Go back to the early days of the Internet in the mid 1990's (almost 20 years ago), it was clear at the time that at some point, the showroom would be disintermediated (remember that term), the knowledge base that resided in the showroom would be disseminated via the Internet.
The salesperson (the definition of the time) would be disintermediated.
Think about this...20 years later in the auto business its all referred to as the Internet, its divided into bite size portions. Its a battle plan here, social media there, seminar, webinar, symposium, summit, and everyone of these things presumably has most of the answer to all the problems/challenges/obstacles.
If you remember 20 years ago, when we were dealing with dial up modems, and dowload speeds of 28 or 56K, clunky web sites, and product information migrating to the Internet. Watching the evolution from Netscape to Internet Explorer, to Chrome and Firefox. Back them the discussion was "wait till broadband becomes a reality".
When broadband became a widespread reality in the early 2000's, technology moved even faster, the product knowledge transferred even faster, complemented by videos, and more photos.
Imagine for a moment the folks that were challenged understanding what was going on, and yes persisted in doing business as asual, and yes it still worked. Think for a moment, that an advertised "incentive program" is similar to a "nuclear blast" that immediately crosses all the lines, and blankets the various media platforms.
If you are a manufacturer what do you do? You continue with aggressive and expensive brick and mortar programs (everyone understands brick and mortar its been around for centuries). Then "nuke" the competition with "incentive programs" to actually move iron. Reflect on this for a moment.
Lets progress to the late 2000's with the advent of social media...wow, here's the talk..."you need to be on Facebook, you need to understand Twitter, you need to grasp social media". Obvious that "social media" becomes the buzz word, and there are all sorts of social media illuminati going around.
Now factor in the various showroom technologies, CRM, BDC, Big Data, to name a few. You know the saying "we are in the people business...."
Reflect on this for a moment, and we will continue.