Share your automotive expertise

2 Write a Blog Post

Filed in: Marketing

ZMOT Secrets Revealed With Google Conversion Funnels

By Brian Pasch on Nov 21, 2011

Google has made a major upgrade to the Google Analytics Interface and I will be writing a number of articles highlighting some of the most powerful features that can be leveraged by car dealers.

If you have not taken time to work through then new interface and reports, I strongly suggest that you invest some time this month.  Dealers need to make a new commment to running their Internet business using data and new reporting tools.

For this article, you will need to expand the "Conversions" menu on Google Analytics navigation bar to see the features regarding Multi Channel Funnels. (shown on right)

Multi Channel Funnels

Multi-Channel Sales Funnels is a feature that visually displays your TOP CONVERSION PATHS, which is one of the most important discussions you need to have in regards to your primary website.

I wrote about Multi Channel Funnels this earlier in the year, but the new interface finally makes it easier to use and report on this feature for the average user.

Google will show you a snapshot of shopping behavior that leads up to a lead being submitted which they call "Assisted Conversion". This falls right into my recent discussions on knowing which sites influence consumers during the Zero Moment of Truth.

See the description Google provides below:

Multi Channel Funnels for Car Dealers in Analytics


You need to setup a conversion "goal" in analytics to have the report accurately reflect what you consider a conversion. You can setup a conversion goal for new car leads, used car leads, service leads, parts leads IF your website provider has the ability to differentiate form submissions by page source.

Of course, a conversion does not have to just be a lead, it could be having a video watched or a coupon being downloaded, so you can get very creative.

Sales Channel Groups

Channel Groupings

Google has setup some Basic Channel Groupings for users of Google Analytics which can be customized for the Automotive business.  I clicked on "Channel Groupings" from the menu under Multi-Channel Funnels, and used the "Copy Basic Channel Grouping Template" to create a customized automotive rules.

I called this Channel Grouping "Automotive Sales Channels".  Once the group was created, I started to create sales channel rules that apply to car dealers.

For example, you can add a new rule called "3rd Party Classifieds" to track consumer activity on,,, and

The purpose of these channels is to see how consumers behavior during the Zero Moment of Truth before they submit a lead.  This will give dealers INSIGHTS into which websites consumers visited prior to visiting your website, as well as the PATTERN of their behavior.

The data will document how some consumers move back and forth between ZMOT influences and your website a number a times before submitting a lead.


Setting Up Sales Channel for Car Dealers in Google Analytics

Creating a Custom Rule

To Create a Custom Rule, you can copy what Google has already setup for other websites.  For example, when you look at the rules in the Social Network Channel, you can see that one of the dozens of websites listed in the channel rule is Facebook.

You can copy the syntax of what Google calls a "Matching Regular Expression" for any website.

So I created a number of entries for popular third party classified websites, and of course the list is bigger, so go at it!

Custom Automotive Google Analytics Rules and Groups

This rule will allow be to see the "paths" that consumers took prior to submitting a lead or just visiting my website.  This is the start of adding CLARITY to dealers who are tired of not knowing which websites are INFLUENCING consumers during the Zero Moment of Truth. (ZMOT).

Seeing The Assisted Conversion Path

Once this is setup, you can start to see consumer behavior as it relates to your website traffic, as shown below:


Assisted Automotive Website Conversions

Of course, you can really create as many channels and rules that you want to better document your digital marketing strategy.  So if you want to break out your "microsites" from organic traffic, you can easily do that by creating a rule called "Microsites".

Better Visibility into Automotive ZMOT

The takeaway from this post is that for the first time Google is making it EASIER to see which investments in the Zero Moment of Truth are contributing to conversions.

Now, that is exactly what car dealers have been asking for; which online investments are helping to driving traffic and sales via my website.  This upgrade along with data tools from Dataium, which I previously wrote about, will be dramatically impacting advertyising investments and BDC strategies in the years to come.

Dealers can start using the new features in Google Analytics to create effective digital marketing investments driven by data and not a gut reaction or a smooth sales professional.



Brian Pasch CEO of PCG  

Brian Pasch, CEO

PCG Digital Marketing

Text PCGedu to 75674 get information on our upcoming conferences

You must be logged in to comment

Login Create an account

Add your comments:


Brian Pasch's Recent Posts

Related Posts

  • Consumers Are Taking Their Complaints to Social Media. Are You Responding?

    In the past, consumers were limited in their options when they had any sort of complaint or service issue with a particular business. Those options, however, have progressed and today’s consumers have moved on from phone calls and e-mails to air their complaints. They now turn to review sites and social media in an effort to get businesses to rectify a perceived wrong. Yes, some of these complaints may escalate into a revenge-sort of rant by an unhappy customer. But, oftentimes a consumer is simply at their wits end after attempting to get the problem solved via traditional methods. Consumers are now getting wise to the fact that taking their unhappiness to social media may be the best way to get their problem solved.   A recent article on, described several situations in which consumers tried to get problems solved via traditional methods, to no avail. One story involved a man who purchased a refrigerator which did not work correctly. After more than four service visits ...Read post

  • Google Auto Says Mobile is the Place to Be

    In a study published this month by Google’s Automotive division titled, “The 5 Auto Shopping Moments Every Brand Must Own,” it’s crystal clear that dealers need to have a strong mobile strategy in order to stay in the game.   The study breaks the car buying experience down into five moments. Three of them are dominated by consumers using mobile devices to gain information. This information is key to what they buy and where they buy it.   According to Google, the five auto shopping moments every brand must own are:   1.     Which car is best? 2.     Is it right for me? 3.     Can I afford it? 4.     Where should I buy it? 5.     Am I getting a deal?   Once the consumer reaches the, “can I afford it?” moment, they turn to their smartphones. “Search interest for MSRP and list prices is at its highest level ever, growing 25% in the past year, driven in large part by mobile, which accounts for 70% of these searches,” the study stated. Fr...Read post

  • This Week in Social Media

    Keep your customers in mind when you’re posting updates to your social accounts, and you’ll be sure to keep them coming back for more. No one wants a social media feed that’s log-jammed with nothing but sales pitches and offers, so instead, provide quality content that offers information on relevant topics of interest. Check out some tips to get you started when it comes to posting information that keeps your followers interested and looking for your online content...Read post

  • Don’t Creep Out Your Shoppers

    Many consumers don’t know why, but they do know that every time they reach out, their phone blows up with sales calls or they start receiving emails containing information about exactly the products they’ve been looking for—even though they haven’t communicated that information directly to you. Since your dealership may be able to gain insight into the consumer journey without individual shoppers handing the specifics to you, it’s important to approach the situation correctly and delicately in order to bring potential customers to your dealership instead of sending them running in the opposite direction. In order to approach your target consumers in a strategic manner, here are some tips to keep in mind...Read post

  • In this Age of Extreme Political Correctness, Should Businesses Care?

    If you’re on any social media platform, there’s no doubt that you’ve seen or heard of a multitude of topics where someone somewhere was offended. Not counting obvious religious, political or other volatile topics - there are many that seem, well, baffling. Take for example, the University of Ottawa’s decision to cancel its yoga class over concerns that cultural issues could offend students. Another recent example involved Starbucks decision to remove Holiday words and symbols from its traditional red cup which quickly went viral with detractors claiming that Starbucks hated Christmas. Target got into a mess recently with a Christmas sweater they sell that has the words “Obsessive Christmas Disorder” on it. People called them insensitive to those with mental health conditions. There are far too many examples of this recent phenomenon of unintentionally causing offense infiltrating and dominating social media conversations.   It’s a given that you can’t make everyone...Read post

  • Recall Masters Launches New Website: A One-Stop Source of Automotive Recall News, Data, Training and Communications

    Recall Masters, Inc., a leading provider of automotive recall news, data, training and communications, today announced the launch of a brand new website for the automotive industry. The company recently expanded its solution to multiple automotive businesses, including automakers, factory authorized dealers, pre-owned car dealers, fleet operators, rental car agencies, auto auctions, marketing agencies and other potential vendor partners. The website has been redesigned and expanded for more efficient navigation and to better explain all of the company’s solutions and product offerings. The site has also been built to fill a void as far as information and resources concerning automotive recalls. It is designed as a one-stop source of automotive recall news, information, marketing, training and other resources. Automotive businesses can visit the site to leverage the industry’s most comprehensive source or recall owner information for most every major auto make, get updated on all the latest news, and even request a free open recall report, tailored for their market area. Other educational resources include a recall communication sample, recall estimate by distance, recall summary report, Recall Masters Academy best practices curriculum, and company’s may request a free trial of the software services including API access and Inventory VIN Check. Read post

  • Want to Know Why Consumers Don’t Trust Us?

    The reason that consumers don’t trust us is simple… the messages we send them aren’t believable.   Point in case: Doug Demiro, a former manager of Porsche Cars North America, and now author of a popular column on automotive website Jalopnik, answered a reader’s question in his column that illustrates this point very clearly.   The question essentially boiled down to this: “Do those letters and e-mails from dealers saying they really want your trade-in actually mean anything? Do dealers really want your trade-in? Are they going to pay top dollar for your vehicle because they have some customer who desperately wants it?”   His answer: NO   Go ahead and read the article. It’s pretty much how consumers perceive these offers. The comments are also rather entertaining. It’s all consumers sharing experiences in which they received a similar offer and actually wanted to take the dealership up on it -- until they found out the dealer couldn’t deliver, or that the...Read post

  • Personalize Onsite Content for Users

    While marketing messages may fluctuate, most websites stay fairly static in terms of their offerings.  Different things may go on sale and different promotions may be featured on a site's home page or specials page, but rarely are those messages tuned for specific visitors.  However, it can pay to create custom onsite content intended specifically for each potential customer. Personalising onsite content amounts to having a site's images and copy change dynamically based on a user's cookies and browser history.  If a user has been searching for "cheap" items, showing a special discount to them might be more helpful, while someone that's been to a site already might want to be shown the last thing they were looking at.  Right now, this can be achieved with software.  In marketing, personalized content can be indirectly achieved via SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and directly via SEM (Search Engine Marketing/Pay Per Click). If a site isn't set up effectively to allow installing ...Read post