I probably speak to more than 100 Car People every week on the phone AND dozens more on the keyboard.

What is So Amusing is when Dealer principals and General Managers ask me my opinion of "Attribution" and "Influence".

"Attribution and Influence" are the new age 'Buzzwords' of deception some vendors are using to try to act as if they are still relevant and justify their outrageous unjustified prices for selling air to technologically challenged dealers.

Is "Attribution" real science or is it "Fake News"? The answer is YES and NO.

YES, "Attribution" is a real science BUT I do not believe in the integrity of the people doing it. In other words when a Vendor comes to a dealer and claims their company was a factor in 77% of that dealer's sales, and I know that vendor has a problem with the truth, it stands to reason that same vendor would hire an Attribution Company that also has a problem with the truth.

Lead Providers in general are a dying model and they are less and less relevant as technology advances, and they know it. Unless, that lead provider hands you a done deal, I am calling bullshit on statistics provided by the seller about that seller's value.

Truth is the dealer's website is the showroom and Google is the weapon in the war. Dealers are learning to generate their own business and manage their own marketing plan. Social media ie: Facebook Ads prove to be a more effective spend.

My advice, hire vendors that have value you can measure, return on investment must be tangible, as in real sales not some "Attribution Double Talk". Like Cuba Gooding Jr. said in the movie, "Show Me The Money".

In this case, show me the SOLD UNITS.

In the END, never trust figures about the vendor that are supplied by the Vendor or by a company the Vendor Hired.

GOOGLE ANALYTICS... period. Everything you need to know about a vendor's performance... GOOGLE ANALYTICS IS ALL OF IT. When a vendor tries to tell you they are an advertising source only and some double-talk about that they are Not a Lead Provider, "Get The Hell Out of My Office"... "Security, Escort This Jerk Off Of Our Property."

I know of at least one alleged Attribution Company that disguises themselves as a "Research Company" when in fact they are bought and paid for, totally bogus, under the table by the vendor(s) they allegedly present alleged research about.

Remember, if a customer did land on a vendor's website and they ultimately bought a car from you that they allegedly clicked on, remember, that same vendor also served them up 10 or 20 other dealers' cars that they also might have clicked on. SO, in fact the vendor has a high percentage of possibility they're going to buy somebody's car out of the 20 or more they served up. How many sales have you lost because a vendor took your customer OFF of your car and sent them to another dealer?


DID THE CUSTOMER REALLY SEE YOUR VDP? (vehicle description page)

What about VDP’s? … Here’s some more of the Big Lie. MOST lead providers Do Not land the customer on a DEALER’S VDP, instead they land the customer on a picture of your VDP on their own website. 

They tell you the customer saw your VDP, but, in fact; the customer saw their version of your VDP with 10 other dealers’ vehicles on the sidebar and an ad trying to steal your finance profits for Santander. That customer might have clicked on your car on their page BUT that provider quickly diverted them to go elsewhere. Their strategy is to get that customer to click on as many cars as possible so they can report to the dealer how crappy the dealership's BDC people are.

Am I talking about ALL Vendors and Lead providers, certainly NOT. All I am saying is listen to these dubious sales pitches with hardcore skepticism, and trust your own analytics over the alleged stats they are serving up.

Facebook and Adwords, GOOGLE ANALYTICS, website conversion; these things sell cars. #AlphaDawg Thanks for reading my opinions here. 

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Comment by Debra Bly on January 19, 2018 at 3:03pm

I completely agree and hope you will continue to write more on this matter.  As an Internet Marketing Director I have found Google analytics my savior in the sea of lies from so many. 

Comment by keith millard on December 14, 2017 at 9:58am

Spot on, as usual, Jim!

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