By Ashley Reyes
Laurel Dasher of PDM Automotive recently shared how her company is pivoting during the pandemic and utilizing technology to keep business moving forward during a recent interview with the SEMA Emerging Trends and Technology Network (ETTN).
To help inspire and motivate others to learn new tips and ideas, Dasher’s insight provides a unique perspective on how her company has overcome recent challenges, and what trends she is seeing in sales and marketing as a result of COVID-19.
SEMA: How has your company pivoted during the pandemic?
Laurel Dasher: PDM Automotive is a cloud-based technology company, so we specialize in working remotely. We provide a platform that gives customers access to their product data 24/7/365 remotely and they can send product data to all sales channels instantly. Our customers have definitely benefited from managing their own product data remotely. They have not missed a beat. Growing a relatively new company during a pandemic has been a rollercoaster for sure. We run lean, so we are “all hands-on deck.” Staying focused has been the key and knowing that the automotive industry has a strong core, and it’s helped us keep a positive attitude.
SEMA: What technology tools, new or old, have you leaned on recently?
LD: We were looking forward to attending shows/conferences/events to network in person and build the brand; however, we have participated in multiple virtual events and conferences that have been very effective. Participating in virtual events has given us the ability to network in a whole new way. It has essentially been more targeted and focused. In-person shows that pivoted to a free or low-cost virtual event have been a great benefit to PDM.
The new technology that PDM offers has been an asset for companies needing/wanting to manage their data remotely. Whether they want to sell online, release new products or export data to their customers, they can do it from home like never before. Utilizing platforms to have face-to-face meetings and calls has been wonderful. I love seeing people during our calls. It's like we are in the same room. It has improved communication exponentially.
SEMA: What new trends have you noticed with sales and marketing?
LD: Virtual events! Podcasts. Social media is on fire. YouTube videos and electronic cataloging as well.
SEMA: What, if any, changes in business do you feel will outlive the pandemic?
LD: Access to cloud-based product data. Manufacturers selling direct to consumer. Brick-and-mortar companies selling online. We are a strong industry; The SEMA Show will prevail! I hope that video calls are here to stay. I love seeing the person that I am talking too. It helps to maintain all of the wonderful relationships we have built and show that we are in this together.
Register for ETTN’s “Industry Talks: Back to Business” virtual panel discussion on “Pivoting in a Pandemic: Technologies to Move us Forward” on September 4. Additional updates and resources to assist ETTN members get back to business are available at www.sema.org/reopen.
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