sMedia: The best AI for Auto Dealers in North America
Taylor Ursu, Marshal Finch and Regan Hinchcliffe were social media strategists in the early days of the profession. The group struggled to find their niche until they developed a data crawl app and learned that “data was the king of the future”. They decided to reposition their company to be a top player in the emerging industry of Artificial Intelligence, particularly as it can be applied to the auto industry.
Hinchcliffe explains, “We found that we could use a crawler for auto websites to auto generate vehicle specific advertising to provide the consumer with an easy and personalized shopping experience. When we made that product, that’s when everything changed. Dealerships ate it up.”
“As we developed our budget for R & D, we used machine learning technology to find that there were certain online behaviours that that signified a person was very likely to buy a vehicle. By optimizing for this important body language, sMedia provides very high-quality online traffic. We now use Artificial Intelligence to rapid prototype and A/B test on the fly to furthermore convert said traffic into tangible leads.”
sMedia’s technology can now predict the vehicles that will most likely sell for a dealership and the type of person that will purchase them. It also helps to find the engaged potential clients and connect them to the dealership.
sMedia’s clients have seen the benefits of the technology as one car dealership from the United States has increased their qualified leads by 367%. sMedia has around 600 clients in Canada and the United States and are planning to penetrate deeper into the 57,000 dealerships in North America.
When sMedia became a data tech firm instead of an advertising agency, they expanded their team to sixty people and became a Google Premiere Channel Partner. They were recently cited by CanadianBusiness.com as the 53rd Fastest Growing company in Canada and received the Paragon Award for New Business Venture from Regina Chamber of Commerce.
Finch summarizes, “Being bootstrapped (no external funding) has helped us learn valuable lessons to make our company successful. We’ve had to put our heads down and work very hard to get to where we are today.”
Incorporation Date: August 2011
Cofounders: Tayler Ursu, Marshal Finch, Regan Hinchcliffe
Number of Employees: 60