If your marketing is being measured by different rulers, then you are just guessing.
Now more than ever, a dealership’s marketing metrics need to be standardized. Focus moves around from inventory issues, new car warranty work and the next curve ball that awaits around the corner. Being able to measure more than just the result so that you can find the disconnect in your strategy is going to be key.
As dealers around the nation have launched campaigns to acquire more vehicles, using marketing tactics to move the needle, the question becomes, “How do we know which tactics are working best so we don’t just throw money out the window?”
Well, if you haven’t standardized your measurement tools, you have left yourself exposed to the challenges that some dealers have uncovered. You need to see the activity and the results past the vanity metrics of impressions, clicks and time on site. Successful dealers have standardized the metrics to ensure they can measure apples to apples across the different tactics and vendors they used.
Dealer A was able to understand their landing page was the problem as they saw the visits and page scrolls, but the consumer did not convert via chat, text or click to call, nor did they engage the digital retail (DR) platform. What they found through the metrics was the consumer did not like the experience, as there was a disconnect from seeing an ad that said “Sell Us Your Car” and going to the dealer’s website where they landed on a trade-in form. The consumer needed to be educated on the process and the page needed to align with the ad, and after these adjustments were made, the conversions started to come in.
Dealer B was directing all their acquisition campaigns directly into their DR platform but was seeing a 90% abandonment rate. They realized that while the tool was the easy path for the consumer, they needed to do a little work up front to educate the consumer on the value proposition of the process. So before going right into the DR platform, they had a landing page that explained how the process worked.
Automotive marketing generally falls into three categories:
• Inventory/ Fixed Ops
• People and Process
When you work out of these three buckets it helps you quickly identify where the friction is and helps you understand what tactics or processes need to be in place or adjusted to get the result you are looking for.
If you don’t have the inventory, what marketing tactics should you dial back or dial up? Does it make sense to do model-specific ads or do you go broader with SUV, EV or a pre-order message?
We are coming up on three years of new cars sales being off pace and the impact that might have on new car warranty work coming into your service drive. You may want to reallocate marketing dollars to focus on competing with the independent service shops in your area.
We are chasing moving targets, and the only way to ensure you can respond and adjust quickly is to better understand the actionable metrics that will help point you in the right direction.