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Those butterflies sure like to travel

Auto-by-tel will also be selling in Europe : on the English, German and French market, in that order. The dealer, whose role has evolved relatively little since the beginning of the century, will have to look to his laurels. To be able to justify his commercial existence in the face of Auto-by-tel's competition, he will have to offer a constantly improved service and really play the card of customer contact. The manufacturers are investing huge sums on Internet to try to counterbalance the power of these new forces. But n France, torn between their desire to improve their existing distribution network and the potential they sense behind Internet, they only manage to sell a few dozen cars each quarter, not because the market isn't ripe, but because they haven't analysed the value of the service offered by Auto-by-tel, which brings a real financial advantage to the customer.
A sales strategy limited to a single isolated Website can't hope to compete with the revolution provoked by Auto-by-tel. They must accept the implementation of affiliation programmes similar to Amazon's, before Auto-by-tel gets there. But the car manufacturers have a secret card : their own computer systems which have made a good start and will become widely available, allowing access to an Internet-type network in the coming years. These networks will provide a means of generating new revenue.

The digital chain of evolution is not a quiet-flowing river

Auto-by-tel's history, to take one example, is nothing like a smooth, predictable highway. It is essential to know how to gamble everything on an intuition. Such an intuition made the managing director and cofounder of Auto-by-tel to stake a third of his 1996 turnover on an advertising campaign that lasted around thirty seconds. He won his bet, because those thirty seconds were followed by an increase of 1700% of visits to the site, and the sales in 1997 quadrupled. A million dollars invested in a single advertising spot during the screening of the Superbowl football championship represents one of the best investments ever made in a company's start-up.

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If you enjoyed this site, we obviously share values: we have written it in 1999 !

We haven't updated it online as the vision still is more and more relevant: the more the internet matures, the closer it gets to our vision.

We still believe in innovation, creativity, rigour and results control.

Contact us if you need webmarketing services:

Raphael Richard, founder

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