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AutoTrader.com BOB - What Has BOB Done for You?

Discussion in 'Online Dealership Marketing Best Practices' started by Jeff Kershner, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner Founder Staff Member

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    As Autotrader.com rolled out their new VDP display, they've added what they coined around the AutoTrader offices as BOB.

    Big Orange Button.

    Through studies and research, AutoTrader claimed to conclude that many consumers would visit the website of the dealership after finding the VDP of the vehicle of interest on AutoTrader.com.

    Rather disturb the natural browsing habits of the consumer, AutoTrader figured they would not stand in the way of the shopper but rather make it easier for the consumer to get where they were going to end up anyways - on the dealership website.

    This is how BOB was born.
    bobbutton_Autotrader.jpg

    After having the privilege in attending their national sales meeting and having the opportunity to see first hand some of the new products and offerings, I was able to see the value in BOB. Backed with the data and insights, it was obvious this was a great idea for AutoTrader to link the consumer to the dealership website right from the VDP. It made total sense and what dealer would be against getting in market shoppers straight to your dealers website? PLUS - this add an extra value to AutoTrader.

    Has BOB made any difference? Let's see....

    AutoTraderBOBReferral.jpg

    Looking at the report above from my Google analytics account, we are seeing an increase in direct referral traffic from AutoTrader.com. Although, I really thought we would have seen higher increase in referral traffic. Not totally disappointed but was expecting more.

    Yes, there are several factors that can sway these results...
    I used my Toyota dealer for reference here. The inventory is consistent and the VDP views during this reported time frame kept a nice consistent average as well.

    Conclusion: We've seen a slight increase in referring traffic since AutoTrader.com adding BOB but not the increase I had initially thought we would get.

    What has BOB done for you?
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
  2. JoePistell

    JoePistell Super Moderator

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    When do I get my BOB button? >:-/
  3. DrewAment

    DrewAment Jr. Refresher

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    I think a month/month graph is easier to read. But yes, a nice improvement. One of my dealers is attached. Can you guess what month we "upgraded" to the new S11 products (with BOB)?


    ScreenHunter_25 Jun. 22 13.11.jpg
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
  4. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner Founder Staff Member

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    Thanks for sharing Drew.

    Like to see some more dealers share their results....
  5. yagoparamo

    yagoparamo Sr. Refresher

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    The reason for BOB is an answer to the results that Craigslist (CL) brings to dealers. As you can see in the screen shot, 9 times the traffic.

    In the past it was in Autotrader's (ATC) interest to keep the custoemr as long as possible in their website. That just meant more clicks, traffic, phone calls, emails, etc. ATC doesn't measure how many cars you sell but how many calls they bring, therefore a customer that goes to ATC, finds a car, makes one call, and buys it, is a bad customer. The more research and grind they can produce the better is for their numbers.

    CL changed that, and specially those banners that Joe Pistell didn't like, have created huge traffic for dealers. It has to be noted that we believed that the best customer is the one in your website (can't see anyone else's cars!) so we focused on driving traffic away from CL and into the dealer's website to capture that customer. It has worked pretty well since the phone call volume straight from CL didn't become less than without banners.

    So ATC now offers a direct link from their website to the dealer's site, which is a very positive move. Note that the bounce rate on ATC is the best out of the entire list though. CL takes the volume.

    This being exposed, means that while ATC still a very valid place to advertise, CL bought a perfect solution for car dealers: New ideas, new ways to connect customers, with the dealer, competitiveness, and if anything, price hikes checks.

    As soon as BOB gets implemented in WA for a few months I will try to share info on the changes. Out of WA we mainly do CL for large dealer groups (Autonation, etc) and I don't have access to their analytics.


    pgi_CL.jpg
  6. ddavis

    ddavis Sr. Refresher

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    I visited an old friend that is a GSM for a large dealer group. I had noticed a great deal of marketing changes to his website. I also noticed that other stores in the group had implemented the changes to their websites. Impressed, I started pointing out the changes and he totally shut down. He was shocked that I had noticed. Even though we were old friends, he wouldn't discuss it.
  7. JoePistell

    JoePistell Super Moderator

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    BOB UPDATES ANYONE?
    .
    .
    .

  8. DrewAment

    DrewAment Jr. Refresher

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    Sucks that no one really shares...at least anything that matters.

    Here ya go.. one year for 4 stores, I will let you all make the call on what BOB has done.



    ScreenHunter_13 Feb. 01 08.47.jpg ScreenHunter_12 Feb. 01 08.47.jpg ScreenHunter_11 Feb. 01 08.46.jpg ScreenHunter_10 Feb. 01 08.46.jpg
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Kelly Wilson

    Kelly Wilson Super Moderator

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    hmmm...every answer leads to more questions!

    AT_ref.jpg all traffic.jpg
    ttl sales for referance: 110,136,138,127,139,102,106,133, 109

    On the 16th of Jan. we left the beer and dart league for pricing...and have "bigger, better" auto comments (that is IF the sales manager sticks with the complicated tool)
    More/Better pictures are on the "To-Do" list...

    Is this rock moving?

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012
  10. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner Founder Staff Member

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    Drew,

    What month did BOB start or was it implemented for the whole year. If so, what was the comparison?
  11. DrewAment

    DrewAment Jr. Refresher

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    When the 2011 product mix came out... so Feb/March
  12. Chip Grueter

    Chip Grueter Getting Refreshed

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    Drew and Kelly, those bounce rates, pages per visit and time on site stats are mighty impressive!
  13. JoePistell

    JoePistell Super Moderator

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    Quality visits for sure. What if one in ten were buyers? That would be rightous ROI, and NO ONE would ever bitch 'bout cars and autotrader bills again.

    What? Someone's thought about that? Autotrader and Cars.com need a link to a dealer website ;-)
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  14. DrewAment

    DrewAment Jr. Refresher

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    Just wanted to post an update on this and get general opinions. Here are the same 4 stores again - with updated date ranges.

    Something that goes without saying is that BOB and any referral traffic is directly affected by the vehicles you carry (duh), and the product package you are on with ATC.

    ScreenHunter_16 May. 29 10.00.jpg ScreenHunter_15 May. 29 10.00.jpg ScreenHunter_14 May. 29 09.59.jpg ScreenHunter_13 May. 29 09.59.jpg

    I also want to point out that the direct link is just one piece of the puzzle. If you look at you multi-channel funnels, you would be surprised how often ATC actually pops up as a conversion source. People that are only attributing conversions to once source are missing the boat. Esp when they making digital advertising decisions that affect the site as a whole.

    ScreenHunter_18 May. 29 10.09.jpg
    Last edited: May 31, 2012
  15. JoePistell

    JoePistell Super Moderator

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    Wow Drew is back!
    Had to book mark this one. I gotta close the doors, draw the curtains and mute the phones, 'cuz when Drew speaks there always diamonds in there!
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  16. DrewAment

    DrewAment Jr. Refresher

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    I am printing and giving this to my wife... 'cause she never believes me! :)

    But really, thanks! You put me on a pedestal that is just slighly too high

    --Drew
  17. ddavis

    ddavis Sr. Refresher

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    Drew, I would be interested in seeing those but they are too small for me to read.
  18. DrewAment

    DrewAment Jr. Refresher

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  19. ddavis

    ddavis Sr. Refresher

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    Thanks Drew...great information.
  20. yagoparamo

    yagoparamo Sr. Refresher

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    Joe since you have probably played more than anyone with advanced analytics,

    Could you talk of a percentage difference in traffic from what dealers think they get from what they really get once the proper check points are in place? In other words (since you complain often of my English) what is the traffic a dealer gets from a 3rd party differ once they can actually check their funnels?

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