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Should We Drop AutoTrader?
3rd Party Leads and Automotive Classifieds Websites Discuss Should We Drop AutoTrader? in the Websites, SEO, SEM, and Internet Marketing forums; Originally Posted by JoePistell Connecting a sale to a SINGLE ad source is madness. Google ThinkAuto 2011: -50% of all auto shoppers were in market 3 months or longer. -Typical ...
      
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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Should We Drop AutoTrader?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoePistell View Post
    Connecting a sale to a SINGLE ad source is madness.

    Google ThinkAuto 2011:
    -50% of all auto shoppers were in market 3 months or longer.
    -Typical Auto shopper visited 23 auto web sites prior to purchase.

    Take yourself off of AT or cars.com or CL and you'll sell less cars.
    Joe, you beat me to the punch on this one. Why do we insist on giving credit to the "first in" ad source?

    One reason: it's traditionally how our industry CRM's are set up. The ad source gets attached to the first in lead. The lead stays in "active" stage for months, even years. Customer happens to submit another online lead and the CRM matches to the customer. System triggers a "duplicate lead" and continues on with the original ad source unless there's a manual override. Reports by ad source are spit out of the CRM and dealer makes a judgement call from inaccurate reporting - however (in)accurate it was to begin with.

    Dealers need to stop looking at their "advertising" sources as a one way channel into the dealership and begin to understand consumer behavior.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Should We Drop AutoTrader?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoePistell View Post
    Connecting a sale to a SINGLE ad source is madness.

    Google ThinkAuto 2011:
    -50% of all auto shoppers were in market 3 months or longer.
    -Typical Auto shopper visited 23 auto web sites prior to purchase.

    Take yourself off of AT or cars.com or CL and you'll sell less cars.
    Completely agree with Joe here. Most shoppers are using multiple sources before finally making a decision. I just bought a new TV and I used Amazon, Best Buy, Newegg, Sears, Walmart, and a few other sources before making my final decision. Everyone one of these sites contributed to my final decision.

    If you are 100% for sure "sourcing" 5 sales from Autotrader.com, it's probably a safe bet you are selling even more than that. What you source as a sale from your website, may have originated on cars.com or ATC or even newspaper. GM's, Owners, and a lot of decision makers like to hold the internet more accountable for absolute results since most sources provide great tracking. However, many fail to realize that the reporting you get is only part of the story.

    Are you advertising in TV, radio, or newspaper? How do you hold those sources accountable for their performance?

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Should We Drop AutoTrader?

    Quote Originally Posted by ddavis View Post
    Aaron, they don't hold those sources to the same ROI standard. If they can't justify the expenditure by sales, they call it "branding".

    Absolutely. I have pushed our group very hard to stop classifying our advertising as traditional vs. internet and start looking at our advertising as branding vs. lead generating. Dealix is lead generator for us. Banners, remarketing, etc. though on the internet, are branding ad sources.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Should We Drop AutoTrader?

    Quote Originally Posted by ajholland View Post
    Absolutely. I have pushed our group very hard to stop classifying our advertising as traditional vs. internet and start looking at our advertising as branding vs. lead generating. Dealix is lead generator for us. Banners, remarketing, etc. though on the internet, are branding ad sources.
    If you have a group with a wide product selection, if your ad budget is large enough, and the majority of your stores are in a single marketplace, one great marketing game plan is to copy the Travel Industry model (like PriceLine, Kayak, Orbitz, etc) where you buy TV ads with a mission to drive traffic right to your site.

    Note: This model requires the Dealer Group Home page (aka Parent page) to be sync'd up with all the promo's your running this month and your shopper's inventory searches should be able to see all of the groups cars that are for sale. (i.e. SUV w/leather 3rd row and backup camera)
    Car shoppers are a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, but perhaps there is a key. That key is understanding shopper's needs.


    LinkedIn: Joe Pistell

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  5. #25
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    Default Re: Should We Drop AutoTrader?

    @ Joe and company,

    Besides the craziness of trying to measure what works and doesn't based on what customers say knowing that they visit 6-8 sources during the process and they can't mention all of them, there is also the fact that customers will not tell the truth about the sources anyway because somehow they believe that holding that information gives them some advantage over you. Cobalt published a paper about that a few years ago. This behavior also transfers to other industries.

    There is also the fact that we keep trying to measure the success of the Internet by the number of phone calls and emails (direct contacts) when we are living in a society that dislikes direct contact. People want to communicate in their own terms. Cell phone numbers (to a lesser degree emails) are so personal that customers don't want to give them up.

    Some of this steams from 6-8 years ago when Autotrader promoted their "phone call and email leads reports". That time is over.

    The number of views we saw in the Craigs List reports Vs leads opened my eyes. I could not discount those as having an effect in the buying cycle of a lot of people that didn't contact the dealers directly.

    I'm encouraging dealers to pay attention in the Google analitycs to the pages viewed (total and average) as a way to measure website proficiency and not just at conversion rates. Conversions are hard to change in an uphill battle, but website engagement may be able to tell us better if we are driving the right traffic to a website that has the right content.

    So Autotrader's value is more than what you can see. But I can tell you you know that and that is not the problem. Flat out you know it works. The problem here is that Autotrader has a salesperson that gets paid a commission and gets pressure to sell more product (no blame here, we all do the same to a certain degree). The key is for you to figure out what package level you are comfortable with and works best for your organization, not to cancel it altogether.
    Yago de Artaza Paramo
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    www.pgiauto.com Data, window label, and video system
    www.dealerlab.com High performing custom websites
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    www.autoclassifiedsolutions.com Technical and flexible CraigsList system
    www.autob.com Print and Hispanic radio (Radiulo) advertising
    www.integratedppc.com PPC, retargeting, and dynamic PPC

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    Default Re: Should We Drop AutoTrader?

    60 to 65% of customers are not going to call you or email you ....they just show up. This is a source of frustration to most Internet Directors because they don't get paid on this business. You have to sell the HIPPOs that you need the budget because of the number of people that your marketing influences.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Should We Drop AutoTrader?

    Yago,

    Years ago, while all the Social Media gurus were puking out Rainbows and Unicorns, I was preaching to a deaf audience. My simple theme is "Conversions are important, but it takes a back seat to Engagement".
    Car shoppers are a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, but perhaps there is a key. That key is understanding shopper's needs.


    LinkedIn: Joe Pistell

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  8. #28
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    Default Re: Should We Drop AutoTrader?

    Quote Originally Posted by ddavis View Post
    60 to 65% of customers are not going to call you or email you ....they just show up. This is a source of frustration to most Internet Directors because they don't get paid on this business. You have to sell the HIPPOs that you need the budget because of the number of people that your marketing influences.
    Doug,

    The Internet Director model is bad for the store and bad for the Internet Director. This model is a carry over from 10-12 years ago when the internet was a side show at the dealership.

    Today... HIPPOs like keeping the work load onto the variable pay side of the ledger and let it work itself all out.

    FAIL.
    Car shoppers are a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, but perhaps there is a key. That key is understanding shopper's needs.


    LinkedIn: Joe Pistell

    Twitter:Joe Pistell

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Should We Drop AutoTrader?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoePistell View Post
    Yago,

    Years ago, while all the Social Media gurus were puking out Rainbows and Unicorns, I was preaching to a deaf audience. My simple theme is "Conversions are important, but it takes a back seat to Engagement".
    I'm hoping that an approach they can see (pages building in their site) may work better. Content generates engagement.

    The way you explain it sounds like the space shuttle going to Mars, will it make it?
    Yago de Artaza Paramo
    CEO, PGI Digital

    yago@pgiauto.com

    www.pgiauto.com Data, window label, and video system
    www.dealerlab.com High performing custom websites
    www.contentmotive.com Unique content, micro content, and blogs
    www.autoclassifiedsolutions.com Technical and flexible CraigsList system
    www.autob.com Print and Hispanic radio (Radiulo) advertising
    www.integratedppc.com PPC, retargeting, and dynamic PPC

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Should We Drop AutoTrader?

    Joe,

    I always felt comfortable being in the "side show". Having a store-wide internet department is past due but extremely rare.


 
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