Monday, November 25, 2013

Nicki Minaj's Aventador is from Lamborghini Sarasota?

Minaj's Lambo; Should we tweet her and let her know her car's origins?
So here is how the story goes. Nicki Minaj is driving a Lamborghini Aventador from Lamborghini Sarasota, one of our Morgan Auto Group dealerships just south of Tampa.

BUT she has no idea that she is...

That's right. Now how could that happen?

Well first of all I am sure she had a handler pick up the car for her --- but that's not the reason she doesn't know it's from us.

The reason is that we have every reason to believe that our Blue Roadster (which is now "Pink" thanks to Nicki's custom job) came from our dealership is this:

Post from one of our Associates...

We recently sold a Blue Roadster to a regional Florida "agency" representing an area "Sports Star." We found out sometime later the car was on the showroom of a well known California re-seller of used exotics. Lamborghini is pretty particular about who they let sell new Lambo's after all so upon hearing this news they were less than thrilled.

As a dealer I can't say I'm all that excited that essentially we were lied to by a domestic agent but I guess stuff happens. I also have to say there is a small chance that "Exotic Euro Cars" just did the custom work and didn't really sell her the car --- but they are saying they did...and frankly it would fit their business model to do so. So who made the play here? Not sure if we ever know though I may have some homework to do tomorrow.

Either way I'm hitting up Nicki on Twitter. I think she'd appreciates knowing the origins of her Aventador. :)


To check out more about Lamborghini Sarasota go to: 

Morgan Auto Group 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Tampa Auto Show - Tampa Bay International Car Show is going on now at the Tampa Convention Center (November 22-24)

1) Show's Must See Display: Lamborghini 

It's the 50th Anniversary of Lamborghini and in case you missed the recent incredible 60 Minutes special about it, it's time for you to see what all the fuss is about.

The display is kind of buried in the back of the convention space's first floor but it is well worth peaking around to find. The Lamborghini display actually has one of the thirty 50th-Anniversary Lamborghini Aventadors that are making their way to the United States. They also share an entire room across from the Aventador display with several other Lamborghini's to look at. Last year because of allocation issues Lamborghini wasn't even able to display a single Aventador.

50th Anniversary Lamborghini Aventador (Only 100 Produced)
The Lamborghini display is manned and features inventory from Lamborghini Sarasota which is Tampa Bay's Premier Lamborghini store. You can find out more about Lamborghini Sarasota here:

2) Most Interactive Display: Toyota 

Toyota was giving away prizes, busy with amplified walk arounds (who knew the new Corolla was this exciting?) and had nearly every single vehicle in their line up represented. Several concierge desks also were available for consumers with specific product related questions. Well done Toyota you had a very well staffed booth. 

Notable: Chevrolet's Corvette Media Display was pretty great. 

3) Fun for the Kids

Try Ford's racing simulator. It is after-all the 50th Anniversary of the Ford Mustang. 

The Tampa Auto Show is brought to you by Motor Trend and the Tampa Bay Area New Auto Dealers Association. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

The New Tech Battleground: Messenger Apps

The way we communicate really isn't changing much these days. Text really is just text, after all right? Than why has the latest tech battleground returned to such familiar territory?

Right now the competitive landscape has never been greater with messaging services such as Kik, WhatsApp, iMessage, Facebook messenger and the resurgent BlackBerry Messenger all jockying for position. So is SMS such a poor platform that it needs to be replaced or enhanced? Are our data plans that poor where looking for WiFi based alternatives is a must? I guess so! And if there is a true advantage to using a third party application for messaging surely the greatest success will be software that plays well on all platforms, right?

Here is my quick read on who is coming up, going down and sticking around.

Choices...Too Many Choices...

iMessage (Apple): Fantastic service which offers integration across all Apple hardware iPod, iPhone, iPad and Apple laptop and desktop configurations. The supreme benefit is being able to carry a text conversation from a mobile device to a seated desktop environment. In my life when committed to Apple products I found that this helped me rely less upon e-mail for work related conversations (as long as those I was communicating with were iMessage users as well). Also iMessage unlike SMS carries across WiFi which means I found myself utilizing the service on planes with in-flight data. Negatives? Does not carry outside of the Apple platform. While iMessage is going nowhere I would also say unless a bridge is created for products outside of Apple iOS that it will never be a full on solution.

BBM Messenger: BlackBerry is making headlines for the vast amount of downloads their app is receiving since becoming available for both Apple and Android. The success however still has BBM outside of the top 100 downloaded apps in the US which means a great deal of BBM's success is internation. My biggest beef with BBM is simple. Since your account is based on a unique PIN and not tied to your cell number it is difficult to find other "friends" to chat with on the service. Also their is no way to "geo-search" for say new friends to speak with which will also stunt its growth. I will watch BBM updates moving forward; if they can say ... fix either of these issues they will see traction for sure.

Kik Messenger: Kik is stable and available across Apple and Android devices. It's not available for BlackBerry and while Kik does attempt to tie to a cell number to bring your "friends" before you I have also found that a good number of randoms are offered as people I already know...which is disconcerting to say the least. It's a good interface but I think this is the one competitor that BBM could really place in their crosshares...only time will tell.

Facebook Messenger: While FB Messenger also is a quickly evolving I think most people see Messenger as strictly a text application. It's multimedia functions for file and pic sharing are limited to a degree in what others can offer. Also when it comes to privacy Facebook (for good/bad reason) has always been under the gun. Facebook is pushing like other apps to tie accounts into an index searchable by Cell phones...I think many may be reluctant to do so.

WhatsApp: While my personal experience with WhatsApp is limited it is an attractive interface that integrates with cellular numbers. It's also available over the three main platforms in my life: BlackBerry, Android and Apple. Right now I see WhatsApp continuing to improve and conquer in the Messaging landscape.

Surely there are others to talk about as well that do similar things to the aforementioned applications: Skype, Snapchat, Yahoo Messenger (RIP?), GroupMe and our geo-friendly meeting apps like Whoshere, Blendr (Badoo) and Skout all could arguably be used to communicate and share information with friends. I have left them out for I don't see them relevant as a full service media / text solution. Possibly I could be wrong with Skype, who knows. Truth is I think the greatest success will come from a platform that can offer text, data share, video chat, geo-search and contact search integration. To me that would be an all-in-one solution that we could all get behind all the while still enjoying the freedom to sit on several sides of the hardware fence (Andorid / Apple / BlackBerry / Windows).

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Why I hate Dealership Apps and why our customers don't use them!

I had a dealership smartphone app in 2009. I was running (at the time) our lone domestic store in Gainesville, FL and I thought I was ahead of the crowd. I was ahead of my peers; therefore someone please hand me a gold star...right? Clearly having an application before your competition is a competitive advantage right? WRONG.

No matter what in store process I would install the application garnered ... well ... about 0% utilization. Why not? You could make a service appointment, contact a tow truck after an accident or browse our inventory all from this single app - it had some value. So why didn't it work?

For an application to work frequency is everything. If a smartphone user isn't using it everyday or weekly it simply gathers dust on the metaphorical "shelf" like an off target Christmas gift. Service intervals in our business are increasing not growing smaller and I feel this directly correlates with the ability of say a dealership service application to become successful. Because service is the most frequent activity someone has in relation to a dealership most dealership applications have been targeted as a service retention and revenue driver. BUT the frequency of visits or rather the INFREQUENCY of visits is still just too few over too long a time period for an app to garner any real value in my opinion.

A vender that builds dealership applications will tell you it's a great funnel or channel for long term communications with customers and in theory it's true. What do you do however when the customer abandons that funnel so soon after download? In short if people don't "use it" they "lose it," or rather the perception of any value that it would bring to their daily life. Sooo....while apps are hip and cool and a nice one may turn the head of the crew at your upcoming 20 group meeting...listen to Brett. Invest in a capable mobile platform and put your effort and energy there. You'll be glad you did. The web browser on a customer's smartphone is still one of the best "apps" there is.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Why I still rock a Blackberry 10 instead of a iPhone 5 or Galaxy S4

My smartphone signature gets me a ton of grief.

"Sent from my BlackBerry Q10 Smartphone." 

You'd think people have become numb to Smartphone e-mail signatures by now. Well not mine. They notice. My co-workers (and some of them unmercifully) constantly take jabs at me. "Well I know you still enjoy your BlackBerry but that just wouldn't work for me," is a very common take that I hear. 

Truth is that there is a DAMN good reason that I still rock a BlackBerry. Like many former BlackBerry users I waited ever so patiently for the arrival of the Blackberry 10 platform. It took, some would say, the patience of job as launch after launch was yet again delayed. Blackberry missed their window.  

Like most I had moved on. First I picked up an iPhone 4s and then I tried a Galaxy S3. I really enjoyed the S3 but the text lag began to kill me. My next move was to an iPhone 5. I was changing phones like my fiance buys dresses and shoes but truth was I was more of a lady in waiting than anything. I would watch Blackberry 10 "teaser" videos and read reviews of product prototypes. My BlackBerry Torch hadn't measured up to BlackBerry's of days gone by and my tablet use as a compliment to my mobile experience was non-existent; was going back to Blackberry even a realistic option at this point?  

I still wanted my BlackBerry back. I was even willing to compromise to a degree after learning that BlackBerry 10 would bring a slew of new apps to the BlackBerry platform but leave many popular apps on the table with no scheduled development for the Blackberry 10 Operating System.  

So why at first chance did I come running back to BlackBerry? Easy. It's still the best damn messaging smartphone on the planet. Our company is still far too e-mail based...Miss an e-mail and you are out of the loop big time. Inner-group reporting and communication is nearly 100% through e-mail. Communication with our factory reps is the same. Also my personal foray into Social Media consulting was growing and the different kinds of messages I receive on a daily basis were carrying nearly equal weight. On some days a Tweet, a LinkedIn message, voice call or FB message might be as important as the last e-mail. On most devices that means opening up each native application to receive that message. I literally can't stand that. It's inefficient and managing my personal communication from app to app through individual notifications was only going to give me obsessive compulsive disorder down the road. I hate that to live my life it meant having 11 applications open on my personal device full time.

BlackBerry has always put a premium on giving you all of your mobile communication in one easy to find message "bank." Now called the "BlackBerry Hub" under the new BB 10 OS it is still the same concept BlackBerry users have grown to love. Tweets, FB notifications, Linked-In invitations and messages, SMS texts and e-mails from multiples accounts are in the same real time "bank" as the records of voice calls and voicemails. Frankly when I am rocking my BlackBerry and I am truly dialed in ... I miss less and accomplish more. It's more about the truest functions of a phone. 

Whether it's employee communication or connecting with customers I have learned one thing during the "communication revolution." That is that people have different preferences for how they will communicate with you. I remember a year ago I had an old friend who had complained to his mom that I had not returned his messages. Of course this remark made it back to me through my mom and it frustrated me. Yeah I receive over 250 messages a day but had I really not received his message? Well I had but it was a LinkedIn message. At the time my LinkedIn app was getting about as much play as my old Nirvana LPs so the message had flown under my radar.

BlackBerry is the underdog, understood. But it's still my best bet at productivity. 

With my BlackBerry this simply doesn't happen to me anymore. In the now the message that is being carried to your device is still important but now there are 17 different funnels and ways for people to reach out and find you. If you are going to play in the new Era you simply can't afford to have preferences. Simply stated if someone can find your account on an application that might just be where they try to reach out to you. 

And what about all the compromises I have made by going to BlackBerry? All of the apps that I am missing out on? I have been able to overcome most of this by enjoying BlackBerry's incredible browsing experience but also by supplementing my digital life with a kick ass Nexus 7 Google tablet. 

In the past I would argue that where my Smartphone had become a beacon of distraction...a siren constantly singing me to shipwreck (can you say Word With Friends?)...that by switching back to BlackBerry I know am more capable of performing the very tasks that a "Smartphone" should be in theory able to perform. 

Ok I am done ranting and I know you are still most likely not convinced. But hopefully this gives you some insight into how people should or truly do consume a device ... not simply a spec vs spec review of Blackberry versus the latest and greatest mobile tech.

Shoot there is a chance that BlackBerry as we know it doesn't even survive the fiscal year. Well that's ok. I am dialed in again waiting to hear from you and that is all that matters. Oh and there are many ways to get in touch. 

"Sent from my BlackBerry Q10 Smartphone." LOL

Brett Morgan