Saturday, December 28, 2013

Motor Trend's Top 10 Most Popular Web Articles of 2013

Motor Trend's Top 10 Most Popular Web Articles of 2013 written by Christian Seabaugh 

2015 Ford Mustang Hollywood Event Reveal front three quarters 04

With the ball in Time's Square set to drop soon, it's time to officially put 2013 to rest. To celebrate the year that was, we're going to take a look back at our top 10 most popular Web articles of 2013, and get a look at the stories that got the most eyeballs this past year.

10. 2014 Motor Trend Car of the Year: Cadillac CTS -- November 2013

2014 Cadillac CTS4 front end in motion

Our 2014 Car of the Year, the Cadillac CTS, just squeaks into the top 10, beating out our Ford Atlas Concept First Look. The 2014 Cadillac CTS is the second CTS to earn the golden calipers, following the 2008 CTS.

The Cadillac CTS ultimately won Car of the Year because it dominated in our six Car of the Year criteria. In our Car of the Year winner piece, Scott Evans wrote, "In this year's competition, the CTS was forced to directly face down its strongest rivals. Present and fighting for the Calipers were both the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the old guard of the segment and of luxury vehicles. The CTS demonstrated superior advancement in design, performance, handling, and experience over the other two."

9. 2013/2014 Compact Crossover Comparison-- August 2013

Compact Crossover group 03

Our 2013/2014 Compact Crossover Comparison Test between the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, Subaru Forester, and Mazda CX-5 was our ninth-most popular article of 2013. So what made our Compact Crossover Comparo so popular? Simple, says Detroit Editor Scott Burgess, "No modern family starter kit is complete without a small crossover." Couple that fact with a controversial last-place finish for a fan favorite and you've got enough hits to put you on this list.

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8. 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51 First Test -- July 2013

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51 front end in motion

There arguably wasn't a more important First Test this year than the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51's. The new Corvette Stingray would be the car that either showed GM still had what it took to build a world-beating sports car, or show that the automaker was just going through the motions.

Thankfully, with a 0-60 mph time of 3.9 seconds, and an ability to "laydown hero numbers without soiling the hero's pants," the 'Vette certainly lives up to expectations.

7. 2013 Honda Accord Sport vs. Toyota Camry SE vs. 2014 Mazda6 Grand Touring -- May 2013

Honda Accord Sport Toyota Camry SE Mazda6 i Grand Tourin

Who says a midsize sedan can't be sporty? This comparison test's seventh place finish proves that there are family-oriented enthusiasts out there who want their midsize sedans to offer up a high level of sportiness. Though the Toyota Camry proved to be outclassed by the other sedans in the comparo, both the Honda Accord and Mazda6 offered up high levels of sportiness, while returning the fuel economy, comfort, and refinement one would expect from a family sedan.

6. 2013 Motor Trend's Best Driver's Car -- August 2013

2013 Motor Trend Best Drivers Car contenders

Number-six most-popular (but number-one in your hearts!) is our 2013 Best Driver's Car competition. This year's competition was a good one. It featured everything from the 252-hp 2.0-liter turbo-4-powered Ford Focus ST, to the 640-hp 8.4-liter V-10-powered SRT Viper. After a week of testing (and the World's Greatest Drag Race 3), the Porsche 911 Carrera S was ultimately crowned the winner.

5. 2015 Chevrolet Colorado First Look -- November 2013

2015 Chevrolet Colorado homepage

If this doesn't speak to how popular the long-neglected midsize pickup segment is, we don't know what will. The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado is the first truly new truck in the segment in years, and it certainly looks promising. It'll offer four-cylinder and V-6 engines at launch, and will be joined by a new turbodiesel I-4 in 2016.

4. 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year: Tesla Model S -- November 2012

2014 Tesla Model S three quarters in motion

Our 2013 Tesla Model S Car of the Year story makes its second consecutive appearance on our Top 10 Most Popular Web Articles list. Even a year after we named it our Car of the Year, the Model S still commands attention as our first-ever electric Car of the Year winner, and a fine example of American innovation and entrepreneurship.

3. 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray First Look -- January 2013

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray convertible front end static

It's been a good year for cars. This year kicked off with a bang in Detroit -- the debut of the seventh-generation Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. The year 2013 is bookended by another American icon; read on to find out what it is.

2. 2014 Mazda3 First Drive -- July 2013

2014 Mazda3 front three quarter turn

To see a compact car's First Drive command the number-two spot on our 2013 Top 10 is a testament to just how good the new 2014 Mazda3 is. The new 2014 Mazda3 manages to not only be comfortable, spacious, and efficient, but sporty, luxurious, and a technological tour-de-force as well. You don't often find that in a compact car.

1. 2015 Ford Mustang First Look -- December 2013

2015 Ford Mustang Hollywood Reveal Event

We told you 2013 was a good year for cars. After being kicked off by the new 'Vette in January, the December debut of the 2015 Ford Mustang closes out the year. A dark horse contender considering it debuted earlier this month, our 2015 Ford Mustang First Look is far and away our most popular story of 2013. Click here to find out why.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Top Ten Digital Marketing Insights Learned in 2014!

10 Top Insights on B2B Marketing From 2013Standard annual round-up post here. Top 10 posts of the year. Plus one bonus post.

I published another 100 blog posts this year and picked the winners, even from articles published more than a year ago.

I think this reflects what you all thought was the most informative, interesting or maybe even a little entertaining.

I hope you enjoy this retrospective and thanks to all my readers and social supporters for all your help.

10 Top Insights On B2B Marketing From 2013

How Do You Find The Time For Social Media

This is by far the #1 question people ask me. I have four lovely children, a demanding job, a wife with a successful career and more. So how do I find the time to tweet, blog, share, and comment?

The answer is simple: I make the time for social media because I think it's important. I believe that business people in general, and marketers especially, have an obligation to do more than just consume content or share other people's content but to become a content creator and to contribute to your work and your life.

What Is The Future of Content Marketing?

This year I noticed a subtle change in the biggest question being asked by content-minded marketers. We were no longer asking: "is content marketing the future of marketing?" We were asking: "what is the future of content marketing?" It's a subtle difference with huge implications…

Slideshare Is The Greatest Opportunity in Content Marketing

In a recent conference, I was asked my opinion on what is the biggest opportunity in B2B Content Marketing? Without hesitation, I answered "Slideshare."

With more than 50 Million visitors per month and more than 100 million pageviews, slideshare is one of the top websites in the world and should be a key focus of any B2B content marketing program. According to Comscore, Slideshare is used by business owners and business executives at a rate 5 times any other social network!

The 25 Best Slideshare Presentations of 2013

Although I just wrote this a few weeks ago, it quickly became my most popular post of the year. Although it's a simple curation list, there is a ton of useful information packed in the 1300+ slides covered in these 25 presentations.

It is also interesting to note which topics performed best…

The Top 9 Videos From Brands This Year

in this article, I looked for the best content of 2013 by brands that was entertaining, emotional and non-promotional. They were all videos. Check out these top 9 videos from brands who know how to tell an amazing visual story.

What's your favorite? Dove Real Beauty SketchesVolvo Trucks: The Epic Split or maybe Ram Trucks' God Made A Farmer

10 Common Sense Ideas To raise Your Klout Score

A lot of people asked me this year "What is Klout?" Now I know all you "social media divas" out there who already know what it is, are tracking your score every day, and are praying someone will reveal the secret to a higher Klout score. Sorry. None of that here.

I also am aware that many people hate Klout. Hate what is, what it does, why it exists, etc. I'm not looking to debate the merits of Klout, but to simply explain the tool that it is. (But happy to hear your arguments in the comments?)

This post is for those who are truly looking to understand what Klout is and whether they should pay attention at all.

The Top B2B Marketing Influencers On Twitter

Who are the top B2B Marketing influencers on twitter? To answer this question, I looked at a variety of factors including twitter followers, profiles that included "B2B marketing," the focus of their tweets including the hashtag #B2BMarketing, as well as a variety of social scoring tools using the keyword. I also created a B2B Marketing Influencers Twitter list as well.

20 B2B Marketing Blogs You Need To Read

When I created my own B2B Marketing Blog almost 3 years ago, I looked out across the blogosphere and asked "what do I have to say that is unique, valuable and helpful?" And so I created the B2B Marketing Insider to help provide an insider's point of view.

I made a lot of mistakes and learned through a ton of trial and error. But mostly, I looked to experts in the industry who had already blazed the trail ahead of me. So I reached out to my connections across the social landscape and asked who they thought published the best B2B Marketing blogs around.

20 Quotes To Inspire Your Marketing

Although I wrote this almost 2 years ago, it is still one of my most popular posts for 2013.  Here is my collection of 20 quotes to inspire your marketing. One of my favorites: "The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself." ~ Peter F. Drucker

What Is A Content Strategy And Why Do You Need It?

This is another post that I wrote more than 12 months ago but continues to be popular on the site. In this post I define Content Marketing and content strategy. I provide the simple business case for why you need it and also how you can quickly gain success with a content strategy that deploys effective content marketing techniques.

Bonus: A Day In The Life Of A Social Sales Person

I added this bonus article because I think this is important. Social selling is a hot buzzword being thrown around today. What is social selling and how do tomorrow's top sales people use social selling to become top performers?

I spend a good bit of my time helping sales leaders with these questions. And I hope this helps you too.

About Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner is the Vice President of Global Marketing for SAP where he leads content strategy and serves as the managing editor of the company's award-winning Business Innovation thought leadership blog site. He is also the author of B2B Marketing Insider, a contributor to Forbes and a frequent speaker at industry events covering topics such as marketing strategy, social business, content marketing, digital marketing, social media and personal branding.  Follow Michael on Twitter (@BrennerMichael)LinkedInFacebook and Google+ and Subscribe to B2B Marketing Insider by Email

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Saturday, December 21, 2013

eMarketer 2013 Year End Review and Top 10 Digital Marketing Trends

eMarketer in Review – Key 2013 Trends, Coverage Areas and Platform Growth 

It's been a fantastic year so far at eMarketer. As we enter the fourth quarter and continue planning for next year, I thought it might be good to review some of the improvements we've made to our research coverage and platform in 2013.


Improving Coverage and Insights

Our goal is to help clients make sense of the fast-changing digital landscape—which is why we collect all the research we can, synthesize it, and provide key insights and takeaways. This year we've taken our synthesis of key trends, topics, industries and global markets to another level, through a number of additions and improvements. Here is a run-through:

Sent from Ralph Paglia's iPhone 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Jim Ziegler: Retail Sales Management Validation and Pay Plans

Pay For Performance: Change Is Necessary - Sometimes

By Michael Rees

All your sales team should be on performance-driven pay plans. That includes salespeople, closers and sales managers—if you want them to perform, that is. But what constitutes a good, well-rounded performance-driven pay plan? And what kind of uproar is going to happen if you start changing pay plans?

The last thing I want to advocate is messing with your employees' pay plans. If ever there were words that didn't sit well together, those words would be "change" and "pay plan." Sure, you could easily bring valuable employees in to your office to give them a pay increase. However, if you sat them down and said you were going to change their pay plan, they would only think negatively about it no matter how good it may be, so be very careful with this.

After selling cars in England for five years, in the early 80s I started selling cars at an Atlanta dealership that was only selling 40 units a month. After a month or two, I became salesman of the month and held on to that title for the next 11 months straight. I was promoted to sales manager for my efforts, but my pay plan left a little to be desired. After two months, I asked to go back on the floor because I had been making a whole lot more as a salesman. A few months later, I was offered the sales manager position again, but this time I negotiated a pay plan that was a percentage of the gross profit of the sales department. Over the next four years, we grew the sales so much that we built a new facility to cater to all the new business. We then hired a new F&I manager, who really changed the way we did business in that department. I imagine you have heard of him; it was the one and only Mr. Jim Ziegler. 

Jim and I really rocked and rolled, as we continued to build the dealership to a record month. We sold 256 vehicles and averaged over $3,000 per copy! Both of us were on performance-driven pay plans, so the more the dealership made, the more we both made. We were ecstatic about this incredible month, especially as we would both benefit personally just as the dealership benefited.

A few days into the next month, I was called in to the dealer's office, where the dealer and GM congratulated me on the terrific month, then asked the question: "Do you realize how much money you made last month?"

Well, of course I did because I kept impeccable records and always knew how much I was making. They informed me that they thought I had made too much!! Remember, this was a strictly performance based plan, but now we had apparently over performed!! Then came those words I mentioned earlier: "We are going to change your pay plan!"

Ziegler had the exact same meeting with the dealer and GM, and that was the last day either of us worked in that dealership. The dealership lost two of their best managers that day because they didn't want to continue to pay for overachievers.

My point with this story is that you need to be prepared for extraordinary performance.  In fact, you should want to pay big commissions (if you have your people on the right pay plans).

If you want to get the most out of your sales team, you have to motivate them with compensation. I do not have a perfect pay plan that works for everyone because every dealership is different and you need to look after your people accordingly. You cannot have the same pay plan for a sales manager whose team sells 300 vehicles a month as a sales manager whose team sells 50 a month.

To determine whether a review of your pay plans may be needed, consider the following criteria:
1.      Your people should earn more as the dealership earns more. 

2.      Their earnings should be commensurate with the amount of money they earn for the dealership. A set amount per vehicle sold matches the first criteria, but not necessarily the second.

3.      If they are selling 18 or more vehicles a month, every month, they should not be able to do the same elsewhere and make more money.

4.      If your managers look after a team of quality salespeople who consistently perform, they should not be able to do the same elsewhere and make more money.

5.      You should have bonus programs for overachievers, not for the average.

To finish, here are just a couple of examples of effective performance-driven pay plans:

Salespeople should make a percentage of the gross profit (both front and back) that increases as the volume increases. For example:

 0-15 units10 percent 
 10-14 units15 percent
 15-18 units20 percent 
 18-25 units25 percent 
 25+ unts30 percent 

These percentages need to be retroactive. This means that in order for the big volume salesperson to make real money, he/she has to gross more for the dealership.

Sales managers and F&I managers should make a percentage of the gross profit (both front and back) that increases as volume increases. This will vary a great deal according to the size of your dealership. Figure out how much the job is worth; then work out what percentage of the gross profit you are currently doing that figure equates to. Then, as your dealership makes more, the manager is compensated accordingly. This percentage will normally range from 3 percent to 10 percent.

If you feel you need to re-vamp some, or all, of your pay plans, spend time to make sure you get it right for all parties. Do your calculations, using "what if" scenarios. You need to be comfortable with pay plans that could make your employees more than they have ever made before as long as that means your dealership makes more.

Vol 5, Issue 8

[Sent from Ralph's iPad]

RIP PaulWalker shared an Instagram photo with you


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"The best performance metric benchmarks for car dealers are not industry averages or what other dealers report... The best comparable metrics are what that same dealership reported in previous periods. #AutoMarketing #CarDealer #Metrics #Reports #BDC #AutoIndustry #Automotive"
(taken at Automotive Media Partners, LLC)

The Instagram Team

Friday, December 6, 2013



Look around you--robots are everywhere. The recent announcement that Jeff Bezos plans touse drones to deliver Amazon orders to customers only underscores how ingrained these not-quite-sentient creations are in our lives these days. Of course, before Roombas and Big Dog became reality, we had to imagine what robots might be like when assembling sci-fi movies and TV shows. Despite their mechanical nature, the robots often ended up having just as much personality as their human counterparts.

Click Infographic above to expand

Toronto-based artist Scott Park has just created a poster called "Synthespians," which gathers illustrated versions of 66 famous robots from movies and TV shows. "Synthespians" fulfills the dream of a crossover universe where the Voltron robots get to kick it with Robocop and also Dot Matrix from Spaceballs. Seeing all these life-like pieces of metal gumbo lined up together recalls how successfully the various writers involved were able to create distinct characters out of them. And also--sigh--how Michael Bay uses them to blow stuff up.

Are there any favorite robots missing? Let us know in the comments below.

H/t to Blame It On the Voices

[Sent from Ralph Paglia's iPad]
[Sent from Ralph's iPad]

Ralph Paglia


Automotive Media Partners, LLC



Sunday, December 1, 2013

Paul Walker Interviews In This CNN News Report

Watch my video, "Paul Walker Interviews In This CNN News Report" -

[Sent from Ralph Paglia's iPhone]

Paul Walker: "...Do Not Cry Because I Was Smiling."

Ralph Paglia shared an Instagram photo with you


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"#TravelLikeRalph and master the art of living out of #airports and #rentalcars in the pursuit of #automarketing #success and #cardealers selling more new and used vehicles... #autoindustry #automotive #carpeeps #digitalralph "
(taken at Mccarron Southwest)

The Instagram Team