Working in the automotive industry means that you rely on dealership ads to spread the word about your inventory and services. Because digital marketing is a complicated business, most managers opt for several techniques simultaneously. Combining classified ads, PPC advertisements, and SEO content is an excellent way to cover all of your bases. However, many GMs do not know the ins and outs of how online advertising works, making them vulnerable to vendors who make grand promises that they can’t deliver. How are managers supposed to avoid that pitfall? To answer that, dealers need the correct tools to track marketing vendors.
Car Dealer Advertising
The biggest challenge that dealerships face is not necessarily the types of marketing strategies available to them but how they hold their vendors accountable. Typically, managers count leads every month or quarter to decide on their marketing budget. What does counting leads tell you about your vendors, though? It only provides you with an idea of the end product. Counting leads reveals nothing about which advertising method works best for your store, the quality of the leads themselves, or whether the leads convert into sales. All this counting tells you is how many leads are in your CRM according to the vendor. That number does not equate to accountability.
Think about it this way. If you’re counting leads to manage your budget, that means you primarily work with third-party lead providers. These vendors offer an attractive bundle: a guaranteed number of leads get dropped into your CRM for a low price. In turn, your sales team rummages through them to find the few (it’s always a relative few) that have correct contact info. It is up to your team to convert the lead into a sale. These vendors don’t tell you that your competitors also have access to the same lead, which automatically lowers your chances of closing the deal. On average, third-party leads have a 4-7% conversion rate. That might seem just fine if that’s what you’re used to working with, but we all know that’s not enough to meet your monthly goals.
Auto Dealership Advertising
In contrast, first-generation leads provide a different connection to shoppers. Rather than collecting consumer information, these vendors that generate first-generation leads funnel the shoppers directly to you. From the buyer’s perspective, it seems as if no middle man is pulling strings. Instead, it feels like an ad or some content spoke to them, and they want to check out your inventory. When they fill out a contact form, that means they are already intrigued by what you have to offer. Your sales team does not have to work nearly as hard to close the deal because the buyer already wants something you have to offer. As such, these leads average a 25-40% closing rate. Imagine what having one such vendor added to your current marketing team could do for your bottom line.
To truly take advantage of everything first-generation leads have to offer, though, managers also need a better tool to track their progress. The best way to do that is to stop counting leads and instead opt for an analytics program. Analytics is the most efficient and correct way to watch over your vendors because these metrics provide essential details about the quality of the leads. In other words, it’s not enough to have leads in your CRM. They also need to be relevant enough to convert into sales, and analytics are a significant part of that process. If you’re ready to take an essential leap into everything the 21st century has to offer, find yourself a vendor that generates first-generation leads and that can get you set up with analytics.