Digital marketing has many benefits over traditional marketing. It’s more targeted, more engaging, more effective, and the only marketing that’s 100% trackable, IF DONE CORRECTLY. Dealers have been hearing that digital marketing is the best way to reach modern car shoppers for years now, and they are finally coming to the realization that spending the majority of their budget on digital advertising is the best course of action. And looking at the data, we can see that spending on digital marketing in the automotive industry is only going to go up…which, truthfully, is a great thing.
Alongside all of the aforementioned benefits that digital marketers have been touting is the fact that digital advertising is also the most trackable form of marketing; allowing a dealer to truly generate an accurate Return on Investment (ROI) on their ad budget. However, for a long time, that message has come with a few caveats. Although it sounds like a rudimentary process to be able to track if a customer comes from a Google AdWords campaign and fills out a credit application on your website, the way that 95% of the automotive industry is currently set up makes it very difficult to truly and accurately measure the ROI from their digital marketing spend.
The issue we see across the automotive vertical is that website providers and producers of other online tools are not on the same page when it comes to understanding what customers do when they get to a dealer’s site; or even where those customers came from. There is a severe disconnect between the tools being offered to the dealers, and how everything comes into the CRM, that causes “Blind Spots” in ROI tracking.
Blind Spots occur because most dealers use 3rd party tools to entice customers to interact with the site and submit lead info. These tools can be anything from trade-in evaluators (i.e. KBB, Black Book, etc…), credit applications (i.e. DealerCentric), live chat providers, and any other tool that can be framed-in and get lead info. When one of these tools is framed-in on a dealer’s site (meaning it only sits on the face of the dealer’s site, but is not fully integrated with the web platform) the customer can USE the tool, but the dealer cannot TRACK where that customer came from.
The Blind Spots caused by these framed-in tools results in the tracking issue that 95% of dealers in this industry experience every time they try to figure out what they got for all the money they spent on digital marketing. The image below displays the current ROI “Train Wreck” plaguing dealers today:
As you can see, the dealer in the image above is clearly doing a good job spreading their digital ad spend out to different marketing channels, and is bringing good traffic to their site. However, ROI tracking is lost completely if any of the traffic coming to the site interacts with 3rd Party applications running on their platform. In fact, with most website providers, the best level of tracking they can offer you is if someone fills out a simple form lead on your site; and if your provider can’t even get THAT part right, it’s probably time to jump ship.
Don’t Worry, Dealer eProcess Has Once Again Fixed the Problem:
Here at Dealer eProcess, we make it a priority to not only develop great tools that convert at a high rate, but to also develop tools that can track and report on all customer activity at the most detailed level (and if you don’t believe that, just check out iSpy). What we’ve done to correct the ROI Blind Spot issue is create a suite of top-tier products that eliminate the need for virtually all 3rd Party Plugins. Our tools such as eAutoAppraise, 24/7 Live Chat, eAutoPayments, and CreditMiner are NOT FRAME-IN’s, but are fully integrated products that allow us to give you the most complete ROI available. The Images below depict how, through the use of our full, holistic web platform, we’re able to identify where all online traffic comes from, and completely track the results of all of your digital marketing efforts:
Here’s the Tip:
Digital marketing is, by far, the most effective way to reach today’s shoppers. But if you don’t know what results you’re getting from your marketing efforts right now, you will never be able to make the best decisions moving forward. So stop driving blind and start generating a more accurate ROI so you can spend your money efficiently and leave your competition guessing!