David Clossey: Carchex is a Web-based automotive service company for consumers and auto dealerships. It has a program, WarrantyCRM, that helps dealers provide extended warranty programs to new car consumers and they wanted us to raise awareness of the plan and drive traffic to the Carchex Web site.
What made Automotive News such a good placement for them and how did you pitch the reporters/editors there?
Clossey: Automotive News is the leading trade title for auto dealerships and their executives and was our top target. We reached out to the Automotive News finance/marketing editor via e-mail suggesting a story on Carchex and WarrantyCRM, backing up our pitch with statistics and the opportunity to interview both a Carchex executive and a leading auto dealer.
Presumably there are other warranty CRM programs out there. How did you differentiate Carchex in your pitch?
Clossey: The key was offering an interview with a major auto dealer, in this case MileOne, which has 63 locations selling 27 different brands of cars. The hook was that MileOne went from selling almost no extended warranties at the time of vehicle sale to selling more than 100 per month through the Carchex WarrantyCRM program.
Did you have to media train Carchex CEO Jason Goldsmith and Dave Metter, CMO of MileOne, prior to their interviews? What other information did you provide to help clinch the placement?
Clossey: We talked to Jason and Dave about what Automotive News expected, but both have plenty of experience with the media and didn't require additional coaching. But we stayed in touch with the editor after the interviews and ended up sending additional numbers from MileOne and Carchex that illustrated the program's success.
What was the impact of the hit?
Clossey: Within 30 days of the story, Carchex had received 24 qualified leads through the microsite set up for dealerships and affiliates interested in the WarrantyCRM, so company executives were pleased.
Name: David Clossey, account manager, Abel Communications (Baltimore)
Placement: Automotive News, December 10, 1007
Pitch timeline: Two months