Erica Bruno – Adapting to Industry Shifts and Community Engagement



Erica Bruno-Martin is the Vice President of Business Development of CBC Automotive Marketing, a company that has been providing full-service marketing solutions to successful automobile dealers and dealer groups across North America since 1983. With a robust background in marketing and business development, she has been instrumental in driving growth and innovation at CBC. Erica's strategic vision and leadership skills have significantly contributed to the company's success in the automotive marketing industry.


Economic Realities of Car Buyers Aged 30 to 50

In this episode of the Parts Girl Podcast, Erica Bruno-Martin shines a light on the purchasing habits of the 30 to 50 age group. Despite increased income reports, this group faces significant financial challenges. Student loan debt and high mortgages limit their spending power. Thus, they lean towards reliable, reasonably priced cars over flashy purchases. This age group prioritizes sensibility, given the rising costs of cars, gas, and food. Both Erica and host Kaylee Felio express concerns about these escalating daily expenses.

Navigating Financial Pressures

Due to rising daily expenses, balancing a budget has become harder. Yet, there's a silver lining. Erica and Kaylee emphasize gratitude for opportunities within the automotive industry. This industry offers potential for success even without a formal education. Work experience often proves more valuable than a degree in career growth. Erica's background highlights the importance of service and parts departments in maintaining a dealership’s viability. This is especially true during inventory shortages prompted by COVID.

Shifting Consumer Behaviors and Market Dynamics

Erica and Kaylee note changes in consumer behaviors and market dynamics. Buyers now treat higher-mileage vehicles as if they were new. This signals a shift towards longer car life cycles. Additionally, digital advertising and purchasing habits are now prevalent. The pandemic hastened this transition, forcing businesses to adapt quickly. Therefore, dealerships must balance digital processes with personal touch to build trust. The automotive market needs adaptability to cater to generational buying habits effectively.

Impact of the Pandemic

COVID had significant impacts on both personal and professional lives. Erica shares her experience of being laid off during the pandemic. This forced her to reevaluate her priorities and future goals. This period of reflection led to personal growth and a refreshed perspective on life and career. Further, Erica collaborates with CBC to create genuine content that connects with people. Aligning with company values is crucial in this approach.

Community Engagement and Dealer Insights

Growing up in dealerships, Erica understands the importance of engaging with and reinvesting in the community. She emphasizes that a dealership’s success is tied to how it serves its community. During COVID, safety and education became more crucial than ever. Therefore, sharing information about community involvement on social media is essential. It reflects the dealership’s commitment to its customers and their well-being.

Adjusting Business Strategies and Leverage Personal Branding

Adapting to new business methods and maintaining customer relationships is critical. Both Erica and Kaylee agree that balancing digital processes with a human touch is necessary. Transparency and trust-building are paramount in retaining customers. Personal branding plays a significant role in connecting with diverse audiences. Consequently, genuine human connection in workplace is needed now more than ever.

Reflections and Future Plans

Finally, Erica and Kaylee reflect on the advice they would give to their past selves. They emphasize focusing on people, processes, and customer experiences. DeSotoCon conference stands out for its unique structure and energy. It emphasizes community involvement, which is fundamental for dealership success. Erica also speaks about the importance of impeccable customer service. Particularly during the pandemic, people held onto their vehicles longer. Hence, service and parts departments became increasingly crucial.

In conclusion, the conversation with Erica Bruno-Martin offers invaluable insights into the automotive industry’s current state. Adapting to changing consumer behaviors and economic pressures is essential. Emphasizing community engagement and genuine human connections will drive the industry forward.

For continuous updates and insights, visit WOCAN (Women of Color Action Network) at Erica and Kaylee's discussion underscores the importance of balancing technological advances with personal touch. This approach ensures a trustful and loyal customer base, essential for future growth.




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  1. Prioritize customer experience.
  2. Adapt to market trends.
  3. Value real-world experience.



“It's even more important in service that you have an impeccable customer experience.” -Erica Bruno-Martin



Erica Bruno-Martin





Kaylee Felio


Website: www.partsedge.

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