5Qs With the MD Writers: Joey Little

Joey Little
Director of Social Strategy at AutoAlert

If you don’t know Joey Little, you must not be in automotive. Now get to know him a little better …

1. You got your start as a radio DJ in Topeka. How did you get into automotive?

Part of my job in broadcasting was that I worked with advertisers on creating radio advertising campaigns, and a large part of radio advertising revenue comes from car dealerships. I worked with a lot of dealerships to put together campaigns – to record commercials for them, do live reads with them, live broadcasts from the dealerships, etc., so I got to know a lot about the car industry, and the retail side of the car industry, and I learned a bit about how general managers’ minds work.

I was also talking to a lot of dealerships because of my newfound love of social media marketing, back in the early 2000s, with Friendster, MySpace, and Twitter. I was using it for my morning radio rock show, so I was giving them tips and tricks back in the day for what they could do with social media. Not a lot of them took my advice! They mostly stayed with traditional marketing, but that’s completely changed in 2018, now that just about every dealership has some kind of social media.

2. Top three bands of all time?

Beastie Boys, Dropkick Murphys, and Eric B & Rakim.

I’m a big lover of old-school hip-hop. It’s hard to pick my top three! I almost said Afrika Bambaataa, DJ Kool Herc, and Grandmaster Flash. But I went with the Beastie Boys, because they’re a lyrical group, a fun group to listen to. They’re not just hip-hop, they cross into some cool punk stuff. Rakim is a hip-hop lyricist from back in the day, the 80s and early 90s. He was the first sort of gruff emcee – everybody else was happy or just told a story. Rakim came across with a lot of attitude, a tough-guy attitude. He set that bar for many many other, almost every other, hip-hop artist and rap artist since then. And the Dropkick Murphys just because they have really fun songs. Plus, their connection with the Boston Red Sox. But my favorite Dropkick Murphys song of all time – it’s my favorite song of all time – is “Barroom Hero.”

3. What has been the biggest adventure of your life so far?

The 10 years I’ve been with Mike Dullea! [Laughs] And Kendall Billman, and Tom Walls, and those of us who have been with the three companies: VinSolutions, MotoFuze, and now AutoAlert. It’s been an extremely awesome and crazy adventure.

Personally, it was the time I spent traveling across Europe, starting in Paris and then down to Rome for a wedding that was held at the Norwegian Embassy in Rome, Italy. Taking trains, going to Switzerland and then France and then through Rome. It was a pretty awesome adventure.

4. An oldie but a goodie: If you could have dinner with any three people, living or dead, who would they be?

Richard Branson, Jack Ma, and Elon Musk.

Those three because of the innovation style they have. Jack Ma started Alibaba in China. Started from nothing and rose his way up. Just the innovative mindset he has with Alibaba and as a philanthropist and investor. Very smart guy. People going from basic beginnings to achieving exceptional success really interest me. Same thing with Richard Branson, with Virgin. And Elon Musk. They’re all creators. Listening to those three at dinner, just thinking about what would come out of that discussion, the new ideas, it’s crazy. I just got word that Ma is retiring. I don’t think people like that can ever step away, but we’ll see.

5. What’s the best thing about social media?

When it’s used right, the communication aspect. And not just being able to talk to old friends and comment on pictures, but the ability to, well – it’s word of mouth on steroids. It opens the world up to new opportunities and new possibilities. You can go on Facebook or Twitter and ask a question about recipes, an event, books, movies, fashion, and you’re gonna get a ton of feedback from people. I can put on Facebook that I want to go to dinner this weekend in Kansas City and I’d get multiple recommendations. Same with reviews. You can learn a lot about a company, or a product or service before you buy.

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