Unite Digital, LLC, a digital marketing company that focuses on OEM certified dealer digital programs, lead optimization, online-offline retail integration and customer retention and loyalty strategies, announced the expansion of its Unite CONNECT platform and the hiring of automotive digital retailing veterans, Dave Zuchowski and James Casazza, as chief strategy officer and chief innovation officer, respectively.
Unite CONNECT is a modern, flexible and easily customizable lead management and data insights platform built to incorporate the latest advances in technology and intelligent automation. It was built to handle the ways consumers expect to connect with dealerships today, expanding beyond email and phone response, to include text and messaging platforms in one unified interface.
“Unite CONNECT helps OEs and dealerships attract and identify more customers, customize their interactions and unite their data across tiers to create experiences that surprise and delight consumers,” said Stacey Coopes, founder and CEO of Unite Digital. “For example, with our platform, OEs capture and personalize communication to ten times more customers than older technology in use by most certified digital programs today.”
Unite CONNECT is being used by Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) in its MiDIGITALSOLUTIONS certified digital program, a comprehensive suite of digital marketing services and solutions managed by Unite Digital for the growing U.S. network of Mitsubishi Motors dealer partners.
“Unite CONNECT is a vast improvement over the lead management and analytics platforms we’ve used in the past, driving our lead acquisition cost down over 16 percent in the first year of use. More importantly, we’ve identified more customers to connect with and improved our dealership response rate to those customers by nearly 30 percent,” said Mark Chaffin, Chief Operating Officer for MMNA. “Unite customized the platform and program to the unique needs of our brand and dealer partners, rather than employing a one-size-fits-all approach.”
For example, for MMNA, Unite Digital has acquired and integrated real-time sales data from Mitsubishi Motors and competitive brands, so dealers know if the customer has purchased another vehicle elsewhere, allowing them to optimize their follow-up resources and tailor their communication to that customer with a more relevant service message.
About Unite CONNECT Lead Management
The platform integrates with all major CRMs and provides more than 200 customer data elements to provide dealerships with an in-depth look at customers, to understand where they live, what they drive and what drove them to the store. This helps dealerships respond to customers quickly and with customized communications that can increase sales conversions.
Examples of Unite CONNECT’s Unique Functionality:
- Captures website shoppers and converts them to known, marketable customers.
- Tracks all consumer activity on the OE and dealer websites, allowing dealers to personalize their communications to consumers with content relevant to them.
- Brings consumer information to dealers’ fingertips versus having them dig for it deep within the notes field of the CRM.
- Provides a funnel view of lead handling so OEMs and dealers can quickly identify break points in their customer follow-up and conversion.
- Integrates digital retailing elements to collect and display more of the information the consumer has provided online.
- Performs at light-speed with a flexible architecture that allows for varying views of data at faster processing times.
“Customer expectations of their online experience have dramatically changed over the last year based on experiences with companies like Amazon, Domino’s, Google, Instacart and Zappos,” Coopes said. “Our team is working hard to bring similar capabilities to our OEM and dealer partners. We have exciting new product and service launches we will be introducing throughout the year to meet these evolving needs.”
To support its continued expansion, Unite Digital has also added two key members to its leadership team.
Dave Zuchowski has been named chief strategy officer for Unite Digital. He is an accomplished automotive industry veteran with more than 40 years of broad leadership experience in retailing, sales and field operations among the OEM, retailer, agency and solution provider sectors. Dave most recently served as president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America, executive vice president of sales at Hyundai, senior vice president of Dealer Operations at Mazda North America and national director of Field Operations at Ford Motor Company. Additionally, Dave has served as the chief commercial officer for the Automotive Broadcasting Network (ABN) – one of the largest automotive digital signage companies in the United States, and chief investment officer for the BW Automotive Group – a ten-store dealer group doing business with seven brands across four states.
James Casazza has been named chief innovation officer, leading the development of Unite’s digital marketing portfolio and digital retailing solutions. Previously a manager of product management at Amazon, James led teams responsible for delivery and operational excellence of the technology suite powering Amazon’s global marketplace platform. Prior, he held roles at Facebook as a global client partner leading international partnerships with automotive OEMs and as product marketing manager for consumer trust and advertising integrity. At FordDirect, he was senior vice president of product management, responsible for building a portfolio of digital marketing services, including websites, leads, consumer marketing, digital advertising and social media.
“James and Dave know automotive retailing and digital sales and marketing inside and out. I can’t think of two better people to help catapult our business forward and serve our growing list of clients to create seamless consumer experiences that unite and differentiate manufacturers and their distribution network, bringing them into the modern age of buying and selling, wherever customers are,” said Coopes.