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Just like having a team full of sales people standing on the lot, waiting for things to happen, rather then picking up the phone and making things happen. Your Adwords budget is doing the exact same thing for you. Sitting at the point and hoping people are looking for the things your selling instead of going out there and bringing customers in.
Up until the past few years, Adwords was really the only thing we had as digital marketers that allowed us to customize, segment and track conversions from our digital efforts. As digital budgets grow in the dealerships, they are also growing at the OEM, IMA and 3rd party level. Which means that it's getting incrementally more expensive to advertise your products, even on a local level.
We all know that there is a lot of speak about attribution and tracking going on in the automotive world right now. But, at the end of the day, all the multi-touch attribution models and dynamic phone numbers are just fancy talk. Fancy talk doesn't sell cars. It sells the products that the "fancy-talking" people are trying to sell you. Your agency or vendor partner will disagree with me. After all, it's their job to spend your money. It's always in their best interest to spend the whole budget every time.
If they didn't, you would, more than likely, lower the budget. Simply put, the money they can make off of you is just too easy to pass up in terms of management fees and so on.
I'm not saying that all Adwords spend is wasted. What I am saying is, at a certain point, you hit a ceiling. And it can't be broken by throwing more money at it. There is simply not enough volume in local markets to justify the spends. This is because the majority of your Adwords budgets probably go to dealership or new make model campaigns. Which tells us that our customers are either looking for us by name or by make name and model.
You're bidding on those campaigns but so is your same make competitor. Not to mention, your LMA or region and your OEM. They are all trying to do the same thing. Drive traffic and track ROI.
That's before we even account for third parties throwing their hat in the ring.
Additionally, our industry is so fast paced. Every month we are doing something different. One month we might be pushing truck month. The next, it's competitive lease conquest. Which means, even if the data last month was solid, you are no more likely to spend future money any wiser because your target market/demo has changed.
We live in a time now, when our mobile device has the ability to almost anything. Even make us into professional photographers, movie makers and story tellers. There is no better marketing than telling a good story through platforms like Instagram, YouTube and Facebook. We can speak to our local markets and customers through live digital events or telling amazing stories through words and images. This is stuff that isn't hard to do but requires a little bit of time and creativity.
So when it's time to look at your marketing budgets again, consider this: Are you the kind of person who is hoping you have enough budget to pay the driver of the digital up bus? (If and when he decides to show up.) Or, are you the kind of person who wants to dig in, try something new and make a real difference while having fun.
It's up to you...
Originally Posted on The Next Up Blog