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Source: Google Launches Initiative to Fight Fraud Directed at Car Dealers and Mid-Sized Companies

Google Launches Initiative to Fight Fraud Directed at Dealers and Mid-Sized Companies

Google steps up efforts to fight scams and fraud directed at Small and Midsize Business

Scammers claiming to represent Google continue to prey on small business owners. They often also make threats about removing listings or outrageous claims about ranking improvements. Sometimes they try to charge for things that are free on Google.

In the past, Google has done a number of things to try and stop this kind of fraud, including filing lawsuits. Now, it’s stepping up its efforts and has announced a new set of initiatives.

The company is taking legal action against several entities. In addition, it can now better identify accounts tied to scammers and remove them. Google has also developed a tool to let business owners report scams, and it’s providing a directory of trusted partners.

Here’s an abbreviated version of what Google says in its blog post today:

  • We’re taking legal action against Kydia Inc. d/b/a BeyondMenu, Point Break Media, LLC (and affiliated entities) and Supreme Marketing Group, Inc. d/b/a Small Business Solutions
  • We’ve developed new automated and manual techniques to better identify Google accounts tied to scam efforts.
  • We’ve created a new tool that lets business owners report scammy practices and policy violations.
  • We’ve started providing resources and education to local small business organizations.
  • We’re launching the Google My Business Partners program [with] a directory of trusted partners.

Google is also recommending steps that local business owners should take themselves:

  • Make callers prove they’re from Google.
  • Claim GMB pages.
  • Understand that ranking claims are probably fake.
  • Don’t respond to robocalls.
  • Use the Do Not Call Registry.

The partner directory will be especially helpful. Litigation is also critical. To the extent that Google sues and wins, it will be a deterrent to firms (within the reach of US courts) trying to take advantage of the ignorance of small businesses.

Facts and Statistics

The Internet – 2018

  • As of 1st January 2018, the total internet users across the world was 4,156,932,140 (that’s over 4 billion users)
  • 2 billion of the world’s internet users are located in Asia, where their population is just over equal to the total internet users across the world
  • In January 2018, data reveals that 3.2 billion internet users were also social media users
  • As of January 2018, the world’s population was estimated to be around 7,634,758,428. Over half of the world’s population is using the internet
  • On 10th April 2018, there were over 1.8 billion websites recorded on the internet
  • In 2018, China has the most active internet users in the world, at 772 million users. In the year 2000, this figure was around 22.5 million
  • Some of 2018’s top Google searches included iPhone 8, iPhone X, How to buy Bitcoin, and Ed Sheeran

Social Media – 2018

  • As of January 2018, Facebook alone had 2.2 billion monthly active users. Facebook was the first social media website to reach over 1 billion accounts
  • YouTube users in 2018 have surpassed the 1.5 billion mark, making YouTube the most popular website for viewing and uploading videos in the world
  • There are now over 3.1 billion social media users worldwide in 2018, which is an increase of around 13% compared to 2017
  • Comparing January 2018 to January 2017 figures, Saudi Arabia is the country with the largest social media usage increase at an estimated 32%
  • Instagram is most popular in the USA and Spain accounting for around 15% of total social media usage in these countries in 2018
  • In France, Snapchat is the second most popular social media user account in 2018, with around 18% of users countrywide
  • Facebook continues to be the fastest growing social media network, with around 527 million increase in users over the last 2 years, followed closely by WhatsApp and Instagram at 400 million
  • In 2018, 90% of businesses are using social media actively
  • 91% of social media users are using their mobile phones, tablets, and smart devices to access social media channels
  • Nearly 40% of users would prefer to spend more money on companies and businesses who are engaging on social media

Websites and Web Hosting – 2018

  • As of 2018, WordPress powers 28% of the world wide web with over 15.5 billion page views each month
  • Apache hosting servers are used by 46.9% of all available websites, followed closely by Nginx at 37.8%
  • 2018 sees 52.2% of website traffic accessed and generated via mobile phones
  • In the last 5 years, since 2013, website traffic accessed by mobile phones has increased by 36%
  • As of January 2018, Japan’s share of website traffic mainly comes from laptops and desktop computers at a measured 69%, compared to 27% on mobile phones
  • With over a billion voice search queries per month, voice is estimated to be a high trending digital marketing strategy in 2018
  • Google is the most popular search engine and visited website recorded in 2018, with over 3.5 billion searches each day

eCommerce – 2018

  • In the U.K. for 2018, ZenCart has the biggest market share with over 17% of .uk web address extensions using the software provider
  • In the U.S. as of February 2018, over 133 million mobile users used the Amazon app, compared to 72 million users accessing the Walmart app
  • Nearly 80% of online shopping results in abandoned carts, but we have some handy tips to ensure you can recover your marketing strategy
  • 2018 sees a 13% increase in eCommerce sales since 2016, with the majority of sales being recorded in the U.S. and China
  • 80% of U.K buyers use online commerce research before purchasing a product online or offline
  • Under 33% of U.K. consumers want to pay more for faster delivery, but 50% said they would be willing to accept delivery via drone
  • An estimated 600,000 commercial drones will be in use by the end of 2018 in the U.K. alone

Domain Names – 2018

  • As of April 2018, there are just over 132 million registered .com domain names
  • In the month of January 2018 alone, there were 9 million registered .uk domains
  • 68 million copyright infringing URLs were requested to be removed by Google in January 2018, with 4shared.com being the highest targeted website
  • 46.5% of websites use .com as their top level domains
  • Approximately 75% of websites registered are not active but have parked domains
  • From 1993 to 2018, the number of hosts in the domain name system (DNS) has more than doubled, reaching over 1 billion

References:

  1. https://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm
  2. https://www.statista.com/statistics/617136/digital-population-world…
  3. http://www.internetlivestats.com/
  4. https://techviral.net/top-popular-google-searches-2018/
  5. https://www.statista.com/statistics/272014/global-social-networks-r…
  6. https://www.smartinsights.com/social-media-marketing/social-media-s…
  7. https://coschedule.com/blog/social-media-statistics/
  8. https://wordpress.com/about/
  9. https://w3techs.com/technologies/overview/web_server/all
  10. https://www.lifewire.com/most-popular-sites-3483140
  11. https://www.statista.com/statistics/685438/e-commerce-software-prov…
  12. https://www.appnova.com/6-important-uk-ecommerce-statistics-help-pl…
  13. https://www.statdns.com/
  14. http://www.internetlivestats.com/total-number-of-websites/

https://ralphpaglia.files.wordpress.com/2018/06/infographic-3.png?w=580

Banks Report: Lithia Acquires DCH Car Dealership Group

The Banks Report: Lithia Motors Acquires DCH
by Cliff Banks

The Banks Report has learned that Lithia Motors has entered into an agreement to acquire the DCH Automotive Group and is waiting for manufacturer approval.(Update — Lithia subsequently sent a press release saying the deal has been completed).

Lithia executives are scheduled to be in New Jersey Monday meeting with DCH executives. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

Lithia will pay $340 million in cash and $22.5 million in stock for DCH. This likely will be the biggest dealership acquisition in the U.S. since January 2002 when the Sonic Automotive Group acquired the 16-dealership Massey Automotive for close to $200 million.

This acquisition will bring the industry total for 2014 to 121 buy-sells. This is the second monster deal to be done in the last couple of weeks — the David Wilson Automotive Group acquired Fletcher Jones’ Las Vegas Toyota store for $75 million at the beginning of June.

DCH has 25 dealerships (DCH’s website says 27 stores, but TBR combines Toyota with Scion for its records) selling 32 brands in California, New Jersey and New York. It’s one of the top 10 dealer groups in the country when ranked by new car sales, and generates an estimated $1.8 billion to $2 billion a year in revenue.

Chairman Shau-wai Lam’s father, B.Y. Lam, began what would become DCH Automotive as a trading company in Shanghai in the 1930’s. A few years later, he established Dah Chong Hong Limited in Hong Kong. He opened an American subsidiary, DCH (USA), in New York in 1948 focusing on importing food and textiles and trading in commodities.

The USA division of DCH moved out of the import and trading business in 1977 to focus on selling cars. Unable to obtain a dealership selling one of the domestic brands, DCH was given an open point by Honda in Paramus NJ, the company’s first dealership.

In 1979, Lam, who at the time was DCH’s youngest executive, was sent to California to open DCH’s second store, Gardena Honda. Within four years, it became the top selling Honda store in the country. Lam was named president in 1988.

Following the parent company’s sale in 1992, Lam’s family and the Wing On Group of Hong Kong acquired DCH acquired DCH.

DCH President George Liang will continue running the company reporting to Bryan DeBoer while Lam will be on Lithia’s board.

In 1996, led by Sid DeBoer, Lithia Motors became the first dealer group to go public with five stores selling 19 different brands.

Not including the DCH acquisition, Lithia has acquired eight dealerships this year – including four in Hawaii – and nine stores in 2013 bringing its total to 101 dealerships operating in 12 states. It’s now the eighth largest group in the country having generated more than $4 billion in total revenue in 2013.

DeBoer’s son, Bryan, took over as president and CEO of Lithia in 2012.

He’s transformed the group from being a centralized corporate-run firm to being a group of decentralized entrepenurial stores. The company has had a great run since 2012. Company shares were trading about $22 a share two years ago. Recently it’s traded as high as $80 and is now hovering in the $78 range.

Not including acquisition costs, the purchase should add $0.12 to $0.14 to earnings per share in 2014. Annually, adding DCH should increase EPS anywhere from $0.65 to $0,75.

The DCH acquisition will add more than $2 billion in annual revenue and will be Lithia’s first foray east of the Mississippi. Once the acquisition is completed, more than 20% of Lithia’s revenues will come from the east and DCH’s New Jersey and New York stores.

For the most part, the DCH stores matches Lithia’s acquisition strategy , which is to find exclusive domestic and import franchises in midsized markets and exclusive luxury franchises in larger metropolitan markets. The acquisition provides Lithia a foothold in the Los Angeles and New York markets.

Lithia executives are hosting a conference Tuesday morning at 9:00 am to discuss the acquisition with investors.

DCH’s 25 dealerships selling 32 brands

California Dealerships

  • DCH Acura of Temecula
  • DCH Tustin Acura
  • DCH Audi Oxnard
  • DCH Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Temecula
  • DCH Gardena Honda of Oxnard
  • DCH Honda of Mission Valley
  • DCH Honda of Temecula
  • DCH Kia of Temecula
  • DCH Toyota Scion of Simi Valley
  • DCH Toyota Scion of Torrance
  • DCH Lexus of Oxnard
  • DCH Lexus of Santa Barbara

New Jersey Dealerships

  • DCH Montclair Acura
  • DCH Millburn Audi
  • BMW of Bloomfield
  • BMW of Freehold
  • DCH Academy Honda
  • DCH Kay Honda
  • DCH Paramus Honda
  • DCH Freehold Nissan
  • DCH Brunswick Toyota Scion
  • DCH Freehold Toyota Scion

New York Dealerships

  • DCH Honda of Nanuet
  • DCH Toyota Scion City, Mamaroneck
  • DCH Wappingers Falls Toyota

Source: http://www.TheBanksReport.com

Become a subscriber to The Banks Report and get access to more in-depth analysis on the dealership buy-sell market — including the industry’s most comprehensive list of acquisitions going back to January 2013.

You don’t want to miss The Banks Report 2014 Update on Dealership Buy-Sell Activity — available on Monday June 16th.

Report on 2013 Dealership Acquisitions
The pace of automotive dealership buy/sell activity was moderately brisk in 2013, with 180 dealerships accounting for 260 franchises changing owners in the U.S.

The report, the first of its kind in the industry, provides data and analysis by brand, public and private dealer group acquisition. The report, including a list of all transactions compiled is available in Microsoft Excel to subscribers.

Google and Apple Catch Up To Ford In Auto Industry Influence – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

Google and Apple Join Ford as Key Influencers in the Auto Industry

Ask average consumers or professional marketers who is most influential in the automotive sector and their response would most likely be Scott Monty of Ford or Ralph Paglia from Automotive Marketing Group (AMG).

Alternatively, they may point to popular industry publications such as CAR and DRIVEREdmunds or Auto Trader. Certainly, all are very popular people and media outlets. In fact, a Social Media Today report lists them among the top auto industry influencers on Twitter. However, does social media amplification make one influential? Most social influence scoring platforms use amplification as major metric in identifying influencers but is that enough?

A lot of focus has been directed towards influence marketing this past year by car dealers and other businesses seeking to sway public conversations and advocacy in their favor.

In response, there’s a growing list of social influence platforms and strategies professing to hold the key to identifying and measuring social influence. One of the leaders in this space is Appinions, an opinion-based influence marketing platform that identifies and measures the opinion leaders in various industries that form online conversations around products, brands and businesses.

During the 2013 New York Auto Show, Appinions released a study entitled “Is Tech Swallowing Auto?”, which offers some surprising insights.

The report explores what is shaping influential conversations at the intersection of new vehicle purchasing and technology and identifies the major players in each category. The results confirm what many already know; luxury, safety, design, value and performance are all hot buttons in any discussion around marketing automobiles. What’s surprising is the role that auto technology has played in shaping influence and who is driving that influence.

Apple Catches Up to Ford as Auto Industry Influencer

Apple Computers has made its mark on history as a market disruptor and, thanks to SIRI’s “Eyes Free” mode, it’s continuing that tradition in the auto industry. The report identifies other technology players who are joining the ranks of key influencers. Google, because of Google Maps and the data it collects on driving patterns, has become a major player in generating opinions in this market. As of Dec 2012, Google Maps was the second most popular mobile app, just behind Facebook. Microsoft, thanks to the SYNC technology installed in Ford vehicles, and AT&T with partners GM and OnStar round out the top influencers.

Tech Trumps Performance

Given that these technology companies have become as influential in the auto industry as car manufacturers, it’s no surprise that the topic of auto technology represents the lion’s share of interest in online conversations. Technology represents 35% of the share of influence, followed by performance at 22%, value at 19%, design at 12%, safety at 8% and luxury at 4%.

The Appinions platform and research team identified that fuel economy (44%) and connected cars (32%) were the dominant topics driving opinion and influence with discussions on automotive technologies.

People over Brands

Another interesting insight was how highly GM executives ranked as influencers even though Ford, Toyota, Audi, Google, and Telsa all ranked as more influential brands. Appinions identified that GM’s executives were more outspoken in sharing their opinions publicly, especially on the topic of innovation.
This study highlights the importance of identifying the opinions being shared by people and businesses, and measuring their impact on public conversations. The opinions of these market leaders are generating public dialogue, which creates social proof that impacts the purchase decisions of consumers. Further, the source of those opinions and eventual influence may be generated from unlikely and unexpected sources.

“Clearly, influence has become a powerful currency for brands when properly understood, identified and managed.”
–Sam Fiorella

  • Share your thoughts… Has social influence become a new currency for brands?
  • Are you surprised at Apple and Google’s surge in influencing this market?
  • Or that GM’s executives rank so highly on automotive influence?

Follow Sam Fiorella on Twitter: www.twitter.com/samfiorella

TrueCar Sponsors Ten Full Ride AutoCon 2013 Scholarships – The 2013 AutoConnections Conference and Exposition

AutoCon 2013 Announces a Special Program Sponsored by TrueCar to Award Ten “Full Ride Scholarships” for Dealership Managers to Attend AutoCon 2013*

Automotive Media Partners, LLC is proud to announce the creation of a “Full Ride Scholarship*” program sponsored by TrueCar of Santa Monica, California.  TrueCar’s pioneering sponsorship of this program provides the funds to cover the costs of transportation to and from Las Vegas, lodging at the Aria Resort and full AutoCon conference registration. 

One of the most surprising aspects of TrueCar’s sponsorship is that the company has funded ten (10) AutoCon “Full Ride Scholarships*”.  Ten automotive professionals will receive the educational, networking, inspiration and innovation benefits from attending the 2013 AutoConnections Conference and Exposition at no out of pocket expense for travel, meals during the event or conference fees to themselves or their dealerships. 

  

The TrueCar AutoCon Scholarship Program is further evidence of the remarkable transformation that has taken place at TrueCar since the beginning of 2012. After receiving a remarkable level of criticism within the auto industry during the second half of 2011, TrueCar has evolved and revised their automotive purchasing programs for consumers and affiliated corporations to be far more dealer friendly. 

TrueCar’s objectives supported by these changes have included raising dealer profit margins to levels that provide more room for dealers to cover facility costs and the staffing levels needed to properly service new vehicle buyers sent to them by TrueCar.   


TrueCar understands and recognizes the need for ongoing training and thought leadership within the ranks of the retail automotive industry.  Their management team has decided that one of the best ways to demonstrate this commitment to betterment of the industry is to commit the funds necessary to support independent dealer focused educational events such as AutoCon 2013. 

 

TrueCar executives Bernie Brenner and Mike Timmons approached the founders of the Automotive Digital Marketing and dealerElite professional communities, Ralph Paglia, Chris Saraceno and Mike Myers because these online networks have served as “Ground Zero” for some of the industry’s harshest criticism of TrueCar in the recent past.  Surprising for a company as large as TrueCar is, their management team has reviewed the criticism published by members of the ADM and DealerELITE networks and taken corrective actions, changed their business models and worked with State dealer associations to create vehicle purchase programs that make sense for participating dealers. 

How will the TrueCar AutoCon Scholarships be Awarded?

TrueCar has asked that the AutoConnections Conference Management Team take full control and responsibility for ensuring that the 10 Full Ride Scholarships be awarded based on merit and need.  Criteria will include a wide geographic representation by selecting automotive professionals from every region in North America.  Another consideration will be to award scholarships to professionals who represent a diverse range of vehicle brands and positions within the dealerships they serve.  

Written TrueCar Scholarship Application

The application process will be a simple online application that includes all the expected contact information, a description of the applicant’s role in the dealership where they work and space for them to describe in their own words why they should be awarded a TrueCar AutoCon Scholarship to attend the AutoConnections Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas from September 4th to the 6th

Video TrueCar Scholarship Application

If you are better at explaining your reasons why you should be selected for a scholarship in a verbal manner, the AutoCon 2013 TrueCar scholarship committee will also be pleased to accept your proposal in a video format. Simply explain why you should be selected in a YouTube video that is either uploaded or embedded to eitherAutomotiveDigitalMarketing.com or dealerELITE.net . Please be sure to include the link to that video in your scholarship application where you write out your explanation of why YOU should be selected to receive a “Full Ride Scholarship”.

The AutoCon Scholarship Selection Committee is comprised of Ralph Paglia, Chris Saraceno, Mike Myers, Carrie Hemphill and Brian Pasch.  As applicants are being considered they will be contacted by a committee member and interviewed via phone and email.  Final selections will be made by committee vote and the awardees notified by email and phone.

AutoCon 2013 Scholarship Selection Committe

  • Ralph Paglia
  • Chris Saraceno
  • Mike Myers
  • Carrie Hemphill
  • Brian Pasch 

                                                    

Applications for TrueCar AutoCon Scholarships will be accepted starting Monday July 1, 2013 and award selections will begin Monday August 5, 2013.

 

With 10 TrueCar AutoCon Scholarships being awarded, the odds of being selected are probably better than any other similar program in the auto industry… So, do not hesitate to apply and encourage other automotive professionals to do so!  All of us who are stakeholders in the AutoCon event are thrilled with the investment being made by TrueCar to support what we believe is the best event in the auto industry.  The TrueCar sponsorship of AutoCon 2013 and the Full Ride Scholarship Program is appreciated and respected. 

In the past, TrueCar was a company that received an enormous amount of criticism, much of which has been emotionally charged and at times, crossed the boundaries of decency and professional behavior.  Many other companies faced with similar criticism and public ridicule would have released a barrage of legal actions to defend themselves.  TrueCar has consistently taken the high road and responded to their critics with program changes and by sending their senior executives to major auto industry events and meetings. 

 

The TrueCar sponsorship of AutoCon is further proof that this company is led by professionals who want to be valuable contributors to the overall success of the auto industry.

 

On behalf of the AutoCon team and the 10 auto industry professionals who will receive the benefit of these scholarship awards, a sincere thank you to TrueCar is extended.

Apply for a TrueCar AutoCon Scholarship online at http://AutoCon2013.com

    

*PLEASE NOTE: “Full Ride Scholarship” is the brand name for this category of award and is owned by Automotive Media Partners, LLC.  All “Full Ride Scholarships” associated with an AMP promoted event with include a travel stipend that reimburses the scholarship recipient for airfare expense submitted up to a maximum dollar amount. Recipients will also receive lodging for the nights of the conference itself. Any room charges authorized by the scholarship recipient, or incidental expenses are the responsibility of the scholarship recipient. Also included are the conference fees for registering and attending the event, which will usually include scheduled breakfasts and lunches that all event participants receive. It is important for scholarship recipients to understand that ANY expenses outside of airfare to and from the event, hotel lodging and conference registration fees are NOT INCLUDED in our version of a “Full Ride Scholarship”.  Furthermore, we strongly advise all scholarship recipients to travel with a valid major credit card and two forms of government issued ID. Adequate cash should be brought by scholarship recipients to cover meals outside of those scheduled on the conference agenda, local transportation and miscellaneous expenses… After all, you will be in Las Vegas and “Cash-In-Fist” is strongly advised!

   

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Can Car Dealers Use Twitter Promoted Tweets To Drive Traffic and Calls? – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

Twitter Says Promoted Tweets Are Working for Businesses, Including Car Dealerships…

Twitter has released some initial findings from its Nielsen Brand Effect for Twitter beta survey tool, which allows advertisers, including car dealers, their marketing service providers and OEM advertising agencies to measure the impact of their Twitter campaigns on traffic, awareness and branding performance metrics. The results suggest that “Promoted Tweet” campaigns have had their intended effects, driving greater message association, campaign awareness, dealership location association, brand favorability, and purchase intent.

The study cites as validation that across the beta results analyzed, users exposed to a Promoted Tweet impression had an average 22% higher message association than those not exposed to Promoted Tweets. Whether this association can translate into click through and traffic generation remains to be seen.

According to Twitter, the data supports their strategy for automotive advertisers that while Promoted Tweets are priced on a cost-per-engagement basis (similar to Pay Per Click), advertisers can also benefit even when users don’t engage.

In other positive results touted by Twitter, multiple exposure to a Promoted Tweet campaign generated an average 10% lift in make, model or dealership brand favorability versus those exposed to the campaign a single time. Finally, those who engage with a dealership or car company’s Promoted Tweet report a 30% higher brand favorability and 53% higher purchase intent than non-engagers.  Although it seems to me that this could be attributable to a predisposition of those who engaged with such promoted tweets having an affinity for the make, model or dealership in the first place…

One of the most exciting developments is that the completion of the study has triggered Twitter moving the capability out of beta status and opening it up to automotive marketers and advertisers in the US, UK, and Japan.

Promoted Tweet exposure drives stronger message association.

Across all the Twitter beta studies analyzed, exposure to a Promoted Tweet impression drove a 22% average increase in message association compared to users not exposed to Promoted Tweets. This finding demonstrates that, although Promoted Tweets are priced on a cost-per-engagement basis, advertisers don’t only benefit when users engage. Even a Promoted Tweet impression can be valuable for brands.

Brand lift is amplified by multiple exposures to Promoted Tweets.

Multiple exposures (two or three times) to a Promoted Tweet campaign lead to 10% lift, on average, in brand favorability compared to users exposed to the campaign once. This illustrates the value of an always-on Promoted Tweet strategy to continually reach interested users with brand messages.

Engagement with Promoted Tweets translates to higher brand favorability and purchase intent.

Users who engage with a brand’s Promoted Tweet report on average 30% higher brand favorability and 53% higher purchase intent than non-engagers. This study result highlights the value of an engagement on Twitter and the importance of reaching a relevant audience with compelling Tweet copy to further drive Tweet engagement.

How brand surveys on Twitter work 

To create a user experience that feels native to the Twitter platform and increases the likelihood of participation, brand surveys on Twitter are embedded within Tweets. Unlike other major publisher platforms, Twitter does not require a click through to an external site or interrupt the user with a pop-up. Another unique feature of the Twitter brand surveys: advertisers are able to measure and compare survey responses from users who have been exposed across devices – desktop, tablet and smartphone.

More information about how the surveys work can be found here.

Data Source 1: MarketingCharts.com/promoted-tweets-are-working

Data Source 2: Nielsen-Brand-Effect-for-Twitter-How-Promoted-Tweets-impact-brand-m…

Ten Sexiest Women in Social Media – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

Fuchsia McInerney’s Roster of the Top 10 Sexiest Women in Social Media

Shown below is Cyan Banister

CEO and Entrepreneur, Fuchsia McInerney, names the top ten women in social media who are pioneering the industry and making a name for themselves.

Sexy and technology aren’t always two words you hear together. In fact women and technology aren’t two words you hear together that often, unless it’s highlighting the overwhelming lack of the former within the latter. That said, these ten women represent high-powered entrepreneurs, executive, artists and techies who are defying statistics, pioneering the industry and making a name for themselves. 

From ecommerce to marketing to blogging, spanning from corporate to indie, our top ten have taken the high-tech industry by storm, and quite frankly, they look good doing it!

As an update, I would like to point out that each of the women whose bio’s and images appear below, selected the images for publication and wrote the information paragraph about themselves. As each of them have requested that images or descriptions be updated, we have been pleased and eager to do so…

“Exploitation?” I think not…

Savvy marketing professionals who know the value of “Personal Branding? I think so.

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Cyan Banister

1. Cyan Banister, Entrepreneur & Artist: Cyan was born into a family of artists and grew up around paint, photography and music. From these beginnings, she developed a life-long appreciation for the arts that eventually inspired the Zivity platform, an ad-free social network for models, photographers, and video artists. This platform she created is a new way for artists to profitably connect directly with their fans in the rapidly changing digital media landscape.Cyan has held many leadership roles throughout her career, from leading technical operations teams in an enterprise software company to helping women master technology as CTO of a nonprofit organization. She is also an angel investor and has invested in Facebook, EQAL, Mimoco, OtherInbox, Thumbtack, Tagged, Hot Potato, Powerset, Topsy and others. Cyan is also an event and portrait photographer and enjoys jugglers and magicians.

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Heather Meeker

2. Heather Meeker: Heather brings over 13 years of experience working in communications, marketing and sales for technology companies. She started her career working in public relations for EarthLink and held similar positions at start-ups including Stamps.com and Homestore.com. After Sept 11, Meeker transitioned into an entirely new career in pharmaceutical sales at Pfizer, selling blockbuster drugs including Zithromax, Lipitor and Viagra. Despite success, Meeker decided her passion was communications and took a role as PR Manager for Yahoo Search Marketing followed by Manager of Burson Marsteller’s Consumer Technology Practice. Today, she holds the position of Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications for geo-location start-up Pelago – makers of Whrrl. In addition, she volunteers as an Advisor for the LA Chapter of Girls in Tech.


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Melissa Salas

3. Melissa Salas: Melissa is the Marketing Director at Buy.com. That’s right. The Director. Of Marketing. At Buy.com. Talk about a power player. She has also been the host of BuyTV for four years. She is the recipient of the 2008 Affiliate Summit Pinnacle Award Winner for Affiliate Manager of the Year. She joined Buy.com in 2000 & manages various online marketing campaigns as well as their Affiliate Program. Born & raised in Southern California, she attended Long Beach State University & graduated with a BA in Communications & minored in Interpersonal Communication & Business Organization. She lives in Orange County & her hobbies include traveling, kickboxing, dance, going to live shows, concerts, the beach, Angels, Lakers, Chargers and of course USC FOOTBALL games! Check out Melissa on Twitter: @

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Jolie O’Dell

4. Jolie O’Dell, Social Media & Tech Reporter: Jolie O’Dell is a journalist and startup veteran with a decade of experience in writing and editing the news. Formerly a writer and community manager for ReadWriteWeb and a freelance writer for tech blogs and various print publications, Jolie now writes on social media and technology for Mashable. She graduated from Shenandoah University with a B.A. in Media Studies in 2004; as a student journalist, she won state and national awards, helped teach and manage a team of reporters, and made it out alive with high honors.

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Veronica Belmont

5. Veronica Belmont: Veronica is a technology and gaming-centric video host based out of San Francisco. Currently her projects include Qore (a monthly interactive magazine about the PS3 for Sony) and Tekzilla (a weekly tech help and how-to show on Revision3.com). She has also written for Slate, DoubleX, MaximumPC and PC Gamer. Veronica initially made her mark as a producer and on-air talent for CNET Networks (now CBS Interactive). She worked on such shows as Buzz Out Loud, MP3 Insider, Crave, and Prizefight. In 2007 she left CNET to host the eclectic video show Mahalo Daily, which was named one of the top new podcasts in 2008 on iTunes. An avid gamer and social-networking junkie (with over 1 million Twitter followers), Veronica often speaks about her interests at conferences and panels. She has also been the emcee at events for companies such as gdgt, Boxee, MacHeist and RiffTrax. In her spare time, she co-hosts the science fiction and fantasy podcast The Sword and Laser with Tom Merritt. She lives with one technology writer and two cats (and too many gadgets). Veronica graduated from Emerson College, B.A. in Audio/Radio, focus in New Media studies.

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Deirdre Breakenridge

6. Deirdre Breakenridge: Deirdre is President, Executive Director of Communications at Mango! Marketing. Deirdre is the author of four Financial Times books. Her most recent book, “Putting the Public Back in Public Relations,” co-authored by Brian Solis and published in March 2009, is available in major bookstores and online. She has also authored: “PR 2.0, New Media, New Tools, New Audiences,” “The New PR Toolkit” and “Cyberbranding: Brand Building in the Digital Economy.” Deirdre is an adjunct professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey where she teaches courses on Public Relations and Interactive Marketing for the Global Business Management program. Deirdre speaks nationally and internationally on the topics of PR and social media communications.She was named Woman of the Year in 2009 by the National Association of Professional Executive Women (NAPEW). Deirdre is a contributing editor of TechConnect, PRSA’s technology newsletter. She blogs about PR 2.0 strategies and is the co-founder of #PRStudChat, a dynamic Twitter discussion scheduled monthly for PR students, educators and PR pros.

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Jenn Allen

7. Jenn Allen: Jenn’s a search technology geek, artist and musician. She is the CEO and founder of Rtist.com, a free, real-time, no-commission online marketplace and social meeting place for artists, art lovers and everyone else who enjoys immersion in a positive, humanistic art experience. Artists and art lovers are free to buy, sell, make conversation, chat, critique, ask questions, make recommendations, discuss art and artists, list shows/events, identify favorite artists, art buyers and art enthusiasts; and search for art by artist, rating, price, keyword and tags such as medium, color and texture. Rtist.com – basically a utopia for artists. When you think of sexy what comes to mind? How about someone who is rocking the web right now with a site that is only 8 weeks old? How about someone who is confident and self motivated? Jenn Allen is an entrepreneur and not just any entrepreneur either. She is the Sexiest Female Entrepreneur of 2010 according to getyourbizsavvy.com (if you don’t already know).

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Joanna Lord

8. Joanna Lord: Joanna is the VP of Growth Marketing at SEOmoz, a SEO and social media software company out of Seattle. She is East Coast born, but did a five year stint in LA tech, before settling into the Seattle startup scene. Joanna is a well known customer acquisition expert and well versed in Internet marketing, PPC, SEO, social media and traditional media. She is a regular fixture at industry conferences, speaking all over the world. She “sleeps rarely and caffeinates often.” It also appears that Joanna has been known to sing a song or two on karaoke, but if asked, she will deny it ever happened.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Joanna Lord’s photos and bio were updated at her request on 2/27/2013… We appreciate any opportunity to update this article.

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Leah Culver

9. Leah Culver: Leah Culver was a co-founder and the lead developer of the social network and micro-blogging website Pownce, which was acquired by blog juggernaut Six Apart in November 2008. While creating the Pownce API she co-authored both the OAuth and OEmbed open API specifications and now maintains the popular Python OAuth library. Leah promotes open source, APIs, and the Django web framework on her blog at leahculver.com. In her free time she likes to play around with new technology and try new restaurants near her home in San Francisco.We recommend checking out her official blog.

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Amy McInerney

10: Amy McInerney: Amy is the co-founder and C.E.O. of Social Focus Marketing, Inc., an Internet marketing company specializing in social media and search engine marketing. After spending two years at the helm of the marketing department at Pearse Street Consulting, Inc., a social networking software development company, Amy spearheaded Social Focus as a sister company (literally, her sister-in-law is the C.E.O. of Pearse Street) and since then, has been launching her clients’ online campaigns to the top of Google searches and driving traffic through innovative social media marketing strategies. In her rare down-time, Amy enjoys wine, concerts and spending time with her niece and nephews.