Jason Monaghan, Marketing Director, Newton Motor Group

December 10, 2022
ASOTU was on the ground with Jason Monaghan during the 2022 Modern Retailing Conference.
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Jason Monaghan is the Marketing Director at Newton Motor Group.

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Kyle Mountsier: 0:00This is In the Dirt with ASOTU.Paul Daly: 0:02

You ever been on a podcast? Jason? No, I'm a rookie. Yeah, started that way. Rookies. Jason Monaghan, I know, your official title with

Jason Monaghan: 0:16

fireman, Fireman is professional firefighter. So many marketing director, but we're a lot of hats for sure.

Paul Daly: 0:26

And tell us a little bit about your story group cetera.

Jason Monaghan: 0:29

So we're a group just outside of Nashville. That's how I know, Kyle. And so we have been growing, but trying to be strategic about how we grow. And so Nashville has been where everything started. And then we have kind of moved both north and south. Yeah, through Middle Tennessee. And I like, I've worked for a lot of different places, I was a designer and in the creative world,

Paul Daly: 1:00

like, from an actual design background, and

Jason Monaghan: 1:03

so the thing I appreciated most about the what they do is, is just they are very tart, targeted. Precise, that precise. That's the word you're looking for precise.

Paul Daly: 1:18

Did you have a good year? Last year was good.

Jason Monaghan: 1:20

It was a good year.

Paul Daly: 1:21

Okay. So really, what we want to know is, from a marketing standpoint, why was it good? Why was it good? What made it good?

Jason Monaghan: 1:27

Well, I feel like a lot of things leading up to COVID. We were really ahead of the game, as far as digital retailing went,

Paul Daly: 1:33

why I saw what's ahead of the game. I mean,

Jason Monaghan: 1:38

it was established before COVID happened.

Paul Daly: 1:41

selling online, so merchandising properly, correct. Are you a one price store? No. Okay, so you're still negotiating?

Jason Monaghan: 1:46

Yes. Okay. Yes. The coolest thing about Newton is the culture that they've created, if they are really reaching out with, they start with the employees, they take care of their employees, employees take care of the people. And so the core values that Mike Abbondanza has kind of established for our group of stores is something that is like, it runs through every aspect of the store from top to bottom.

Paul Daly: 2:13

So culture, culture is killing it absolute. So you had a good couple years, you feel like you were ahead of the curve, because your digital marketing was in place when COVID hit. So you didn't have to figure out what are we going to do, right? You're like, oh, we just this is actually way more relevant now. True. And so now we're out of COVID. The world is somewhat normalizing. So a lot of people are realizing they have to start getting back into aggressive marketing, right, like paying attention to it. But what are you in your team? Like, what have you been doing the last six months? And what are you leaning into?

Jason Monaghan: 2:45

We're leaning heavy into video. And we're having fun with it. My Nissan South store which is down kind of near Lynchburg. Had a kid there that, you know, was kind of a little awkward as a salesperson. But as soon as he knows, as soon as he gets on the other side of the camera, like it was like a flip. The switch was flipped and like he's very dynamic. And I mean, he kind of he took some ownership of that and so we kind of let them run with it. They have 80,000 followers now. We've been they will like that store that store specifically

Paul Daly: 3:20

so the store has 80,000 followers on Tiktok on Tik Tok. Yep, that's unbelievable.

Kyle Mountsier: 3:26

Are you are you figuring out you know, because that's the one store south of Nashville, is there any, like learning from that in order to take that to some of the other stores and the way that that's being that's being done or it's so personality driven that it's hard to replicate?

Jason Monaghan: 3:41

It's been hard to replicate. The reality is and the thing that we try and encourage the most is guys like not only are we building a brand for the store, but you're building your own brand like you're trying to sell cars but you're building your own brand. And so what they what a lot of the guys fail to grasp is like if you're awkward, like be awkward, it's okay to be lean. That's right just have fun with it and and the guys that do we have a guy at the my flagship store in Gallatin, his name is Derek he's super dynamic and fun. And like, every one of his videos is like, come see me and every customer that comes in, it's not just like a picture. He has the customer say come see DW and he like leans in and like, it's part of a stick. Yes. But I mean, they know who he is. He could come. But

Paul Daly: 4:23

if you're awkward, be awkward. I mean, like Napoleon Dynamite is very endearing. That's right. That's right.

Jason Monaghan: 4:29

That's right. And I have like, there's a guy at one of my other stores who was a preacher. And so I've tried to do some things with Drew but like it's almost a little like hellfire and brimstone falling from the sky. Like, you know, like his, his customers love him. Right. And so I mean,

Paul Daly: 4:44

that's the thing about like, people like to buy things from people they trust and usually the people that trust are the people that they understand. Exactly. So someone that's like them is going to be just some whether they understand absolutely right like if I know you're an Eagles fan, and you are I am an Eagles fan buying a car from you, man, come on. like, cry about last night. And then we'll say go birds will write it right on the invoice. Because it can be used as a greeting. That's salutation, a descriptor. It's just

Jason Monaghan: 5:13

like the people that were with at the restaurant last night, they said, Do you guys want to just like do the Eagles chant? And I just I went right. Like, there's no, there's no stop.

Kyle Mountsier: 5:22

You know, I think this is this is a unique thing that I think dealerships are starting to recognize is that their greatest unique selling proposition is not that they're one price, or they have a DR Tool on their website, or they, you know, have coffee and the, you know, the greatest coffee in the showroom. It's it's actually much deeper than that. It's all the way down to there people like the I think we've said this before, is the unique selling proposition of the franchise retail industry is its people through and through, like, and If dealerships can match that as their energy is like, our unique selling proposition is our people. And not that just we have people but that each of them are unique and have micro communities and have their great people in there in the community. And they know that they know people and they interact in a certain way. And that's like the let's call it 50 at a store greatest marketers entering your community on a daily basis. And so when I see micro moments of this, I'm like, Yes, that's, that's what has staying power. That's what has long and then you grow those people when they have long, they have long careers, and they are excited and feel good. You know, at that store, have you seen, you know, a culture shift since some doing some of the type of activity

Jason Monaghan: 6:38

without a doubt? Oh, yeah, there's been a big change. You know, he, his name is Dawson Kula. And he, he has his his little lav mic and he walks around and it's basically interview style. He's like, What do you think of this? What do you think of this? It's kind of like he's got very it's very guerilla like the grill ask. And the Music City Grand Prix was in Nashville, and he has a drift car. And it drew all these people to him. And by the end of the day, he was like, I never thought I'd be so tired shooting videos like I'm exhausted. But it was just constantly left it all out, though. He did. And it was amazing. And I mean, the the response that we got from it,

Paul Daly: 7:14

I mean, how much did that cost the dealership

Jason Monaghan: 7:20

some time, a little bit

Kyle Mountsier: 7:22

of time, a guy maybe a ticket right through

Paul Daly: 7:24

100 bucks. And he did all the work. And at the end of the day, he thanked the dealership for the opportunity, right? Like, it's just like the paradigm is so opposite. It does involve we had a lot of questions about this, in our creative track one of our creative track classes today. How do I get people to engage? How do I get my salespeople to make content? How do I get them to actually do something? And it sounds like what you're explaining is it's in the culture now. To do that, like to make content? What has it all had it always been like that from when you started? Or how did you actually get that snowball rolling down the hill?

Jason Monaghan: 8:02

I think it was about letting them know that they can have fun. I mean, stop trying to sell and how and how did that happen? Like,

Paul Daly: 8:09

like for those watching, listening? No one's creating content at the store. And then somebody starts at noon, like how does that actually happen?

Jason Monaghan: 8:18

Well, it really started. Years ago, I had this. It was a dumb idea. But it turned out to be fun. All fun

Paul Daly: 8:25

ideas started out. It's hard to tell the difference between a dumb idea and a fun idea.

Jason Monaghan: 8:30

That's right. That's right. And so like they saw that we could have some fun with making commercials. And we didn't put out there like the other car dealers like like they're trying to get somebody to come to a monster truck rally, like come see us. No. And so when we put when we set that down, when we sat down and we're able to really just kind of have fun with it and say like, you know, they don't take themselves too seriously. Yeah, they don't have to have the the owner operator and every commercial with his kids and walking down the line car. That's right. And so when gestures everywhere, and when there's no like, we have 0% Right now, like when not when that is all left

Paul Daly: 9:08

Perry hurry, you're gonna die. That's right by the start now.

Jason Monaghan: 9:12

That's over. That's right and so on. And they saw that like, oh, it can be fun. I think it allowed them to relax a little bit and realize, okay, so we can have fun and so like, it doesn't really snow in Nashville. I know. It's hard.

Paul Daly: 9:24

I understand. That's hard. No, no, that's not I mean, it snowed last year and it was a thing. It was

Kyle Mountsier: 9:30

it snowed like two and a half inches in the city shut down.

Jason Monaghan: 9:35

snow tomorrow, everything is shut down.

Paul Daly: 9:37

Why one man's mountains another man's vice versa.

Jason Monaghan: 9:42

But they had a snowball fight. And that was kind of what started to kick. So they recorded it and that was kind of I mean, there was man snowflake like there was three snowballs. It took like all of the snowballs, but that recorded it and it got a little bit of traction and we're like oh, we can we had some fun with us, and so yeah, they started doing things and

Paul Daly: 10:02

who led the pack? They're like, who was the one that said, let's record a snowball fight? Yeah,

Jason Monaghan: 10:09

that was my idea. Yeah, you

Kyle Mountsier: 10:11

gotta have that. Oh, that's so you can say that well, hey, look, Jason. You know, we could go on and on because you've got some really creative stuff. We didn't even dip into the community stuff that you do. Maybe we'll get you on one of our other podcasts, but I know you're doing some really cool stuff. If you aren't following the Newton account. What they're doing down there. They've got some really fun stuff on Tik Tok and and across

Paul Daly: 10:34

accounts, tell us the account. I'm with Newton at Newton. Oh, at I'm with

Unknown: 10:39

Newton. Yep, yep. On TikTok. So

Paul Daly: 10:41

you got to check that out. I know you're

Jason Monaghan: 10:45

with Newton right now with you, but I'm actually with

Kyle Mountsier: 10:47

it. Yeah, but they do a lot of stuff. A lot of cool stuff outside of tick tock so but appreciate you coming on with us. Thanks, guys. I

Jason Monaghan: 10:52

appreciate it. Awesome. Awesome.

Kyle Mountsier: 10:55

Thank you for listening to In the Dirt with ASOTU. We love the automotive industry and the people who make it run day in and day out. We would love to connect with you more through our daily dose of fun, a free email that you can sign up for at asotu.com That's a s o t u.com. We put our heart and soul into it every day. Thanks again for listening. Join us next time for more Conversations In the Dirt with ASOTU

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