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We have analytics that tell us from where our website visitors come, heat maps to show what they did once they got there, retargeting to show them ads after they leave, cookies to show how many times that visitor clicked on a specific car and big data to further confuse the issue. Every day the dealership staff gets caught up in the “Paralysis of the Analysis” and forgets about the main focus of what their purpose of being there is... Selling and servicing cars!!
Let's face it, website analytics that show you received 6,500 visitors to your website last month really means nothing if you can't take that data and use it to translate into more car deals. It’s simply NOT actionable. The metric you should really care about is how many warm bodies that traffic brought to the showroom. Then and only then can you attribute it to the most important metric, how many cars did we sell based on that. How many vehicle detail pages they looked at, how many times your hours were viewed, how many times the specials page was viewed does nothing other than allow a vendor to say, "Look at what we did for you.”
The same applies to several of the other “smoke in the marketplace” fads and their respective metrics and data really don’t correlate to closing deals. Sure, you may be able to tell that a potential customer viewed a specific vehicle 15 times and even tie it to a specific lead but what a dealer needs to know is how to use that data to get the customer in the door to buy a car. The truth is that in the very near future data won’t be available anymore; browsers make it so easy to opt out from tracking now and are even changing over to making it near impossible to opt in. What’s more is SEM retargeting will soon become a thing of the past.
The most important data points to monitor are easy to quantify in relation to how many cars it will sell.
· How many quality leads need to be generated to close a deal?
· How many phone contacts must be made to close a deal?
· How many qualified showroom visitors are needed to close a deal?
· How many test drives are needed to close a deal?
And that’s assuming at every touch point you are dealing with prospects that can buy 100% of the time. Sure I can do a direct mail piece that will fill your showroom with customers, and I would have done my job – as a vendor it wouldn’t be my fault if you didn’t close them. The spoiler is I sent a “$199 per month everyone approved” mailer to the zip code where everyone is in public housing. The harsh reality is that I didn't do anything but waste time and money.
The same goes for all the wiz bang analysis tools that don't deliver car deals. They deliver nothing more than data which causes a headache trying to determine how it can be used to close more deals. What needs to be concentrated on is how to capitalize on what really matters and that hasn’t changed in our lifetime.
Paul Rushing is the Search Marketing Manager for iMagicLab. He brings over 15 years of automotive experience to iMagicLab and stays ahead of the curve on search marketing and social strategies.