Three Things to Expect from Your Digital Marketing Partner
Now more than ever, automotive dealerships are recognizing the importance of reaching and connecting with more customers online, and they’re seeking digital marketing vendors to help them achieve this goal. Whether the recommended project is a website redesign, managing your Google Adwords campaign or implementing an SEO strategy, you’ve hired them for one reason: to generate results.
However, for automotive dealerships, it can be incredibly difficult to make a connection between a digital measurement (such as website traffic or Ad impressions) and actual car sales. Especially when you consider most car buyers complete their research online as an unidentified prospect, then walk directly into your dealership and become a customer — leaving their path of purchase completely untraceable.
“Your website traffic is up!” reports your digital marketing vendor. But are you selling more cars?
To help bring clarity to this major disconnect, and help you determine the right digital marketing vendor for your dealership, here are three essential elements to ensure a successful partnership and ROI on your digital marketing campaigns and projects:
1. Defined Metrics
When defining your auto dealership’s business goals, your digital marketing agency should be defining their methods of measurement to reach those goals. In other words, what metrics will measure the return on investment for each particular project? How does this measurement connect directly to your goal? Your digital agency should clearly outline exactly what metrics need to be tracked to attribute to the sale of an automobile.
For example, if you’re running a Google Adwords campaign, tracking impressions and clicks is not enough to make a sufficient correlation between the ad’s performance and auto sales. What your digital agency should be reviewing and optimizing for are metrics that equate more clearly to a real sale, such as the views and cost per views of each vehicle detail page.
2. Tools of Measurement and Total Access
Once the metrics are defined, your digital vendor should provide you with access to qualified third-party tools that will allow you to view and measure the performance of each project or campaign, whenever you’d like. They should also establish an ongoing schedule to review the reports and progress of their efforts and answer any questions you had during your own analysis.
Furthermore, with digital marketing efforts becoming more and more measurable than ever, transparency is critical — if you’re digital vendor isn’t providing you with access to every tool they’re using to measure success, then chances are they’re hiding something, or they may not be truly capable and experienced in helping you reach your goals.
And while some agencies do offer their own proprietary dashboards or tracking mechanisms, you should always request that recognized third-party tools, like Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools, are implemented to ensure absolute consistency and validity.
3. Actionable Data and Proactive Modifications
While we mentioned having scheduled performance reviews with your digital marketing vendor, you should also expect that these reviews be actionable in nature.
With digital marketing, there’s always an opportunity to quickly and effectively evolve and make changes to improve results. Your digital vendor should clearly and proactively outline their next steps and suggestions for increased performance at every stage.
Sarah D'Andrea is the inbound and content marketing manager for Stream Companies, a full service integrated advertising agency.