Have you been able to quantify how much Autotrader, Cars.com, or other third party classified websites contribute to your dealership's ability to sell more cars?
Have you questioned the importance of alternative classified websites like Craigslist or Ebay?
I started off with these questions because if you are a car dealer using any of these services, you most likely have been frustrated getting answers on the ROI of third party classified websites.
Dealers frankly, wanted more confirmation and I'll let you decide if this is another way to confirm your digital marketing investments.
Today, we have some other ways to look at your best kept secrets! Why do I use the term secret to describe your digital investments that everyone knows about? For years, dealers have only had a partial understanding regarding the source of their website traffic.
What I have found out is that there are Secret Santas bearing gifts to dealers that they did not know about! Would you like to find our who your Secret Santas are? I'll show you, but let's see why dealers didn't know this is the past.
Dealers were told to look at "referring" website statistics, which is the LAST website that brought a consumer to your website. What we did not see is what other websites influenced their behavior during the Zero Moment of Truth.
Consider this flow diagram below:
This diagram illustrates a consumer who was first exposed to dealer inventory on Autotrader and then did a Google search and then typed into the dealers website address. Traditionally, Google Analytics would show this consumer is a "direct visitor" and Autotrader would not get any credit.
It is clear now that Autotrader did influence this visit. In this example, it is not unreasonable to consider that the consumer got the dealer's name from the VDP listing, did a search and went to their main website. In this example, Autotrader is the dealer's Secret Santa.
Autotrader in this shopping funnel example is part of a group of steps called Assisted Conversions. Multi-Channel Funnel conversions are linked to "goals". Google Analytics goals can be set to represent a lead being submitted.
Goals can also be created for any other behavior you want to measure. Goals can be set to trigger when a consumer views your used car inventory listing page, which could give you insights to what sources are driving traffic to view your inventory.
Take a look at a section of the Google Multi Channel Sales Funnel reports for a Mazda dealer and you can see how much richer the consumer shopping experience can be documented. Your best kept secret may just be the service that you were considering canceling. For this dealer, it is obvious that Craiglist is also one of their Secret Santas!
Taking a look at how I setup these "Channel Rules" below, you will see that I included rules for the OEM website, Group Website, and you can make rules for all your digital investments. This is just a small snapshot of data from the larger dataset so not all Assisting Conversion websites were displayed in the report above.
I'll be presenting a complete report of insights that I have discovered at 2012 DMSC, but here is an example of the rules that I setup for this dealer:
I've been writing about Google Multi-Channel Sales Funnels for the past few months and I am preparing to share my findings at the 2012 Digital Marketing Strategies Conference (DMSC) in Las Vegas, February 1-3rd. I wanted to give you a sneak peek on what this new tool is showing car dealers and how this impacts their marketing investments.
I believe that data provided from free tools like this and richer data sets provided by Dataium, will make 2012 the year of dealership analytics. I believe that progressive dealers, when presented with opportunities like show above, will want to look into how their marketing investments are truly paying off.
The good news is that if you want to leverage this new technology, I am re-opening the Automotive SEO Study to run a three-week series of webinars on this very topic for car dealers. The webinars will be designed to show you how to configure your Google Analytics software to get the insights on how to OPTIMIZE your digital marketing investments.
The webinars will start after DMSC in February so sign-up today. You can sign-up to the community website by visiting: http://www.automotiveseostudy.com. Details will be posted on the webinar dates shortly.
Don't miss this opportunity to gain better insights into your existing website traffic and your chance to find your Secret Santa!
Brian Pasch, CEO
PCG Digital Marketing
Text PCGedu to 75674 get information on our upcoming conferences