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Columbia Business Monthly

#1 - PureCars Automotive, LLC

Nov 01, 2017 12:45PM ● Published by Emily Stevenson

#1 PureCars Automotive, LLC
Charleston, S.C. 
Samuel Mylrea, CEO

Established in 2007, PureCars offers car dealerships, OEMs and automotive agencies a suite of marketing solutions to drive high-probability buyers to a dealer’s site, optimize traffic once on their site, and convert those customers in the showroom. PureCars’ approach to digital advertising provides SmartAdvertising technology that has helped thousands of dealers beat their competition to sell more new and used vehicles. They offer an integrated multi-channel digital advertising solution to dealers which ensures they’re delivering the most relevant ads to the shoppers who are most interested in a vehicle. 

PureCars’ SmartAdvertising platform (recognized by Digital Dealer as a “Most Innovative Product”) has propelled the company onto the Inc. 5000 four times and helped to make PureCars a Premier Google Partner. PureCars is also backed by Raycom Media, one of the nation’s largest privately-held media companies. The company is headquartered in Charleston, S.C., and Atlanta, Ga. 
 
What are the keys to your company’s rapid growth?
People
Focus 
Innovation 
Operations

What do you see as your company’s greatest opportunities in the future?
Cars are the second biggest purchase people make after a house. The way people research, find and ultimately buy their next car is changing rapidly and we have a tremendous amount of data on each of those three stages. We continue to see digital retailing and merchandising at the epicenter of this change. Continue to use data and machine learning to make better decisions – competitive advantage.

What are your biggest challenges and how do you plan to overcome them?  
One of our biggest challenges and strengths is finding great people. We continue to invest heavily in recruiting, but also, more importantly, retention. We’re very focused on training, development and career pathing to make sure we continue to develop and retain our top talent. Another area would be competition. Over the last two years, we’ve seen a lot of new market entrants that were historically traditional agencies that have now moved into having a digital offering. For us, given that we’ve already invested tens of millions of dollars in technology and data over the years, it’s really hard for those local/regional agencies to compete, especially as we continue to invest heavily in innovation and technology.  

What advice can you offer someone just starting a business?  
Be ready for the long haul. There is a tremendous amount of work and stress, but at the same time it’s extremely rewarding. Make sure to find people that are stronger than you in areas where you’re weak. Realize that sometimes you’ll get things wrong…have the humility to know when you’re wrong along with the ability to get them right the second time around. 

What is your strategy for innovation?  
Focus. The hardest decision is what we don’t pursue/develop. Culturally, we’ve always focused on solving a deficiency or solving for a need in the market – we’re essentially problem solvers.  

Who do you consider to be your mentor/mentors in business?  
Jeremy Anspach, PureCars founder and executive chairman, has been a great mentor and advisor. 

Does your company’s geographic location offer any specific advantages?  
Charleston provides a great quality of life and its technology and marketing scene continues to be expanding rapidly. 

How many employees do you have and do you plan to add any in the coming year?  
We currently have 200 employees and we will be at 275 employees by the end of 2018.

Have there been any entrepreneurs in your family?  
Both of my grandfathers, my father, two of my aunts, and my uncle. 

How old were they when they started the company?  
Most of them started their own businesses in their twenties. 

How is your company legally structured? 
LLC

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