mean, that’s a big question. Yeah, that’s a great question. Um, you know, for that specific conversation, it was just sort of a few, quite a few questions to get me prompted. And then all of a sudden, it just spiraled into a lot more questions about how dealerships actually operate and make money, and manage lead volume and things like that, that I wasn’t really considering asking. And the industry that we’re serving with, with auto it’s, there’s a big tendency for vendors and advertisers to really want to package things up and make it really shiny. And sell products that already exist as a different product, not necessarily white labeling it but spinning it and adding a lot more. Just making it murky on what they’re actually selling, but it’s really shiny on the outside. But on the inside, it’s just carousel ads on Facebook that drive really cheap traffic to landing pages.
But on the outside, it’s, you know, a proprietary machine with a database, AI, and machine learning. And so we’ve had salespeople on our staff before who’ve wanted to package us and sell us that way. And it sort of works to get in the door. But then it’s a little misconception on what we actually do that’s much bigger than this one little component. And so the questions now that are prompting really good relationships and long term customers, we’re not looking at customers for months, like a lot of the automotive industry with vendors. Over the years, we’ve been with a lot of dealers, and they are going through questions about their new car sales, their used car sales or used car acquisition.
How do they get their used cars? How do they price them going into their operations? Do they have an internal call center, which they call a BDC? Like a Business Development Center, their service department? Do they have a lot of open bays? Can they take more services and have trouble with retention? And then you know, are there things that we can do to help with recruiting to where by the end of a five minute conversation, we can be really clear on the things that we can do from our desk to help with their dealership. And then we take them off quickly.
And then it’s out of sales hands and into account management, which we call dealer consultants, for them to be able to continually ensure that what we’re doing from our desks is aligned with what that dealership needs. You know, if they’re, if used cars are just flying off the shelf, and they’re making a ton of money, let’s move out of trying to sell used cars and move more into used car acquisition and go after people driving specific vehicles and call them out by their vehicle and say we’re paying a premium this month for those types of vehicles. Come in for the five minute appraisal. And just Yeah, keep the white glove service on while we still have the advertising machine behind it.
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