“I started with Preston Ford as a salesperson in 1977. I spent the early years prospecting constantly. Sales rose, and I made the transition to ownership. By the age of 22, when our group acquired other brands, I had become the youngest first-generation dealer in nation. Over time, with the help of my management team, I expanded the Preston Automotive Group to nine brands at multiple locations in Maryland and Delaware.
I have always used an aggressive marketing strategy to fuel growth. When the digital age arrived, I saw even more opportunity. My automotive group did too and worked tirelessly to develop a system that moved us to the forefront of digital success. In the past, what we did was market to everyone but only two percent of the viewers or listeners were in the market. With digital, that changed. I know it makes us dealers nervous not to able to do the same old thing and hope it works. You want dealers who think this way to be your competition. While they are shouting from the rooftops, a savvy dealer with a strong digital strategy and in-house processes will eat away at their market share. Our automotive group is living proof. Though our geographical location is relatively isolated, our sales have steadily grown. Last year Preston Ford was the 52nd top selling Ford dealer in the nation.
iFrog is the culmination of years of continuously refining Preston Automotive Group’s digital strategies. Using the automotive group’s success as a model, Brent Durham and I founded iFrog Digital Marketing. Our goal was to offer other dealers digital marketing strategies and services that we knew worked. I also had another reason for starting iFrog, one closer to my heart. Whether as a member of Ford’s National Dealer Council or in other ways, I have always loved serving other dealers. I have an abiding passion for what we do and want to help dealers exceed their expectations.”
Having effectively “grown up” in the Preston Automotive Group, Brent enrolled in Northwood University in 2004, determined to pursue a career in the automotive industry. After obtaining degrees in Automotive Marketing and Business Management, he began his formal career inside the dealership. Brent worked as a sales consultant, an F&I manager, service adviser and used vehicle manager. In 2009, Brent made the transition to Internet Director for Preston. Wanting a deeper knowledge base, in 2011, Brent left the dealership to obtain his MBA. After he graduated in 2013, Dave Wilson asked Brent to return Preston with the goal of bringing all of Preston’s digital marketing in-house. Brent immediately set his sights on branding and marketing Preston’s Top 100 Sales Drive, which was then in its early phases. As Preston’s marketing prowess grew, Dave approached Brent about forming iFrog.
When Tim and Dave were kids, Dave is the one who wanted to go to law school. But he took a “temporary” job selling Fords and a few months later had to explain to his father why law school could wait. After graduating law school, Tim spent over 20 years in private practice in San Francisco and the Silicon Valley. His background included work for clients established in the automotive industry and work for start-up companies. Dave quickly asked Tim to also work for him as General Counsel for his growing automotive group, where Tim helped with a range of problems from acquisitions to contract negotiations with automotive vendors. When Dave decided to start iFrog, he knew that Tim’s passion for service and attention to detail would be a natural fit for his new company. At iFrog, Tim ensures that iFrog provides its clients with highly personalized services so that iFrog’s mission of becoming a valuable member of a dealer’s team is fully realized.
Shelby has never sold cars, but she was named after one. That’s right. Her father named her after the Shelby Cobra. It’s little wonder then that, after obtaining a degree in advertising design, Shelby made her way to the Preston Automotive Group, where she worked as its lone graphic designer. With her help, the group brought all marketing efforts in-house and began producing innovative graphics with multi-channeled marketing messages. In particular, Shelby is proud of the contribution she made to help brand Preston Ford’s Top 100 Sales Drive. Shelby now oversees a team of graphic artists and uses her talents for all our clients.
De’Montray is a classic iFrog: smart, articulate, hardworking and passionate about digital marketing and service. Oh, yes, and he also sold cars for two large dealer groups, after completing his studies in advertising at West Virginia University. The Preston Automotive Group recruited De’Montray off of the showroom floor and asked him to act as its account manager for its digital team. Once iFrog started, De’Montray transitioned to managing other accounts. One trait that stands out about De’Montray is that he obsesses over marketing strategies for the accounts he manages. As his skills grew, iFrog asked him to take a leadership role in the account management department.
One of iFrog’s first official acts as a new company was to steal Lisa away from the Preston Automotive Group. After selling cars at Preston for two years, Lisa was asked to coordinate the group’s internet marketing. When iFrog plucked her, she was the group’s Internet Director. Lisa has a degree from Salisbury University in Marketing and Business Administration. At iFrog, she oversees compliance, consults on lead management and CRM processes, and helps manage the company.
John began his 30-plus years in the automotive business as an F&I Manager. As the years passed, he worked as a Used Car Manager, General Sales Manager and General Manger. Before joining iFrog, he was the Director of Sales for an automotive group with multiple locations. John can ask “Where are the keys?” in five languages. Above all, John has a passion for how the digital age has transformed automotive marketing and sales. Whether its using social media, ensuring that specials are prominently displayed on a website or the particulars of a VDP, John loves all things digital.
Yes, we recruited a coder from a dealership. When we found Lee, he was working as a Genius at a Volvo store. He was at the end of a 2-year adventure to learn the automobile industry, in particular, the customer’s journey from lead generation, through sales, and thereafter into ownership satisfaction and brand loyalty. Lee comes to iFrog with a view that technology provides the most value when it is applied with the precision of an experienced doctor performing surgery and Lee is nothing if not precise. Lee serves as iFrog’s technical architect. He is responsible for steering and incorporating a variety of technical decisions to ensure that the solutions iFrog offers its clients beat industry standards.
Mike is a writer at heart. From high school through college, Mike loved writing. While at St. Mary’s University, Mike was a sports writer for the school paper. After graduation, he worked as a teacher at a local school where he taught Special Education but also ran a sports blog he dubbed “The Sporting Reporting.” Wanting to work as a writer full-time, Mike began honing his SEO skills. We nabbed Mike in 2016 and put him to work as a content writer and SEO strategist. Mike is now the team leader for iFrog’s content department. He sets SEO strategies, develops key-word plans and drafts content for landing pages. He’s also a professional wrestler on the side. Whatever you do, don’t tell him that the matches are rigged! The conversation won’t end well.
After graduating with a degree in Electronic Media from Towson University, CJ began work as a cameraman and microwave / satellite truck operator for local television stations. He helped reporters go live from the field and shot and edited video. He also worked in the film industry on commercial and corporate film projects. CJ began work at iFrog as an account manager, but he quickly realized that his true passion lay in analytics and digital advertising. Under the direction of Brent Durham, CJ completed his formal education and on-the-job training. He now monitors and optimizes SEM and digital advertising campaigns, with the goal of ensuring that iFrog’s clients get the absolute best results for their advertising budgets. He is also a persistent student of the continually changing trends and technologies in the industry.
Before Dave assembled his in-house digital marketing team, he signed with a vendor. Minutes after the vendor left Dave's office, he posted Facebook ads for employees needed to service a large new account. At iFrog, Dave vowed he would never hire new employees to service new accounts. iFrog hires and trains employees before the need arises. If you have looked through our website and are interested in working us, we'd love to hear from you.
If you have questions about your current digital marketing strategies, we will help you answer them. We will look at everything from the optimization of your website to your social media presence, from your store’s unique branding to the tools used to drive traffic to your site. In short, our team will look at your entire digital footprint, tell you what we would do differently and explain why. We will also explain why the strategies and services we provide are different because we were Born in a Dealership®.request audit