Maritz Infuses Auto Industry Performance Improvement Expertise into New, Dealer-Focused Solutions

  Maritz Infuses Auto Industry Performance Improvement Expertise into New,
  Dealer-Focused Solutions

  Sales & Marketing Services Company Creates Maritz Dealer Solutions Group,
               Acquires Digital Marketing Firm Opportunity Max

Business Wire

ST. LOUIS -- January 8, 2013

Maritz, well-known for its performance improvement programs and work with most
automotive brands such as BMW, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Nissan, Toyota and
Volkswagen, is taking its expertise directly to the dealer market. The company
today announces the acquisition of Opportunity Max and the subsequent
formation of Maritz Dealer Solutions. This dealer-focused solutions group will
enable automotive dealers to dominate the market by identifying points of
competitive differentiation in the digital space and converting leads,
especially Internet leads, into sales.

Based in Las Vegas, Opportunity Max is a digital consulting and services firm
that provides auto dealers with opportunity/lead management, event handling,
competitive intelligence, website optimization, staff development, fixed
operations management, social media strategies & implementation, and
reputation monitoring. Now, as a part of the Maritz suite of dealer solutions,
Opportunity Max’s team and services will be integrated with Maritz’ automotive
experts and sales and marketing solutions.

“Opportunity Max has a great team and an even better track record with its
dealer clients,” said Andy Sells, general manager of the Maritz Dealer
Solutions group. “We are seeing 50 percent improvement in phone volume,
internet leads, showroom traffic and digital sales within six months for
dealer clients who follow Opportunity Max’s proven strategies. We’re confident
that these services, combined with Maritz’ performance improvement solutions,
are a winning formula for dealers who want a competitive advantage in their

According to a recent Maritz Automotive Research Group Study, 78 percent of
people shopping for a vehicle use the internet to aid in their purchase
decision. The average shopper looks at 2.6 same-make dealer sites when making
their selection on where to purchase the car that they’ve already decided they
want to purchase. In addition, other activities that consumers typically have
engaged in at the dealership are increasingly occurring via the internet.

Internet Activities Prior to Vehicle Purchase
Visit a manufacturer site – 91%
Visit a dealer site – 91%
Obtain vehicle pricing information via the Internet – 62%
Visit a 3rd party site – 34%
Visit website to obtain necessary information – 32%
Correspond with dealer or manufacturer via email prior to purchase – 28%
Request a price quote for a vehicle via the internet – 27%
Set up a test drive – 10%
Shop for credit/financing via the internet – 9%
Request a brochure – 8%
Apply for credit/financing via the internet – 6%
Visit a social media site – 5%
Visit a manufacturer’s finance company site – 4%

“What this data tells us is that dealer relationships with customers have to
be built online because the customer is making the bulk of their decisions
about what to buy, where to buy and what to pay via the web BEFORE they set
foot in the dealership,” notes Mitch Cummins, president of Opportunity Max and
senior vice president Maritz Dealer Solutions. “Dealerships allow hundreds of
opportunities to slip away each year due to poor processes, incorrect
reporting, ineffective lead management, poor merchandising and inadequate
plans supporting the newer digital marketing channels. Most dealers spend
enough on marketing technology tools, but Opportunity Max ensures dealers are
optimizing all opportunities through end-to-end organizational execution that
is repeatable.”

Maritz has been servicing the automotive industry for more than 40 years and
provides performance improvement, sales and marketing services to most major
automotive manufacturers. Maritz regularly delivers the following solutions to
OEMs and their dealer partners:

  *Incentive programs (cash, merchandise and travel)
  *Customer event management
  *Product launches
  *Training and performance improvement programs
  *Ride and Drives
  *Customer satisfaction research
  *Customer experience measurement and management
  *Social media monitoring and analysis

“Getting customers into the dealership in this digitally-driven marketing
environment is that all-important first step. However, the most profitable
dealers maintain an ongoing relationship with customers, who continue to buy
and service their vehicles at the dealership,” says Steve Sigman, senior vice
president of sales and marketing for Maritz Dealer Solutions. “With the
acquisition of Opportunity Max, Maritz Dealer Solutions has both the
experience and cutting-edge solutions that no other company can deliver to
dealers. We ensure the dealership has organizational alignment to provide the
best customer service and achieve optimum dealership performance.”

For more information,, or call 1-877-4MARITZ.

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Jennifer Larsen, 636-827-1523
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