When it comes to finding ways to make more money, Good Car People understand the power of utilizing data to minimize waste. Good Car People are the ones who plan, measure, monitor, and focus their efforts – and their spending – on the specific things that reliably deliver results. By tracking and measuring the right data, and using that information to make smart decisions, great managers can #BeGoodCarPeople.
Not just a problem – a full-blown plague.
Wasted ad spending is more than just an industry-wide issue. It’s an epidemic! For a moment, let’s exclude the fraud and invalid traffic that, according to CNBC, consumed as much as 20% of digital advertising budgets in 2016, and focus on the damage done by poor ad targeting. The sky really could be the limit.
The most effective way to minimize, and eventually eliminate, waste is to precisely track the activity your digital marketing campaigns are generating for your website and most importantly, your vehicles. Once tracked and measured, you can make adjustments to reduce waste, optimize efficiencies and increase your marketing ROI.
Setting Goals in Google Analytics
When it comes to determining where to focus your GA energies, not all goals are created equal. There are very specific online engagement activities that are proven to lead to better results. Extensive research confirms that specific engagement goals correlate to sales.
Here are the nine goals every automotive marketer should set and track:
- New vehicle details page views
- Used vehicle details page views
- CPO vehicle details page views
- Website leads
- Click to call
- Click to chat or text
- Finance leads
- Trade appraisal leads
- Incentive/coupon page views
Good Car People say, “What gets measured gets managed.. What is managed ALWAYS improves”
Simply put, “set it and forget it” doesn’t cut it. Once you’ve set your goals, regular, active monitoring is the only way to maintain an accurate understanding of online engagement, which will help determine the adjustments required to increase marketing efficiency and help you make more money. Good Car People know to “trust their gut, but verify it with data.”
You’ll want to look at three main types traffic:
Campaigns – what types of activity is your paid traffic generating?
Channels – what’s the big-picture view across all of your efforts?
Pages – how much activity are individual VDPs receiving?
Now that you’ve determined what to track, and are staying on top of the activity toward those goals, you’re well equipped to put those insights to work on making you more money. Here are two smart approaches to increasing the efficiency of your budget.
1: Take a close look at spending on VDP campaigns that aren’t converting at goal level.
There’s a great deal of value in understanding exactly what’s happening with each and every one of your VINs. While Google Analytics wasn’t specifically designed for this level of analysis, there is technology available that can deliver those metrics to help you optimize spend at the VDP level.
Keep in mind that GA will only show you VDPs that have received at least one view. That means any inventory that’s received no views won’t appear. Of course, those are likely to be the VINs that need additional support the most. Fortunately, there are other digital tools that can show you the status of every VDP – even those that haven’t received a single view.
2: Look at what’s happening on the VIN level to determine how to focus your spending where it’s needed most. You’ll want to closely examine these factors:
- Days on lot
- Number of views
Today, data is abundant and spending waste is rampant. It has never been more important to employ tools and strategies that enable you to focus on the information that really matters, and utilize that data, to optimize your spending and deliver the biggest impact. By properly tracking the right activities, then acting on the most useful data, you’ll make more money, and waste a lot less.
Learn how using data you currently have, to make data-driven decisions can impact gross profit and increase vehicle turn-rate during Jason Knight and Mark Conner’s session at Digital Dealer 23.
Jason Knight is COO and Co-Founder of LotLinx. Jason, a reformed engineer and Detroit native with auto in his blood, Jason’s first job was conducting crash-test dummy research on safety restraints. Jason co-founded LotLinx to help dealers more effectively and efficiently connect to in-market car shoppers. Through patented technology, the LotLinx Shopper Targeting Platform matches in-market shoppers to VIN specific listings.
Mark Conner serves as SVP, Channel Strategy at LotLinx. As an experienced dealership group’s marketing and e-commerce leader, Mark brings his leadership to LotLinx a groundbreaking digital advertising technology company for North American automotive dealers. LotLinx reaches over 63 MM car shoppers every month, more than any other digital automotive platform. Mark provided executive leadership, innovation, and digital transformation for a Lithia Motors.
Author: Contributing Writer
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