What should you expect from a Digital Marketing Campaign?

Leo Bentovim
Having the right expectations is critical when launching a new digital marketing campaign at your dealership. As most General Managers, e-commerce directors, and BDC directors know, they need to use Google Analytics in order to analyze the traffic to their website. But does Google Analytics tell the full story? It is critical when analyzing digital marketing that you look at more than just the cost per click, the time spent on your site from the clicks, and the bounce rate. How many total eyeballs were there on one of the ads delivered? How many people opened your email? How many people viewed your Facebook advertisement? How many consumers that clicked on your display ad, came back to your website a second or third time? How many people saw the Facebook ad, didn’t click because they were busy, but then when they got home, they searched for the dealer on Google, clicked on the PPC ad, and now google/ppc is receiving credit for the visitor, not the Facebook ad? A digital marketing campaign shouldn’t be valued on just cost per click; every aspect of that media needs to be looked at. At the end of the day an email is virtually the same thing as a direct-mail piece; it just has links, and is sent to an inbox rather than a mailbox. So should you be concerned about the cost per click on your email campaign? I don’t think so. Now, when you do look at the behavior of your paid traffic sources in your Google Analytics, you need to understand the different mindsets of consumers. When a customer visits your website from a Google search that customer said to him or herself, I am going to spend the next 20-30 minutes of my day looking for my next car. They are ready and willing to shop your website, at that very given moment. If you send a customer an email, or banner ad, and they click to your website, maybe they just wanted to see how many KIA Optima’s you had on the lot, so they know if you are worth googling when they get home from work that day. Who knows where they are when they saw the ad? Maybe they were driving; maybe they were walking in the city, or at the movies waiting for the previews to end. You should not expect organic quality traffic from clicks generated by ads you sent. When analyzing your Google Analytics, you should expect roughly 0.25%-1.00% form conversions, meaning for every 100 ad clicks you should see 1 form submitted and maybe a 5% phone call conversion (5 phone calls per 100 clicks tops), 40-60% bounce rates, and 0:30-2:00 minutes on site tops. Organic traffic will have 10-20% bounce rates, up to 5% form conversions, and typically 3:00-4:00 minutes on the site. Remember organic visitors are coming to you, whereas ad clicks were generated because you went to them. It is a similar concept to a cold-call. Don’t expect the same results from cold-calling as you do from inbound leads. It is also critical to not expect the same results when targeting new prospects, then when targeting your existing database. Prospects that have not purchased from your dealership are not as likely to open your emails and click on your ads. Email campaigns typically generate 10-15% open rates to your existing customers, so an email to new prospects should generate 1-2% open rates. Remember, it is a completely different mindset. The bottom line is, if you are running a digital advertising campaign; make sure you have the right expectations. You should not expect the same behavior from emails, banners, or social media ads from new prospects in comparison to your organic traffic, or campaigns you run to your existing database. It is a different approach, to a customer that has a different mindset, or perception of your dealership.
Alexander Lau
Documentation of Automotive Digital Marketing Benchmark Numbers is crucial. I'd like to see more of that info passed around to dealers and agencies, whether from Google or whomever. There really isn't enough of it. "When a customer visits your website from a Google search that customer said to him or herself, I am going to spend the next 20-30 minutes of my day looking for my next car. They are ready and willing to shop your website, at that very given moment." I'm not so sure I agree with you here. There are many variables in this equation. Visitors might visit a site for a plethora of reasons and definitely not for 20 to 30 minutes, that's way too high of a number. Dealers shouldn't be using Google Analytics to measure ROI, it's a very high level tool and doesn't dig as much as it should. Dealers should be using their internal CRM (there are a plethora of good ones, too long to mention) and tools like ROI-BOT @ http://www.roi-bot.com/features/example-roi-bot-reports (automotive slant). KPI Metrics such as Cost Per Lead, Cost Per Sale / Acquisition come to mind. Tools such as ROI-BOT hold third party services accountable for leads, etc. I think you mean "conquesting the demographic universe" when you say "prospects that have not purchased from your dealership" in versus other forms of target audiences via E-mail marketing. Setting the right expectations is always very important. Whether a dealer does this themselves (through a service) or through a 3rd party group. It needs to be sold as such.
Leo Bentovim
Thanks Alexander, I agree. When I said 20-30 minutes I do not mean on one dealerships website, but overall. For example if I am on my couch with my Macbook and I decide I am going to shop for my next car right now, I might hit 5 different sites and spend a chunk of time on each skimming through inventory and different models. Also I may have the TV on and 6 different tabs open on my computer, so I may be doing 5 things at once. The bottom line is consumers who are searching for their next car have a different mindset, then consumers who are receiving ads.
Alexander Lau
No worries Leo! :-)
mark rask

documentation is number one

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