In our final part of our conversation with Steve Stigliano, former GM of Gold Coast Cadillac we focus on what management skills he feels a GM needs to succeed in todays market.
Part Three: Education
GP: Steve, in our last part we discussed management skills in regards to a digital marketing position, leadership now has to manage a job they never did before. The GMs are more comfortable with conversations and inspection of results in other departments because they did those jobs previously in their climb up to the General Manager position. This type of marketing or position is a whole new ballgame that they don’t know.
So how do we as an industry make it understandable or easy to communicate to the general managers that they don’t need to do the digital manager’s job, they don’t need to go into analytics or they don’t have to know how to go to the backend of the website but they have to understand enough to monitor results.
I like to use this analogy. If a dealer sent someone to the auction to buy cars for the dealership, upon their return they would sit down and inspect what was purchased and for what price. Correct?
GP: But many GMs spend thousands of dollars month for digital marketing but don’t have the management skills to understand if their vendors did a good job.
How do we help dealers understand what questions to ask or where to turn for the education they need?
SS: I think conferences have some good information. I think they’re necessary for the industry and I think there are other things that they can do as well. Companies like PCG are now providing online video workshops to improve management skills on these subjects. You have some that are specifically targeting the general manager telling them, “Here are the things that you need to understand as a general manager today”.
You just said correctly that a GM does not have to be able to open up Google analytics and understand all the numbers that are associated in Google analytics but you have to be able to sit down and have a conversation about Google analytics with your marketing director or your vendor whomever that may be.
Those type of targeted workshops whether they be physical workshops or an online workshop like PCG has, those I think are critical and frankly yours are the only thing out there like it at the moment. Those online workshops are the things that are going to appeal to the general manager because they could do it at their own pace. They can do it in the anonymity of their office without feeling like they are sitting amongst a bunch of techy people and maybe feeling a little stupid that they don’t know this stuff.
So those are things that I think will really allow somebody to sit back who hasn’t had the experience on the digital side because they have been in the business for 20 or 30 years or whatever the timeframe is and allow them to take a step back and say I can learn this. This type of education is critically important for the success of a general manager today.
GP: Well thank you Steve. I appreciate it.