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Digital Attribution 101: Why Digital Attribution Matters to Your Dealership

Digital attribution may sound like the newest marketing buzzword, but it is more than a trendy topic. Understanding digital attribution tells you how to reach consumers to get them in your doors so you can sell more cars.

Why does digital attribution matter?

To implement an effective digital strategy, you need to track and analyze your digital marketing. When 9 out of 10 Americans are online, and 81% of consumers research online before making a buying decision, you have to advertise online. Easy, right? The trick is  – correctly tracking your online ads’ success.

Research shows that digital channels will overtake traditional media by 2021; everyone knows you need to advertise online to reach potential buyers.

The problem is consumers’ buying journeys aren’t as linear as they used to be. It isn’t always as simple as a person seeing one of your PPC ads, clicking it, and then calling your dealership to come in and see a car. Everyone wishes it were that simple! But we all know when potential consumers are doing research, they are bouncing from one piece of content or ad to the next before contacting you.

When this happens, how do you correctly measure which points of the customer journey were important and how do you weigh each touch point? The answer is to use multi-touch attribution.

Solving gaps with multi-touch attribution

A key component for successful multi-touch attribution is determining unique users to follow along their buying journey. Not all research sessions or point of the journey are completed in one session; it may be across several days or even longer that a buyer is researching and increasing their purchase intent.

By correctly identifying people – either by using cookies to identify users or using a more robust, cookie-free marketing attribution solution such as CallSource’s EveryLead platform, you unveil the complete customer journey. Once you know your consumers’ journeys, you must determine which multi-channel attribution model your dealership should and will follow to attribute each touchpoint.

The main multi-channel attribution models used by marketers are:

  • Last Click/Final Click Attribution: Attributes the final channel’s click through to the source of lead generation.
  • First Click Attribution: The reverse of the last click; attributes the first channel that brought someone into all of the other channels as given credit in lead generation.
  • Linear Attribution: All channels are assigned a consistent value in the customer journey by distributing attribution evenly.
  • Time-Decay Attribution: The channels at the end of the consumer journey receive the most credit, and the channels as the beginning receive the least. The channel at the halfway point of the consumer journey received 50% of the weight.
  • U-Shaped/Position-Based Attribution: Favors straight lead generation by giving more credit to the first channel that brought someone in and the final channel that converted the consumer.

To dive deep into multi-channel attribution models and determine which is right for your dealership, download our free Automotive Digital Management Guide.

How to track consumers along their car-buying journey

With a reliable digital management platform, your dealership can correctly attribute all of the touch-points that consumers interact with to bring them to your dealership.

By knowing where consumers go online when they are researching cars, you can make better-informed marketing decisions. This matters because understanding what is important to customers means you stop paying for things that don’t matter as much. This translates to driving people to your dealership more efficiently.

Without using cookies (which can be unreliable at giving true data), but by using a more robust digital tracking system, your dealership can track consumers not only cross-domain but cross-device. You need to know this to understand what ads ultimately end in a sale.

Dynamic number insertion (DNI) measures the number of phone calls from your digital marketing and connects the online consumer journey to an offline phone call. Simply stated, DNI is a phone number that follows your customer no matter where they go on the internet, regardless if they switch from a phone or tablet.

The rule of thumb for DNI is if something requires code, you need to be using DNI.

Learn more about your consumers’ complete journeys and your marketing performance success

Investing in your digital attribution with multi-touch attribution tracking empowers your marketing team and your dealership to have a fuller picture of the customer journey.  This means your sales teams get more leads to close more deals.

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