The First Pencil

The First Pencil

Mike The Car Guy Correra and Kathi Kruse are best friends, with many many years of retail experience in the car biz. "We decided to get together every week and talk about the things that are important to us in the auto industry, and hope you’ll come along for the ride. We’ll cover industry stuff, social media, and digital retail, all with a dose of our love for 80s/90s music. Join us!"

Episodes

March 26, 2024 36 mins

👉Sign up for Kathi’s newsletter here👈


Spring is always a good time to review and reflect on what’s working for you, what’s not, and what needs more attention. Kathi and Mike share a few “Spring Cleaning” stories and best practices at the dealership. 


Music segment: 

Alanis Morrisette on David Letterman: You Oughta Know


Milli Vanilli documentary The bizarre untold truth behind the greatest con in music history


👉Sig...

Mark as Played

👉Sign up for Kathi’s newsletter here👈


This week, Kathi and Mike share insights on Rand Fishkin’s SparkToro’s website traffic sources study. Some surprises, great data.


Then we talk about the valuable company assets known as social media business pages. It’s no longer simple or easy to retrieve them if you don’t have login credentials so we share our best practices for how to never find yourself in that position.


Weeke...

Mark as Played
March 5, 2024 46 mins

👉Sign up for Kathi’s newsletter here👈


As we witness every social media channel changing and shifting, so goes the user experience and behavior on each one. 


Kathi and Mike try to make sense of the current state of social platforms, how to navigate the changes and what we can expect for the foreseeable future. 


One thing that doesn’t change? The need for outstanding, relatable, educational content.


Music:

The Midnig...

Mark as Played
February 13, 2024 44 mins

👉Sign up for Kathi’s newsletter here👈


Mike gives us a breakdown of the goings-on at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention from his view as an exhibitor.  


As introverts, we both share certain traits (that are completely normal BTW) that make large groupings of people (like conferences, conventions) sometimes hard to navigate and are often draining.


In our music segment:

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame n...

Mark as Played

👉Sign up for Kathi’s newsletter here👈


Kathi and Mike are back with an episode to catch you up on what’s hip and what’s not in the world of using AI. We both come from dealerships so our perspective is different from that of a vendor’s. There’s a lot to learn and say about this exciting new tool but for now, here’s what we’re seeing as a practical way of incorporating AI to enhance operations without feeling overwhelmed by it ...

Mark as Played

👉Sign up for Kathi’s newsletter here👈

The 2023 Cox Automotive Service Study reveals a significant shift in consumer preferences regarding vehicle service providers and customer experience. While dealerships historically led as the preferred choice, they are now facing increasing competition from general repair shops. This change is driven by a decline in consumer trust towards dealerships.


Music: 

Mikes favorite Xmas ...

Mark as Played

👉Sign up for Kathi’s newsletter here👈


We’re back after a short hiatus. Thanks for listening!


In this episode, Kathi and Mike reminisce about their journey through automotive social media and online reputation management. 


Music: 

RIP Shane MacGowan/The Pogues

FairyTale of New York (1988)

The Dubliners and The Pogues (1987) 

The Irish Rover

Here’s one with Joe Strummer (The Clash) (1987)

I Fought the Law

Documentary: Crock of...

Mark as Played
October 19, 2023 40 mins

👉Sign up for Kathi’s newsletter here👈


Mike just got back from the Digital Dealer Conference in Las Vegas. We have thoughts.

Twitter, the platform we’ve loved for 14+ years, is officially dead. While both of us are still there, we are down to about 5% of the amount we used to be. Many sane users have been looking for a place to go. We’ve tried most of the new platforms and we think one has the best potential.


We a...

Mark as Played

👉Sign up for Kathi’s newsletter here👈

For some reason, Kathi and Mike have both been witnessing a lot of disturbing customer treatment lately. This week, we share a few stories and then discuss how that’s a losing proposition in today’s retail environment.


Then, we discuss why it’s important to have a written social media policy and some training to mitigate online crisis management.


And finally, Google Business Profiles a...

Mark as Played

👉Sign up for Kathi’s newsletter here👈


One of the most important parts of social media strategy is to monitor comments. It can be as simple as taking a few minutes out of your day to review comments and respond where appropriate, or advanced as using online marketing and data analytics tools. All of it will provide valuable insights into customer sentiment, customer experience and perception of your brand.


In our music seg...

Mark as Played

👉Sign up for Kathi’s newsletter here👈

We can all agree that change is hard, right? It’s super easy to retreat into the comfort of old habits (we’re all guilty of it!). Change is often accompanied by uncertainty, discomfort, and even fear and so resisting seems like the easier route. But when we view large and small shifts as opportunities rather than setbacks, new worlds open up. 


Kathi shares a bit about what’s happening on A...

Mark as Played

👉Sign up for Kathi’s newsletter here👈

You should consider your social media profiles as company assets. Don’t run the risk of losing them by giving outsized access to vendors. You wouldn’t give a vendor keys to the store so they can work on the vending machine, right? 


Mike got a new mic!

Music segment:

The Cure

Elvis Costello


Got a question (or two or three)? Email either (or both) of us!

Kathi: kathi@krusecontrolin...

Mark as Played

👉Sign up for Kathi’s newsletter here👈

Kathi and Mike believe delivering the very best customer experience is crucial to dealership profitability. When it comes to selling cars, not all customers are created equal. Some approach the dealership with a lack of trust and the expectation of an adversarial buying experience. Sometimes, people are just shady, which happens in any business that deals with the public. We share our insights...

Mark as Played

Kathi and Mike are car biz veterans. We strive to make the car biz a better place.

Mike shares his less-than-5-star dealer service experience and as with all things dealership customer related, we are inspired to share content ideas for service dept personnel and the marketers who love them.

Kathi shares her experience running the Hanaeleh horse rescue’s Hay Fundraiser on social media. She conducts these fundraisers three t...

Mark as Played
July 27, 2023 54 mins

Throughout this podcast, Kathi and Mike have shared techniques and tips on how to  make social media effective throughout the entire sales process. It works well in building a pipeline, nurturing leads, giving and getting referrals and achieving sales goals. 


The more things change, the more they remain the same. You can’t close the sale without connecting first.


Valuable content (that customers need and appreciate) is stil...

Mark as Played

Car prices are coming down and dealers’ vehicle supply is going up. The problem now is that loans are harder to come by. Millennials and Gen Z can’t afford their car loans and it seems to be getting worse. 


Delinquency rates on auto loans are hitting record highs: in May 2023, the number of severe delinquencies matched that of 2006, when Cox Automotive first started tracking these. All of this will cause major shifts ...

Mark as Played

Now that many of us are starting from scratch on a few new social networks, Kathi and Mike discover that when you’re forced to start over with a clean slate, it’s easy to lose sight of the exceptional talents each of us have. “Stinkin’ thinkin’” gets the better of all of us sometimes so we wanted to share our own tips and tricks for not letting imposter syndrome get the upper hand.


In our music segment:

Live Aid happened on this...

Mark as Played
July 6, 2023 54 mins

Today (7/6/23) is the launch of Threads, Facebook/Meta’s answer to Twitter. Kathi and Mike had already explored it a bit and have a lot to share about it and the other new platforms that are popping up.


As things shift and decentralize in the social media ecosystem, it’s more important than ever to begin with a strategy that outlines the goals you want to achieve. Kathi and Mike share a few not-best-practices they’ve seen happe...

Mark as Played
June 29, 2023 53 mins

To say there’s been changes in the car business is a colossal understatement. After the challenges from the pandemic, it seems as though dealership processes are all over the place…and that’s to be expected. But now that we are beginning to see a return to some norms, and customers are expecting an improved experience at the dealership, focused training and digital retail tools will get the flow going again.


Our friend, Tim Bar...

Mark as Played

There are consequences of social media behavior. Whether they’re good or bad is determined by you. We talk about it a lot but wow, it’s so crucial to think about how you want to be perceived.


Then we talk about ChatGPT and how useful it can be for creating social media content.


Kathi shares her insights with the latest Facebook push of short-form video. Lots of opportunity for those without a budget…even if it’s temporary.

<...

Mark as Played

Popular Podcasts

    Start your day with The Bright Side, a new daily podcast from Hello Sunshine. Co-hosted by journalist, TV host, and podcaster, Danielle Robay and Emmy-nominated journalist, host, and producer, Simone Boyce, The Bright Side brings your daily dose of culture and inspiration – with the latest trends, celebrity interviews, and real conversations with women doing amazing things while navigating life’s transitions, big and small. The Bright Side is a talk show created to inspire, educate, and empower women as they tackle life each day and add joy to their morning routines. Join Danielle and Simone and the Hello Sunshine community every weekday for entertainment, culture, wellness, books, and more.

    Ways To Win

    Winning is an everyday mindset, and the coaches are here to help. Hosts Craig Robinson and John Calipari use their on-court wisdom to solve your off-court problems. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Dateline NBC

    Current and classic episodes, featuring compelling true-crime mysteries, powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations.

    Crime Junkie

    If you can never get enough true crime... Congratulations, you’ve found your people.

    Stuff You Should Know

    If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks, then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.

Advertise With Us
Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.

Connect

© 2024 iHeartMedia, Inc.