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Guest post today from our General Manager, Tom Feary. He's noticed a significant disconnect between online marketing practices and dealer operations that has popped up in the field.
The question for the month is… Do your finance people talk to your marketing and Internet people? Many of our customers invest in used and new car leads right along with auto finance leads. Yet the expectation of how finance leads are filtered and delivered can vary, sometimes dramatically.
An example is geographical targeting. Your finance manager may request leads from less than 10 miles away but your marketing and Internet teams are targeting and optimizing for greater distances, such as 30 and 50 miles. These teams invest in advertising and Internet tactics to attract a larger footprint. Yet a finance manager can place hand-cuffs on your spending by restricting the targeting area.
One of the great things I love about the web is the ability to trip over things. Nothing is more exciting to me than conducting a search and finding a good morsel of information by accident. Search results and online advertising are delivered to a user based on sophisticated reasoning and calculations. Each vendor, whether it is a search engine or ad server, has a different slant and that’s why there is opportunity everywhere.
Geo targeting on the web is just one of many slants. For one channel, 10 miles may be a margin of error. For another channel, 10 miles may be impossible. And the more calculations, the more precise… the more cost. Not cash cost, but lost opportunity because a programmer’s math determines a lead just 9 miles away looks like its 19 miles away.
So where’s the real opportunity for your finance team? Why will an Internet sales manager work a lead from 30 or 50 miles away but a finance manager turn away a lead just several miles down the road? How is that good for the dealer?
We’re sincere with our questions and look forward to your comments.
Tom Feary is General Manager for Interactive Financial Marketing Group, an online marketing firm serving car dealers under the Carloan.com brand. Dealers can learn more on our web site for dealers. You can follow Tom on Twitter @tomfeary.