Has anyone pulled the plug on the third party lead providers completely?

Paul Lappage
Already I've taken away TrueCar (too many widely dispersed leads geographically for a small Internet team), and now Edmunds, AutoTrader and Cars are under the spotlight ahead of 2015's budget. Before I drill into the stats of their performance, has anyone done the same? In their place, I'd be looking at: * Increased spend for SEM (PPC, retargeting, Lotlinx, video) * SEO and content marketing.
Lauren Moses
Paul, Great question. I'm eager to hear what everyone else has to say. From what I can understand in my limited time in the industry is that if you don't have a great site with great rankings who is "Really" going to see you anyway? If the customers do actually get to your site and it's crap then they are just going to move on to the next dealership. When figuring out what to do don't forget to compare which sites give you the best leads and the most leads. If at all possible figure up a rough ROI per lead. Also, check with each provider and see if they can pull dealerships around your area at your size and close to it as far as inventory and see how you compare to search results and VDP. They can't give you the actually dealerships names but I have gotten a report with just the numbers to see how we compare. It might shine some light on how you are faring and look into what the other dealerships are doing differently if their numbers are better.
Kevin Liles
We pulled back some, but I think they still help. It's hard to get the exact sourcing from the sales desk on where the lead came from. They may see your vehicle on cars.com and email you from your website when they decide to look at other vehicles in your inventory. The biggest thing I track is ROI on total $ spent in the BDC Dept. I take total $ on 3rd party spent and must have 500% return on investment. At one point I got rid of all of them, got my lead count then started adding them back. Last thing is your leads also depend on the inventory you carry in your market.
Carl Maeda
Lauren, great comment. I'd look at optimizing your website too. If you're driving traffic to your website(via SEO/SEM), first thing you need to do is make sure your website is in order. If you spend a lot on SEM already, keep in mind that by increasing the budget, you may be targeting people that live/work farther away, which may convert at a lower rate. So you have to balance yourself out and track the conversion rate and sales data.
Tom LaGard
Smart SEO is important. A lot of what SEO companies promote today are old strategies. Google is constantly tweaking there search engine to give the end user better results. I have also noticed that some CRM's/CMS's do a lack luster job of focusing on SEO.
mark rask
we have pulled back some..

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