Renowned Northwestern University marketing professor, Florian Zettelmeyer, addresses DrivingSales Exective Summit on how ‘Big Data’ is changing the future of marketing – and what that means for today’s dealerships

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – September 11, 2012 – DrivingSales today announced that Florian Zettelmeyer, Northwestern University Professor of Marketing and author of a groundbreaking study on the impact of the Internet on automotive retailing, has joined the keynote line-up at the fourth annual DrivingSales Executive Summit (DSES), which is the industry’s most authoritative profit-building event for innovative dealers. Zettelmeyer’s keynote titled Is Marketing Dead? How Big Data is Changing the Future of Marketing examines the way that ‘Big Data’ is driving (or should be) a sea change in marketing practices extending across all organizational functions -- and the positive impact this can, and should, have on automotive retailing.

A leading expert on marketing and the impact of the symbiosis of data and technology on business, Florian Zettelmeyer is the J. L. and Helen Kellogg Professor of Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and was named the 2011 L.G. Lavengood Outstanding Professor of the Year. Prior to his appointment at Kellogg he was an Associate Professor of Marketing and chair of the marketing group at the Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley.

“It is no secret to anyone in our industry that ‘Big Data’ is changing everything because now we know almost everything about our customers, from what they are searching for on the web – and when, and where they are when they search - to their mobile search behavior, to their ‘likes’ and much, much more,” said DrivingSales CEO and Founder, Jared Hamilton. “All this data can be a blessing or a curse…drowning an organization if not appropriately used or sinking a retailer if ignored. Professor Zettelmeyer will illustrate how ‘Big Data’ is turning marketing into the leader, not the follower, in organizations, and how it can and should be used, and made actionable, across departments as a genuine ROI imperative versus a spreadsheet for overpaid analysts.”

Professor Zettelmeyer specializes in evaluating the effects of information technology and big data on firms. More generally, his work addresses how the information consumers have about firms and the information firms have about consumers affect firm behavior. The author of a ground-breaking study on how the Internet impacts car buying, Professor Zettelmeyer has extensively studied the auto retailing industry, investigating the effect of the Internet on auto sales, the pass-through of customer and dealer cash, the effectiveness of GM's "Employee Discount for Everyone," and how gasoline prices affect consumer choices. Professor Zettelmeyer teaches the MBA elective "Information- and Technology-based Marketing," the main marketing analytics course at the Kellogg School of Management. He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Professor Zettelmeyer received a Vordiplom in business engineering from the University of Karlsruhe (Germany), a M.Sc. in economics from the University of Warwick (UK) and a Ph.D. in marketing from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Professor Zettelmeyer speaks on October 22nd at 9:00 am and joins other DSES high-profile keynotes including Billy Beane of ‘Moneyball’ fame, SEO ‘superstar’ Rand Fishkin, mobile experience expert Luke Wroblewski, renowned leadership trainer Jim Dance and an exclusive presentation from Facebook and Google.

The DrivingSales Executive Summit takes place Sunday, October 21st through Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012 at the Bellagio Las Vegas and brings together the most progressive dealers in the country, along with world-renowned speakers, all focused on pushing the auto industry’s ‘innovation boundaries’ and translating the latest trends and business realities into solid 2013 action plans for every dealership department. The summit is 100 percent dealer-driven and has a vendor-neutral policy, meaning no vendor influence on presentation selection and adherence to a strict dealer-to-vendor ratio and is the only automotive conference where dealers decide the agenda, not the vendor sponsors. This translates into the highest level of learning for the dealer attendees versus other events where workshops are little more than glorified sales pitches.

Last year's summit was standing room only, and although DSES 2012 will allow for an expanded number of registrants, it is expected to sell out quickly. Register online for the DrivingSales Executive Summit at www(dot)DrivingSalesExecutiveSummit(dot)com/registration.

For more information about the DrivingSales Executive Summit, visit: www(dot)DrivingSalesExecutiveSummit(dot)com or contact dses(at)drivingsales(dot)com. Stay tuned for DSES news as it develops on www(dot)twitter(dot)com/drivingsales and on facebook(dot)com/drivingsales. Participate in the conversation with the #DSES hashtag as preparations continue throughout the year.

About DrivingSales
Founded in 2008 and dedicated to the dealer community, DrivingSales is a business intelligence and data company that delivers unbiased*, profit-building information to make automobile dealers more successful through three distinct channels: DrivingSales Data, DrivingSales University and DrivingSales Media. DrivingSales Data houses the largest database of cross-vendor, dealership performance data in the North American auto industry and provides dealerships with the most statistically accurate performance benchmarks and metrics for their marketing and technology investments. DrivingSales University is a fully interactive online university that offers advanced profit-building strategies to automotive professionals through hundreds of classes taught by world-leading experts. DrivingSales Media connects dealers to peers and information through its global media assets, including DrivingSales(dot)com, the world’s largest automotive social network; The Dealership Innovation Guide, an industry leading quarterly publication; DrivingSales Executive Summit, the top automotive conference for progressive dealers, and DrivingSalesTV, Web TV covering everything car-dealer related. Approximately one in every three dealerships in the United States has a registered member in the DrivingSales community.

*Vendor Neutral Policy: Dedicated solely to making dealerships more profitable, while also providing benefit to automakers and the industry as a whole, DrivingSales adheres to a strict vendor neutral policy through each of its channels. This means the company only provides unbiased information, not ‘pay-to-play’ follow up services -- and never accepts payment in exchange for media coverage or lets potential advertisers dictate messaging or create bias in any of its channels.

DrivingSales Media Relations:
Melanie Webber (melanie(at)mwebbcom(dot)com), mWEBB Communications, 424.603.4340
Angela Jacobson (angela(at)mwebbcom(dot)com), mWEBB Communications, 714.454.8776

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