Cars.com and Auto Trader, Get Rid of One?

Currently our dealership advertises on both Cars.com and Auto Trader.  My GSM is convinced we do not need to be on both, and that we will sell the same amount of cars if we drop one.  I have a lot of hesitations about this.  Over the past 6 months we have sold 11 cars from Auto Trader and 15 cars from Cars.com; not to mention the cars we have sold from our website due to the traffic from Auto Trader and Cars.com.

Since we are locked in with lower rates with Auto Trader he would like us to get rid of Cars.com (their rates are stable and we could go back at any point).  Cars.com has a relationship with our local newspaper and we get more leads from them.  Over the last 6 months we had 171 from Cars and 120 from Auto Trader.  

I really could use some help here.  Thoughts?  Advise?  Has anyone tried this before? 

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Comment by Becka Davis @Becka_AlleyOop on May 7, 2014 at 2:00pm

When it comes to marketing, the "less is more" term does not apply.  Have you decided to nix one, and if so, how has it been going so far?  If you get rid of a program that provides you with 171 sales over 6 months, expect to lose that in the next 6.  In general, you don't generate more traffic and leads by cutting down resources.  I agree with the gentlemen who have posted.  But just curious, what was the outcome?

Comment by Joe Clementi on March 17, 2013 at 8:09pm
Jackie. It's imperative that you review your VDP and SRP with the manager and explain the differences between the two. Perform an ROI based on the reach of the combined sites and the scores you get from the VDP/SRP results. Utilize the scarcity index tool on AutoTrader to assist you with buying faster moving used cars. The results can be pushed over to VAuto for comparisons. There's a huge opportunity to drive quality traffic by using both sites. I understand the cost structure so if your not utilizing all the tools you are wasting revenue. However; using the tools more efficiently will improve quality traffic and should result in more sales if handled properly. Do your homework and present the facts.
Comment by Jackie Cahill on March 15, 2013 at 10:08am

Thank you Brian, I will share it with him!

Comment by Brian Pasch on March 12, 2013 at 4:19pm

I think that your GM should invest a few minutes in understanding the role of VDP views and sales, as well of the cost of VDP views on 3rd party sites compared to his own website.  If you do the math, you will find that these two companies are probably the last thing he should be eliminating.  

Let me suggest that you and him watch a webinar that I presented today entitled "Dealers Need To Become VDP Factories:

Here is the video link, which is 90 minutes long: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ho279hfa1biqy6c/Brian-Pasch-VDP-Factory-Webinar.mov

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