How a Nissan dealership fixed its scoreboard and increased leads seven-fold!
What does every scoreboard have in common? A home score and a visitor’s score, of course. Image watching any sporting event where the scoreboard displays only the home team’s score. How could you know who was winning and losing? Or, image a box score for a game and only one team’s stats are presented. How could you analyze how the game was won or lost without both team’s box scores?
In fact, most businesses try to manage and make decisions every day, using data and reporting that only tells one half of the scoreboard story. So, how do you know when that 10% increase in leads, or page views, or inventory searches, is a good 10%? Or, said another way, a tall or short 10%?
Of course, it’s impossible to know how your numbers compare, how your business is performing, or whether you’re winning or losing the game without a competitive score, such as, your local DMA average for the same time period.
Many auto dealership managers, because of their broken scoreboards, often incorrectly celebrate positives or anguish over negatives that are only a fraction of the industry average downturn. And, in many cases, these managers are blind to opportunities to improve their performance, often significant performance improvement, because they do not have the context of knowing which metrics are ahead or behind their local DMA industry averages.
Such is the case of a Nissan dealership
A Nissan dealership, part of a large dealer group, had been using, for years, traditional website analytic solutions to measure the performance of their website.
They were diligent in reviewing the performance data, such as, lead conversions, page views, and traffic volume. But what did these metrics really tell them? When lead conversions were up, was it a “good up” or a “bad up”?
That is, did their conversion rate outpace the market, or the local DMA visitor average? Without that comparative or context, how could they know if their digital marketing was truly working, or was it simply changes in the market place?
Without context, how could they truly evaluate the results of changes to their website? And, if these issues were blind spots for fully understanding conversion rates, then wasn’t it also true that most of their online analytics reporting would be suspect?
Fortunately, through programs offered by Nissan North America and reporting provided by their dealer group, the folks at the dealership had access to next-generation internet analytics. These reports clearly highlighted, for the first time, specific areas of improvement and attention.
With this new reporting, they quickly realized they had a problem, they previously didn’t even know existed. Right there, on their new dashboard, it was clear for all to see, their conversion rate, and their lead to visitor ratio were far behind the local market average. Beyond their local market, they also could evaluate their performance against other Nissan stores, other rooftops within their dealer group, and against national averages. And in fact, they had even seen improvements in their conversion rates, but it was clear now that they had actually been running far behind their local market’s performance. They had been blinded by a broken scoreboard.
So now what? They had discovered a problem they didn’t know they had. But what steps must they take to dramatically improve their website performance and meet or surpass market averages?
The dealership found the answers in the very same data. By looking at which consumer behaviors generated higher conversion rates in context of the DMA average, it was easy to see what website changes would motivate increases in lead submissions, lower abandonment rates, and increase sales.
Working with the program vendor’s analyst, they identified a few quick and easy changes to their website that better aligned it with consumer behavior.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
LTV Compared to Local DMA*
-60.2% below market average
-27.65% below market average
-6.72% below market average
+25.47% above market avg.
*Data is representative and has been changed for data privacy consideration. Changes to website were made mid-April.
So the bottom line is….don’t measure your bottom line without a comparative. No team can improve its game performance with a scoreboard missing the opponents score, without local, regional, brand, and national averages, no one can know if they are winning or losing.
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