Last week, I went to the automotive retail equivalent of Disney World – the 2017 NADA Convention and Expo in New Orleans. The Brits call it “nada” and the Americans “N.A.D.A”, but either way we know that for the industry it’s – to quote Ron Burgundy – a big deal. With more than 23,000 visitors and featuring 1.1m square feet of exhibition space, this is the premier event for seeing the products and services that power American car dealers.

Here are my key takeaways from a brilliant few days:

  • The principle theme that I spotted from a digital retailing perspective was analytics.
  • The number of Dealer Management Software (DMS) vendors exhibiting, and the language used in their marketing collateral, highlighted the value in using data to understand and improve your business.
  • There were some very interesting new companies who were providing better insight into online traffic, handling of leads and business performance.
  • The importance of internet traffic (the vast majority of consumers start their car search online) uncovers a number of data sources for audience profiling and tracking.