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Kyle Orlando is the President of EDealer, a Toronto-based company composed of experts in online car sales catering to clients across all 10 provinces. Possessing a wealth of experience in the automotive industry, Kyle is a seasoned marketer with a proven track record. He is proficient in digital marketing, including search engine optimization, marketing management, project management, digital strategy, and paid digital media. Before joining EDealer, he was a marketing intern at Shaker Recruitment Marketing, a full-service recruitment marketing agency. 

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

  • [04:11] Kyle Orlando talks about his leadership style 
  • [07:02] EDealer and what it does 
  • [09:00] Digital advertising mistakes dealers often make in the automotive industry
  • [14:43] Kyle explains how to design a website with a focus on the customer journey
  • [20:19] Tech stack and customer support chat tools that EDealer utilizes
  • [24:40] Kyle shares his leadership journey in project management, marketing, and sales
  • [30:59] Lessons learned for outsourcing sales tasks 
  • [33:29] Recommendations for hiring a project manager 
  • [36:22] Kyle’s experience as President of EDealer

In this episode…

The automotive industry is undergoing a massive shift, and car dealers face unprecedented challenges to keep up with the changing market dynamics. With the rise of digital technologies, it’s essential to embrace the online world to boost sales. However, digital marketing can be complex and daunting, requiring expertise in various areas. 

From website development to social media, content strategies to inventory hosting, backend systems, and more, there are countless challenges car dealers encounter. To succeed in this space, marketing expert Kyle Orlando says that auto dealers must partner with digital marketing experts who can provide a comprehensive solution to their online marketing efforts. By collaborating with professionals with in-depth industry knowledge, dealerships can ensure their online presence is optimized to drive traffic, generate leads, and boost sales. Kyle shares his leadership journey in a company that helps in online car sales. 

In this episode of the Inspired Insider Podcast, Dr. Jeremy Weisz chats with Kyle Orlando, President of EDealer, about digital marketing in the automotive industry. Kyle talks about EDealer and what it does, digital advertising mistakes dealers often make in the automotive industry, how to design a website focusing on the customer journey as a car dealer, and his leadership journey in project management, marketing, and sales.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Special Mention(s):

Related episode(s):

Quotable Moments:

  • “Time is money.”
  • “Look at what I would want as a consumer.”
  • “Always focus on quality over quantity.”
  • “More salespeople does not equal more sales.”
  • “Fire fast, hire slow.”

Sponsor for this episode

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Episode Transcript

Intro  0:15 

You are listening to Inspired Insider with your host, Dr. Jeremy Weisz.

Jeremy Weisz  0:22 

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here founder of where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs leaders today is no different. I’ve Kyle Orlando of And Kyle, before I formally introduce you, I want to point out other episodes, people should check out of the podcast since this is part of the top agency series. There was a really good one with Kevin Hourigan of Spinutech. And he’s had an agency since 1995. So it’s kind of interesting to hear his experience and the evolution of the industry and his ups and downs because there were a lot of both. So check that one out. The other one that was interesting is Adi Klevit, she’s got an interesting agency, Kyle, she does SOPs for companies. So she comes in, and she will document their SOPs for them with them. And so that one was really good. Because we talked about our tech stack, we talked about productivity tools, we talked about operational efficiencies, all the sexy stuff that makes businesses run. So check that one out as well. And this episode is brought to you by Rise25. And at Rise25 we help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships and how do we do that we actually help you run your podcast, we’re an easy button for a company to launch and run a podcast we do the full strategy, accountability and execution. Kyle, we call ourselves the magic elves that work in the background and make it look easy for the host of the company. So they can create great content, develop amazing relationships, and run their business of course. So, for me, the number one thing in my life is relationships. I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships. And I found no better way over the past decade to profile the people and companies I most admire and share with the world what they’re working on. So if you’ve thought about podcasting, you should if you have questions go to I also have a lot of episodes about podcasting that are free for people to learn from. So every question I get, usually we create a podcast episode about it so people can learn. So I’m excited to introduce Kyle Orlando, he has been working in automotive technology since the beginning in 2003. He actually started washing cars, and worked every job on the way up to now president of And Kyle I love your approach to leadership, which is I work for my employees. So Kyle, thanks for joining me.

Kyle Orlando  2:50 

Yeah, thanks for having me. I appreciate it. I want to also give a shout out I watched one of your podcasts in preparation for coming on. And I don’t want to butcher the last name. It was John it was part of your agency series. He’s been running an agency for years. I can’t pronounce his last name. I apologize. It started with a TS.

Jeremy Weisz  3:11 

Oh, yes. Tsourakis. Yeah, Jon Tsourakis.

Kyle Orlando  3:13 

Yeah. Yes, there it is. Yeah. And I really enjoyed the things that he talked about around controlling the pipeline and the process for building websites, because that’s a big part of what we do as well. And he talked about a lot of the challenges and it’s super interesting for me when I can hear other leaders that have been doing it a long time, just like I have been just the fact that we faced the same exact challenges, we come up with some of the same exact solutions. So I really did enjoy that.

Jeremy Weisz  3:44 

Awesome. Yeah, thanks for sharing because I find it fascinating that no matter what industry there’s kind of a core group challenges, like it’s bucketed in the same type of challenge even though it’s a different category or industry. So let’s talk about leadership for a second. And how did you come to this leadership approach to work for my employees?

Kyle Orlando  4:11 

Yeah, even coming into this position wasn’t something that I was necessarily striving for from the beginning. Like I mentioned, I started out washing cars at a small 30-car lot in Sudbury Ontario. Left, well briefly dipped our toe into doing some lead generation in Google back in 2003. Went away and went to school, got a marketing degree and came back into this now startup marketing company and from there, I really like to mention I worked every job I could on the way up whether it was project management or managing our support team. And we got to a point where we really reached a threshold where we were expanding. We were creating an E INC, which is our parent company. Our CEO Jason McClanahan was running EBlock and we needed somebody to run EDealer and they were going to look externally at candidates and I kind of just raised my hand and said, you know what, I’ll do it, I think I can do a better job than anybody else we’re going to bring in. And the reason I think I could do a better job is because I know the company, I know the clients, and I know the people inside and out. And I think that’s where it all stems from is what I was motivated by or where the motivation came from, to become president in this company. I was motivated by making sure I took care of my people first and my clients as well. And that’s how I ended up here.

Jeremy Weisz  5:33 

Talk about what companies are kind of under the umbrella with EDealer.

Kyle Orlando  5:37 

Well, the E INC is our parent company, and there’s EBlock, which is a dealer-to-dealer digital auction, we span across all of North America. Well, Canada in the US specifically. And then there’s the EDealer, which we serve over 1,100 car dealerships in Canada with subscription services. So those are the two primary companies under E INC.

Jeremy Weisz  6:00 

Love it. So what about, are there any resources or people that kind of influence this leadership approach and style for you?

Kyle Orlando  6:12 

That’s a really interesting question, because I came up under completely different types of leadership style. And I’m not saying necessarily different from my leadership style, but completely different types of the original founders from EDealer, Chris Whitehead and Ryan O’Connor had completely different approaches, than I’d say myself and different from each other, when they were building this company, and I think I did what most people do, I tried to take the things that I really liked, and I appreciated about the way that they lead the company. And then I tried to integrate my own approach as well, I try to obviously eliminate some of the things that I didn’t like. So I think it was really the diversity of leaders that I saw on my way up that influenced my overall leadership style.

Jeremy Weisz  6:56 

So just for a second, talk about EDealer and what you do, as a company.

Kyle Orlando  7:02 

Yeah, absolutely. We’re a software company serving the automotive industry, specifically, our core products that we’re selling to guard car dealerships and OEMs are websites, search engine optimization, and digital advertising, we really specialize if I was gonna say, what’s the meat and potatoes of why we’re the best at what we do in our industry is really, when it comes down to inventory and automation, that’s where we really shine is, when it comes down to it on a dealership website, 80% of your visits are going to go to your inventory. For years, I was arguing with dealers, about getting their inventory online period. Those times are behind us. Everybody has their inventory online, we know as consumers, we can go on and shop those websites. And these dealers put a lot of time and effort and energy into merchandising these vehicles, making sure that all the information is there, making sure those vehicles look great. And so we try to automate that approach as much as we possibly can. Because time is money. Everything that we do in our subscription service, we try to make it all encompassing, I hate coming back to a dealership and saying, oh, you need to spend more on this or that. It always comes down to time or money, we’re going to try to save them as much time as possible. But we also offer some enhancements, where they can put some money out if they don’t have the time. I mean, as somebody who’s worked for small business, I know sometimes time is a very hot commodity, there’s a lot of different areas for attention and investment. So it’s always trying to strike that good balance.

Jeremy Weisz  8:28 

You mentioned convincing clients of things because you again, you have a breadth and your company has a breadth of across many, many, you know dealerships in auto in the auto industry. So you kind of unique perspective, but what are some of the mistakes you do see people making that you do have to do now, that isn’t an issue of people, they’re putting the inventory, but what is the new, convincing that you have to do with companies? Because you’ve just seen it work over and over again?

Kyle Orlando  8:58 

Well, I would say that one of the challenges that we face is just a lot of noise. And it’s a lot of noise that actually comes out from outside of our industry. And it really started up in the dark days, early days of the pandemic. I think people were looking at it as an opportunity to grow their business. So there was a huge rush to arms for online engagement tools to sell cars online. And a lot of companies were going out to dealerships and saying, oh, free trial, this free trial, that free trial that and one of the mistakes that I saw is the most egregious example that we pulled up was we had one of our dealerships sites that we pulled up and had nine different e-commerce sell a car online digital retailing tools and at nine. So nine different journeys. We ran into issues of dealers signing up for these free scripts. We would put them on the website, the trial would end. Nobody would tell us, they would turn it off and the site would look like garbage because we integrated these tools into the site. So I would say that the biggest mistake that I see is really just that dealers are promised the world from some that come outside of the industry who truly don’t have the breadth of knowledge of working in the industry. So what they’re going to tell this dealership is going to sound a heck of a lot better than what I’m going to tell them because I’m going to tell them the truth. And the truth is based on experience, I’m not calling to other companies that have come in from the outside liars, I’m just saying they don’t have the experience to be giving the feedback that they provide to these dealers at times. Does that make sense?

Jeremy Weisz  10:35 

Yeah. So what’s some truth that you have to correct like they’d be like, well, Kyle, I heard this. And you have to dispel some of these things that yeah, with what you do, and maybe doesn’t apply just like this other industry. What are some of those?

Kyle Orlando  10:51 

Yeah, the two areas, you see that most in our digital advertising and search engine optimization, right. So you’ll get a company that runs some automated script on a website that returns this report to a dealership that says, oh, my God, you’ve got 1,000-4,000 errors on your site, which the reports is good as trash, there’s nothing to it. So I have to talk to the dealer because it’s really trying to strike fear into them. And I think we see that I get the emails all the time, I’m sure you get them too Jeremy, about your business. Oh, we’ve been on your website and it’s the worst thing we’ve ever seen. I mean, I get it from my own EDealer website. So it’s really putting those customers at ease and telling them these are phishing scams. There’s a huge breadth of different reasons why these emails are sent to them, or these reports are sent to them. So there’s that side of it, which is more of the like, spammy, scammy side. And then there’s the digital advertising side, which what I find there more often than not, is I’m trying to move the dealer, the customer’s attention to specific metrics, that doesn’t ultimately result in selling a vehicle. So they’ll say, well, we’re doing amazing in this metric and this metric, and you should not focus on these other metrics. For us, I see, you’re actually on our…

Jeremy Weisz  12:15  

Yeah, if you’re watching, if you’re listening to the audio, there is a video version of this. And we are on We can poking around here as he’s talking so we can kind of visualize it in the digital advertising pitch.

Kyle Orlando  12:27 

Yeah, so this is a perfect example of what we stand for when it comes to digital advertising. The metrics we drove here on this campaign, you’re showing on the screen for Buds GM, it was all around return on investment, cars sold business metrics, yeah, you’re highlighting right now 30%, year over year increase. These were business metrics, this wasn’t talking about their bounce rate, or their click-through rate or anything like that. This was how we drove business working with Buds and the investments that they made to, I talked about it earlier, this isn’t just pay us some money, and you’re going to get tons of leads, they’ve made an enormous an enormous investments on their side as far as time and energy to merchandise, their vehicles. So those are the things that we’re talking about. It’s funny that you pulled it up, because it was perfect timing. The other side of it is kind of battling the companies that we’re competing against, that I was having a conversation at CarGurus Summit two, three years ago in Boston, with a large dealer group owner from the US. And I said to him, he knew quite a bit about digital advertising. And he’s smarter than the average bear. And I said, let me ask you a question, how do I compete with some of these companies that are coming through your door? When what I tell you I know to be true, and what they tell you, is always going to sound better, because it’s divergent from the truth. Right? So it’s a real challenge. So those I know, I’ve been a little long-winded on both of these topics. But those are the two truths that I find myself having to talk about most often. There’s a lot of stuff around the website space, but I don’t think we even need to touch on that. Because I think one of those things that we talked about at the beginning of the podcast, those are the challenges I think everybody sees when building and managing websites.

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