With a new year here, it should bring on new goals, ideas, strategies and tactics for your online marketing. Most of you reading this did not finish first in your region, as there can only be one winner. If you are looking up at your competing dealers, you need to be asking yourself: What will you do differently this year to claim that top spot? We all know that trying to replicate what you did previously will not propel you to the next level.
Just like a race car, you need to make changes to the chassis, suspension and motor to make the car go faster. To ensure that your dealership’s marketing race car is firing on all cylinders, here are some tweaks to your marketing efforts and overall spend that you should be looking into if you have not already done so.
Are Your Google Analytics Set Up Correctly?
Before you can truly dive into your data, you need to make sure that your analytics account is set up correctly. Are you tracking real goals, such as forms, mobile click-to-calls, texts and chats? These are what help sell cars, not metrics like vehicle details page views, average time on site or crossing imaginary thresholds like racking up more than seven page views per session.
You can have separate dashboards set up that will allow you to view valuable data quickly and more efficiently. Your data is king in making future marketing decisions after all, and if you are not able to see what is working and what is not, you are simply taking the “Bird Box challenge” with your advertising budget.
Are You Overspending on Display Advertising?
This is very common in the automotive space as your dealership may have been sold on programmatic display or, even worse yet, the idea of letting your ad agency run a display campaign wide open. If your display campaigns are set up correctly, you should be able to clearly see if that is truly effective or not.
Traffic is great, depending on where it is coming from. Look at the locations report, network, devices, screen resolutions, etc. within Google Analytics to see if the traffic is even from a real person. From here, look at how many leads were made versus what you are spending. If you are not sure what to look at, send me an email and I can walk you through it.
Does Your OEM Rep Say to Conquest?
Conquesting competing brands is a waste of your dealership’s money. Think of it this way: leveraging this practice is like having a person raise their hand and ask for a cheeseburger, to which you respond by putting an ad in front of them for a chicken sandwich. You are not delivering on what they are looking for, you are not using the targeted keywords within your ad copy and your slow website does not mention the term anywhere on the page. This all translates into your cost per click being sky high because you are not relevant to the searcher’s query.
This is just one way your OEM gets you to do their advertising for them, and it doesn’t take long to see that this is all a branding ploy being pushed by your rep. They’re in sales (not marketing), they don’t know what works and what does not, and they definitely don’t care.
Still Using the Same Website?
To make your race car a winning car, you want to have the best chassis, shocks, springs, tires and motor possible. With that, you also need a crew chief who knows how to make the crucial adjustments to keep your car out front.
Does your newly hired account rep know how to do that? Doubtful. This will cost you valuable time this year, as your website will not perform as well as your competitors’. If you want to beat the classifieds and dominate your local area, you need to have the best website that is set up to win every time.
Not all race cars are the same and neither are websites. Yes, the body may look similar, but everything under those panels and the hood are what make it so fast. Those are things you cannot see or get from an out-of-the-box OEM website.
The driver also plays a role in which experience comes into play. The search engine optimization (SEO) that is talked about by certain vendors uses outdated tactics, which shows a lack of the experience needed to win in today’s technical world. Is your current website competing and winning often against the big classifieds?
In most cases, the answer is unfortunately no, so I ask you this: Will you continue to use the same race car and setup from last year and expect to win? I sure hope not, as that is not a winning strategy. Instead, it is one that is content with staying where you are, hoping and praying that the competitors behind you have not gotten fast enough to pass your dealership.
Click here to view more solutions from Steve Seeley and Remora.