Assisted Conversions Unlock Marketing ROI Mysteries
Can you identify with this frustrated dealer who told me, “I think 50 percent of my marketing investments are working very well, I just don’t know which ones they are!”
Dealers use the term Return on Investment (ROI) in their budgeting vocabulary to describe their desire to know if their advertising, marketing, and technology investments are paying off. Ironically, however, few dealers set up the systems to measure true ROI or have the patience to allow investments to really pay off! Truthfully, in some cases determining the ROI is impossible. For example: What is the ROI of a billboard?
As dealers increase their digital marketing investments as a percentage of their monthly marketing budgets, the good news is that documenting true ROI is getting much easier. In fact, free tools offered by Google are answering some of the biggest questions that haunt dealers. A new company called Dataium is also breaking ground in digital accountability and ROI measurement for car dealers.
Assisted Conversions Defined
The breakthroughs are coming from what Google defines as “Assisted Conversions”. These are digital content or websites that are being viewed prior to a consumer submitting a lead. Consider this scenario:
A consumer views cars on Autotrader.com and marks down the dealership name for later research. Two days later, they search the dealership’s name in Google and click to the dealership website. They see that the car is still in stock, but before they submit a lead, they go to Yelp.com to check the dealer’s reviews. Once satisfied, they go back to the dealership website by typing in their direct URL and submit a lead.
In the past, Autotrader.com would not get the credit for connecting the consumer with the car they were researching. In the past, Yelp.com would not have been viewed as an important part of the consumer sales funnel. Today, on the other hand, data visibility that was once only available to large corporations is available and affordable to dealers.
The Year of Automotive Analytics
I predict that 2012 will be the year of data analytics for the automotive retailer. New tools and CRM functionality will make assisted conversion and referring data valuable in how internet departments respond to consumer communications. Updated business rules combined with new automotive CRM workflows will allow dealers to catch-up with the consumer emerging from the Zero Moment of Truth.
For the first time, dealers can see which “paths” consumers take yield the most phone calls and lead submissions. Wouldn’t it be enlightening to see which sites influenced the leads you received each month?
Business owners, who are looking to optimize their current marketing strategy and investments, need to start using the data measurement tools that are within your grasp. Anything less would be to continue the myth that dealers have to run their business by gut feelings. That’s so old school!
Dealers looking to get started don’t have to look far at all. The 2012 Digital Marketing Strategies Conference, February 1-3rd in Las Vegas will have the speakers, workshops and experts available to show them the way!
Brian Pasch is the CEO of PCG Digital Marketing. For more information, please call 732-672-2356 or visit www.pcgdigitalmarketing.com.