On July 20, 2018, digital automotive company Dealers United announced a final agreement to acquire Seattle-based media and video production company What’s Next Media for an undisclosed amount. What’s Next Media provides dealerships high-quality automotive video content, including video consulting and assets for Facebook and YouTube advertising, which Dealers United will integrate into their existing digital and social media campaigns through its extensive dealer network.
Both What’s Next Media and Dealers United have quickly grown over the past seven years in correlation with the auto industry’s adoption of digital marketing trends. What’s Next Media’s unique video strategies have helped dealerships identify and motivate customers’ actions, which complements Dealers United’s car shopper targeting on channels like Facebook and Instagram. The What’s Next Media team will now work hand-in-hand with Dealers United to produce stronger, more accessible video messaging for auto dealers nationwide.
The two companies will operate together, with What’s Next Media’s main office remaining in Seattle, WA as a West Coast satellite office to Dealers United’s headquarters in Sarasota, FL. The acquisition will add an innovative team with automotive experience and a variety of key players, including WNM’s co-founders, in order to continue scaling Dealers United’s digital marketing campaigns.
“I am so proud of what we have been able to build and do for our clients,” said Andrew Myers, COO and co-founder of What’s Next Media. “We reached a point where the opportunity was bigger than our ability to go after it on our own. Dealers United has been a partner of ours from the beginning – we’ve always had an aligned vision for putting our dealers first and building at scale. This move allows us to leapfrog our competition entirely, creating ads faster with our shared automation, access to data, powerful content, and knowledgeable teams. We couldn’t be more excited for the future.”
Dealers United has historically resold What’s Next Media videos, and now will incorporate all of What’s Next Media video campaigns into their product suite. The company’s main offerings include model-line walkaround videos to better showcase dealership inventory, Facebook and Instagram video ad series to strengthen customer relationships, and custom video for use on any website or third party.
Pete Petersen, CEO of Dealers United, and his team have recently focused their product line around helping auto dealers reach car shoppers through Facebook and Instagram advertising. As one of nine Oracle Data Cloud Auto Elite Data Marketer partners, Dealers United has access to in-market automotive data targeting and other leading data sets within Facebook. In addition, the company has worked closely with Facebook’s Automotive division to develop and test the most effective ad types and strategies specifically for auto dealers. Through Dealers United’s ads, dealerships are able to transform their vehicle inventory into first party website traffic and leads by delivering the right vehicle ad to the right shopper.
Petersen is eager to have the powerful video storytelling techniques from What’s Next Media closer to the fold so they can help dealers position what makes them unique and yield stronger messaging online.
“No one can deny video’s role in this industry,” said Petersen. “Video is engaging; it’s personal. It brings the customer onto the dealer’s lot and into their newest model, it introduces their team, it tells the story of why a shopper should choose their store instead of the dealer down the street. With car shoppers on average visiting a single dealer before buying, dealers have to get their story out to buyers faster and online, and WNM has really nailed turning storytelling into results. We’re incredibly excited by What’s Next Media joining our team. What we have built together is so powerful – and we’re just ramping up.”
With paired digital expertise and a shared mission for dealer advocacy, both companies expect to propel dealerships into more engaging and effective digital conversations that can be tracked to true unit sales.
From the acquisition, Dealers United members and customers can expect greater size and scope of Dealer United’s advertising methods, as well as gain the following enhancements:
- Access to a full suite of new, custom video content
- An expanded library of OEM / factory-approved campaigns
- Quicker turnaround time and in-house video production
- Advanced dealer customization specific to each dealership’s needs
- A unique dealer-focused strategy geared around dynamic ad campaigns
- To learn more about Dealers United’s video strategies, visit dealersunited.com/video.