A lot of time and money is spent developing your marketing campaigns — everything from your creative agency fees to your advertising placement that includes television and radio ad spots, digital paid ads, social media marketing, billboard advertising and direct mail. That’s a heavy lift with a simple goal: attract consumers to buy your vehicles.
As with any marketing investment, you want to make sure you are measuring, optimizing and tracking where your marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and sales qualified leads (SQLs) originated from. Understanding your lead attribution and determining which campaigns initiated the phone call to schedule a test drive, ask an inventory question or talk to someone about getting a deal done requires a strategy and plan.
But before we create the plan, we need to start with basics, what’s a proper MQL and SQL? An MQL is someone who has expressed interest in your products or service and should be placed at the top of your sales funnel. MQLs are generated from downloading gated content, clicking on a digital ad or signing up for an email. These leads should be contacted, nurtured properly to keep them engaged and ultimately converted to an opportunity.
An SQL is someone who directly contacts you and is eager to do business with your dealership. These individuals enter the lead pipeline at the bottom of the funnel as they have contacted you directly via phone or web form or walked onto the lot looking to talk to a salesperson. These are hot prospects who have a need or desire to do business with your team and you will want to ensure they are handled with swiftness and care, to close the deal quickly.
Capturing MQLs and SQLs is very difficult and it’s important that you have a strategy in place for identifying, managing and keeping your customers engaged so you earn their business and strive to retain them as a customer for life — from sales to service.
Conversational intelligence (CI) platforms allow you to track, monitor and analyze how and where your customers are engaging with your marketing content using dynamic number insertions (DNI). A CI platform will provide data intelligence that highlights campaign and marketing channel effectiveness so your marketers can report on the quality and success of your digital marketing efforts, such as:
• Most sessions
• Web form submissions
• Page views
• Phone calls.
For example, if a customer calls the dealership using a unique phone number that is tied directly to a marketing retargeting ad campaign, you will be able to track this ad and see which website or landing page they used to see the ad that encouraged them to make the call. On average, 48% of your website visitors call the dealership. Knowing what led them there eliminates the blinds spots that you may incur and provides informative data that help you better understand your customer journey and the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. This is imperative, considering 38% of automotive web traffic is driven by paid advertising, and with conversion rates averaging at 2% but ranging up to 16%, the optimization of your efforts can make or break your dealership.
Leverage a CI platform with robust reporting capabilities in order to access comprehensive call analytics that helps you determine:
• If calls are for service, sales or another department
• Was the call connected to the intended party or ended up in voicemail?
• Was an appointment set?
• Was an alert given notifying of a potential problem, broken promise or lost sales opportunity?
This added layer of information will give you a complete view of the customer’s experience with your dealership. It also provides you the data you need to effectively determine if your customer inquiry is an MQL or SQL. Understanding your customer’s intention — a service or sales call — will help you assist your customers in a manner that will keep them engaged and provide them the best experience with your dealership.
With many call tracking solutions on the market, choose a solution that allows you to optimize and target your audience systematically to help you avoid paying for conversions outside your geographic target area. Accessing Google Analytics and paid marketing parameters enables you to quickly adjust your campaigns to ensure that you are targeting the right audience. This eliminates the challenge of losing significant marketing revenue by targeting prospects outside your geographical reach. In our research, 60% of local consumers who research online for their next vehicle are more likely to visit a dealership to complete the purchase, in addition to 41% of car buyers who only visit one dealership before making the purchase.
To expand your marketing efforts, consider leveraging custom interactive voice response, advance routing and call whispers. Coupled with inbound phone analysis, this enables you to quickly identify the marketing source as to why they are calling. Thus, enabling your ability to delight your customers through their entire customer journey — marrying both the online and offline experience as one.