A Few Things I Learned at the ACC Conference

Last month, I attended the Automotive Communications Council’s annual conference in Louisville, KY. The three-day event brings together marketing and communications professionals from across the automotive aftermarket. Besides the names of some very nice and talented people in the industry, here are a few things I learned:

What I learned: I’m still not a bourbon fan.
Who taught me: Evan Williams Bourbon Experience

What I learned: I’m still very much both a fried chicken and chocolate chip cookie fan.
Who taught me: Royals Hot Chicken and Please & Thank You

What I learned: I knew this but it bears repeating: authenticity is so important to building trust with customers.
Who taught me: Trevor Potter, PBL Strategy

What I learned: Design thinking is a powerful way to turn a chaotic mix of ideas and to-dos into a focused plan of action.
Who taught me: Kale & Flax

What I learned: Good things really do happen when senior members of upper management (emphasis on senior) listen to ideas from younger members of the company, as evidenced by Federal Mogul’s rollout of its Garage Gurus initiative.
Who taught me: Laura Soave, Federal Mogul

What I learned: Automotive shop owners and many of their customers don’t care about NASCAR. Why do we automotive marketers keep pushing NASCAR stuff? Also, service advisors (not technicians) make the decision on which brand of parts to purchase.
Who taught me: The three automotive shop owners who were kind enough to sit on the conference’s panel and answer the group’s questions for 90 minutes.