• Source, Report, and Analyze before you say goodbye to 3rd party

    Posted on January 31, 2013 by in automotive, ebusiness, Process Management

    Are Dealers seeing a true ROI for AutoTrader.com?

    Many dealers claim they are not seeing results from their third party lead providers including Autotrader.com who drives more buyers to dealership websites, compared to any other.

    A large part of a dealer’s success depends on being able to measure your advertising effectiveness from digital to traditional.  Dealers deserve to know what is working for them and what does not.  The Internet Sales Manager needs to DIG!!! There is nothing set in stone that can fully give an accurate successful ROI, but these three categories, when implemented will definitely help.

    In-Store Tracking

    Back End tracking from advertising partners

    Web Analytics Tools

    1)   In Store Sourcing: We all know that more than 80% of car shoppers who walk through the dealerships doors have not submitted a lead or made contact to the dealer prior to their first visit. That’s why it is crucial for the sales team; including managers are logging and sourcing all traffic.  If your dealership is in NJ and the customer who comes in on the used 2011 Toyota Camry is from PA, THIS IS NOT A DRIVE-BY or a WALK-IN. Make sourcing part of the sales team Meet and Greet. Find out what site they were on and log this information in the CRM or have the F & I Manager fill out a sourcing sheet when they are in the box and place it in the deal jacket.

    2)   Back-End tracking:  Autotrader.com has one of the best reporting tools for dealers.  Although historically, Autotrader.com does not generate many lead submits, but does generate phone calls, top referring site to a dealers website and the reporting on how many consumers printed out a map to the dealership.   All of these tools are available to help measure dealers performance by providing competitive and individual analysis and key buying activities from the consumer. The ISM should be logging in to the back-end sites on a daily basis to review the phone calls, do a phone match in the CRM, and reviewing the map views and how long specific vehicles have been in inventory and compare.

    3)   Web Analytic Tools: There are many Analytic Tools available to everyone to track your website traffic.  Google Analytics is one of the best and provides you with information on how many visitors came to your site, what time of the day, the bounce rate, the pages they most frequently visit and the sites that refer visits to your site.  Unfortunately, Autotrder.com does not get the kudos they deserve due to the fact that no one internally is tracking and looking at the reports that are available to them. The top referring sites is extremely important to view. Typically, Autotrader.com holds a spot in the top three referring site for dealers.  If it does not, be sure to confirm seller’s notes are live, photos are taken and consistent, and comments are posted on each vehicle. If the consumer clicks through to the dealers website and submits a lead form, the lead will generate as the dealer site lead.  This is why it is important to view the referring sites to get a gauge on what sites are working for the dealers and driving traffic.

    In my opinion, third party lead providers are getting the shaft because reporting and tracking is not being utilized in the dealerships.  Before you consider getting rid of your lead providers due to a bad month, think again and ask yourself a few questions: Are all customers being sourced properly? Are incoming phone calls being matched in the CRM, How does Autotrader.com rank in Google Analytics? Is a ROI Calculator being done on a monthly basis?

    For more information regarding sourcing, web traffic and the ROI Calculator, please contact us.