This year’s AFSA Vehicle Finance Conference was filled with great information, and a lot of insight on upcoming lending regulations. The main way to stay ahead was the focus on innovation and the importance of being nimble in today’s complicated lending and marketing environment. Here were the 5 top obsessions highlighted by keynote speaker John Linkler “obsessions” and what they could mean to your business.


An example was SOCCKET, a soccer ball that harnesses and stores energy from play for later use as portable power source in resource-poor areas. Jessica Matthews invented this ball to solve the problem of renewable energy sources in areas that would otherwise not have the means of grid-driven power.  See the video about how it works below:

Can’t make it to the ATM? How about if the ATM comes to you! IdeaBank in Poland has a fleet of mobile ATMs that allow thousands of business owners to safely deposit their daily revenues within minutes from end-day closing. Fitted in electric zero-emission cars, the mobile ATMs offer a safer alternative to traditional nighttime cash deposits at local bank branch. Requested free-of-charge through a dedicated smartphone app, the car arrives in the chosen pick-up point within minutes, and allows the customers to deposit or withdraw any money they need.


Heard of the Amazon Dash button? Basically, customers can build a shopping list via scanning household staples and building a shopping list. For new orders of items when they are about to run out, all the customer has to do is press a color-coded button, and the item is added to the delivery schedule. This device essentially brings point-of-purchase into the home, and opens up possibilities of bringing the retail shopping experience home, and making the shopping experience seamless.


A cool example Mr. Linkler shared was of bicycle manufacturer Vanloof, and the problem they needed solved of their bikes getting damaged in shipping. Most people don’t think of a bike as a high-tech product, but with many electronics inside their bikes, Vanloof was an exception. To keep their boxes from getting damaged in shipping, they printed a large picture of a flat screen TV on the side of each box. Since the perception of a high-end TV is that they are fragile, expensive and easily damaged, they tended to be handled with more care. After implementing this strategy, “shipping damage to the bikes dropped by 70-80% overall.”


A great example of as close as we’ll ever be to “real-time” billboard advertising comes from a feud between Audi and BMW in Los Angeles. It started with Audi putting up a billboard that read “Chess? No Thanks, I’d rather be driving.” Later Audi altered the billboard to read “Your move BMW,” to which the Bavarian automaker replied to by erecting an even larger billboard adjacent to the original ad reading simply “Checkmate.” This example of not only social listening of sorts, but also becoming adaptive to the competition and the marketing landscape serves as a great example of marketing in general.