Cobalt is a NWjobs People’s Picks 2009 Finalist in Three Categories!

winner_rightimageEarlier this week the winners and finalists of the NWjobs People’s Picks 2009 contest were announced. Cobalt was awarded a finalist spot in three categories:

• Favorite Creative Company
• Favorite Technology Company
• Favorite Seattle-area Company

NWjobs People’s Picks winners and finalists are selected by public vote. NWjobs.com teamed up with the public to discover the favorite Northwest employers – employers who really make a difference to you and make you want to go to work every day. From Sept. 14 through Oct. 11, NWjobs.com asked visitors and email survey recipients to vote for their favorite Northwest employers in more than 25 categories for the fourth annual NWjobs People’s Picks contest.

You can view the results of the NWjobs People’s Picks 2009 at www.nwjobs.com/peoplespicks
 
Cobalt is a leader in automotive digital marketing, with over 10,000 automotive retail websites, and thousands of auto dealers using Cobalt’s paid search, display advertising and email marketing solutions. Cobalt is continuing to grow and is currently hiring, with more than seventy open positions in Seattle and around the country.

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Cobalt Recognized for Record Growth

business-growthIn the month of October, Cobalt was recognized on two lists for the fastest growing companies in Washington state. Last week it was announced that Cobalt ranked on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 – for the ninth time!

Earlier in the month, Cobalt also made the Puget Sound Business Journal’s 100 Fastest Growing Companies List. Over the last four years Cobalt has experienced more than 216% revenue growth thanks to its continued innovation and strong customer relationships.

Cobalt is a leader in automotive digital marketing, with over 10,000 automotive retail websites, and thousands of auto dealers using Cobalt’s paid search, display advertising and email marketing solutions. Cobalt is continuing to grow and is currently hiring, with more than seventy open positions in Seattle and around the country.

In August, Cobalt also ranked on the Inc. 5000 list, a list of the fastest growing companies in the United States, for the third year in a row.

“Cobalt is honored to receive these recent recognitions,” Cobalt CEO John Holt said. “I am extremely proud of our continued efforts to bring high-ROI, measureable, digital media marketing services to the automotive industry. Cobalt is committed to providing our clients with the very best technology and services to help them succeed and grow their businesses.”

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Dealers Embrace the New Dealix Quality Pledge

quality pledge_clearCobalt’s Dealix division recently launched its Quality Pledge(TM) and Hassle Free Lead Return(TM) Program – and the results, so far, have been amazing. The program, which was announced on September 2, and already had over 700 dealers signed up for the service in the first six weeks, is provided at no additional charge to Dealix customers. A survey of participating dealers reported high satisfaction with the program mechanics as well as confidence that the Quality Pledge will improve their business results.
 
“Program adoption has exceeded our expectations,” said Egon Smola, Dealix vice president of product and business operations. “Our customers are using Hassle Free Lead Return to focus on sales during the month versus credits at month’s end. The real-time feedback we are getting is allowing us to adjust and improve lead supply faster than ever before.”

Hassle Free Lead Return allows dealers to identify any leads they believe fail one or more of the Dealix Quality Pledge criteria and return those leads to Dealix. Personnel from the Dealix Quality Team will review each lead return and confirm eligibility within three business days. The dealer will be informed in the event the returned lead is confirmed to meet the Quality Pledge criteria.

High Level of Dealer Satisfaction
In order to measure customers’ satisfaction with Hassle Free Lead Return, Dealix surveyed all dealers who have used it. Dealers’ responses indicated high satisfaction with the program’s execution and ease of use.

  • 82% of respondents found the process of returning leads to be very easy or easy.
  • 87% were satisfied with the speed of lead verification.
  • 88% said they would continue to use the program.

In addition, the participating dealers expressed confidence that the Dealix Quality Pledge and Hassle Free Lead Return will save time, increase lead volume, and boost sales.

  • 88% said Hassle Free Lead Return will free up resources at their dealerships because they won’t have to spend time processing credits at the end of the month.
  • 79% believe they will sell more cars with the program because it will enable them to maximize the quantity of high-quality leads they receive throughout the month.

“Our dealership was one of the first adopters of the program,” said David Meeks, Internet sales manager for New Smyrna Chevrolet Chrysler Dodge Jeep of New Smyrna Beach, Florida. “Dealix has been very proactive in their processes and follow up to ensure lead quality, and they have certainly made it easier for dealers to focus on contacting and selling to their leads.”

Click here to learn more about the Dealix Quality Pledge.

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Cobalt Recognized at Habitat for Humanity Housing Dedication

HfH Dedication PlaqueJulia Pizzi
Vice President, Human Resources

On Saturday, October 3, four newly built homes in Seattle were dedicated to their new families. These homes were built, in part, by the hard work of Cobalt employees who volunteered with Habitat for Humanity over the last year. Cobalt has been a long-term sponsor of the Habitat community. Not only are funds donated by Cobalt and its employees, but employees volunteer their time as well.

This housing dedication was part of a larger celebration for World Habitat Day and the closing of the inaugural Build-a-Thon. The United Nations has designated the day in recognition of the many challenges that the global community faces with regards to the basic need for adequate shelter for all families. World Habitat Day’s purpose is to urge people across the globe to reflect on the world’s housing crisis and to consider our collective responsibility for the future of the human environment.

The occasion also marked the end of this year’s Seattle Build-a-Thon. Forty mayors from cities around the country, as part of the U.S. Conference for Mayors, were welcomed to the event by Ron Sims, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels to the celebration.

As Diane Gallegos, COO, Habitat for Humanity presented the Cobalt plaque to me; she gave our Cobalt employees heartfelt thanks for their work over the last year – from building the foundation and framing to putting finishing touches on the interiors. She remarked that, “the construction crews loved to be there the days that Cobalt employees were scheduled. Cobalt folks put muscle into what they did and looked like they really enjoyed what they were doing with each other and on the house. They stood out from other groups with their unique combination of good humor, good will and focused hard work.”

As the crowd recited the dedication prayers in several languages and gave a new homeowner bread so that he, his wife and their ten children would never go hungry, and salt so that they would experience the spice of life and wine (in his case cider due to religious beliefs) to experience the sweetness of life, the world seemed a small and intimate place – a place where every one of us can truly make a difference in the lives of others. Cobalt is proud to be part of a community where our employees were given the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of these four families. These families not only have a place to live but they have a “home.” Special thanks to Habitat for Humanity from all of us at Cobalt.

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Cobalt and Dealix will join industry leaders on two panels at this week’s 2009 Automotive Internet Roundtable

JohnHolt_Cobalt-glasses4x5-f1Cobalt and its Dealix division will join key industry leaders at this week’s J.D. Power and Associates’ 2009 Automotive Internet Roundtable in Las Vegas. Cobalt is a proud long-time sponsor of the annual roundtable.

This year, Cobalt president and CEO, John Holt will be a member of the event’s October 14th panel, “Juggling the Customer – Don’t Drop the Ball.” This panel will examine who is responsible for maintaining the customer relationship and how effectively manufacturers and dealers are coordinating efforts to deliver valuable information to the right people at the right time. Holt will join executives from AOL Autos, General Motors, Sonic Automotive and American Honda Motor Co., Inc on the panel.

On day two of the Roundtable, Anna Zornosa, general manager of Cobalt’s Dealix division and a Cobalt EVP, will join the panel, “Beyond the RFQ: Optimizing the Purchase Process for All Online Shoppers,” along with executives from AutoTrader.com, Kelley Blue Book, Kia Motors America and OneCommand. The panel will discuss the current state of the automotive lead industry and the best ways to address the challenges and goals of the vertical.

For more information about the 2009 Automotive Internet Roundtable please visit www.jdpower.com/corporate/about/roundtable/. To learn more about Cobalt and its Dealix division please visit www.cobalt.com and www.dealix.com.

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Cobalt Employees Join Annual AIDS Walk

AIDSWalkpic4According to the U.S. Center of Disease Control and Prevention, about 1.1 million people in the United States are infected with HIV/AIDS. With millions of Americans currently without health insurance and the high cost of medications, promoting health education and supporting the communities affected by this devastating disease are causes that many employees at Cobalt support.

On Saturday, September 26, Cobalt employees dedicated either their time and/or money to Lifelong AIDS Alliance’s Annual AIDS Walk in an effort to care for those affected by the disease and promote HIV/AIDS education.

Demand for Service
“This is a cause that is very important to me. I know a lot of people affected by the disease. When Cobalt accepted Lifelong as a charity, I wanted to help out. I’ve been a volunteer at Lifelong for eight years, and this is the first time that there is a waiting list for its services,” said Matthew Browning, manager – technical support and captain of the Cobalt Group AIDS Walk team.

Lifelong began in 2001 with the merging of the Chicken Soup Brigade and Northwest AIDS Foundation. In addition to providing education and prevention services, Lifelong assists HIV/AIDS patients with housing, medical care, insurance and nutrition counseling – providing groceries, fresh meals and, of course, soup.

Continued Support
This year, the Cobalt Group team consisted of eight walkers who raised $1,800 toward the cause and tackled the five-kilometer walk together. Some team members brought their spouses and children to the event.AIDS Walk Pic

“This was my first time doing the AIDS Walk and I will definitely do it again next year,” said Maureen Meier, accounts receivable specialist. “It was a lot of fun. It’s great that Cobalt gives us the opportunity to do things for the community outside of the office, instead of just handing over a check. We had a great time getting to know each other on a more personal level.”

For the past two years, Cobalt has participated in ongoing charitable events, cultivating strong relationships both within the company and its surrounding community. The AIDS Walk is one of many charities that Cobalt supports. Last month, more than 80 Cobalt employees in the Seattle area participated in an ongoing Habitat for Humanity project.

Alyse Speyer
Contributing Editor
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What is it like to be a Web Analyst at Cobalt?

web-analytics-and-statisticsAre you a strategic thinker who is passionate about actionable analysis and data-driven business improvement? Cobalt, the leader in automotive intelligence with over 10,000 automotive retail websites, is seeking experienced Senior Web and Optimization Analysts/Managers, and Web Tagging Specialists to work in a unique advertising and analytics environment.

What is the Role of a Web Analyst at Cobalt?
The Web Analyst (WA) plays an integral role in delivering campaign and site insights and strategic recommendations to internal and external teams, under the direction of a senior manager or the director. The WA’s day includes working closely with other analysts, media and program planners, strategists, developers, creatives, agencies of record, and clients. Duties might include analyzing and providing recommendations for campaign and site performance, compiling and comparing data, building reports, creating tagging and reporting specifications, etc. The WA might also work with promotion and development teams to conduct A/B/MVT tests using Test&Target. This includes managing tests, identifying and capturing the right variables, and analyzing the results with Test&Target and other statistical tools.

The WA will utilize different classes of analytics, including descriptive, qualitative and predictive analytics.  These disciplines will not only be applied to traditional web behaviors, but also emerging factions including mobile and social media behaviors.

A Cobalt Web Analyst is a highly self-motivated person, dedicated self-learner, team collaborator, intellectual powerhouse, and a person consumed with understanding digital media and all its variations.

If this sounds like you, check out the open web analytics positions at Cobalt.

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