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If You Dropped AutoTrader - Where would you put the Money

georgenenni

3rd Base Coach
Apr 13, 2012
155
120
First Name
George
There is so much money sloshing around Auto retail, I'm surprised that no giant player has mapped out the internet car shopping universe on a user flow map (i.e. Google Analytics user flow map).

Plus, I'd love to see a study with 1st party data that would separate the dealer's past customers and show how this past relationship influences the shoppers engagement.
Tough assignment given the data both lives in many places, and increasingly protected. Given those constraints, we must measure quality shop, conversions, and match to CRM whenever possible, as well as being on the watch for bots, phony traffic, etc. Low-quality traffic is easy to spot, yet big providers support packages with traffic that often looks phony.
 
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Zhendrix

Full Sticker
Apr 22, 2009
81
98
First Name
Zach
Tough assignment given the data both lives in many places, and increasingly protected. Given those constraints, we must measure quality shop, conversions, and match to CRM whenever possible, as well as being on the watch for bots, phony traffic, etc. Low-quality traffic is easy to spot, yet big providers support packages with traffic that often looks phony.

Sounds like someone needs to solve for this problem... ;)

The challenge grows exponentially for dealer groups using multiple providers via OEM programs and/or management preferences. In addition, many dealers have "custom" ways of using their tech stack. For example, "the crm is setup this way, but we use it that way". The good news is that the other industries have similar problems that we can learn from and solve for. Customer Data Platforms like mParticle and Segment are examples of how CDPs can be use to change "advertising" into simply communications. Unfortunately/Fortunately, most CDPs are NOT verticalized and have stayed away from automotive due to the complexity of legacy tech, protection and fees, and the misalignment of Tier 1-3.

Specific to auto dealers - standardization, symphonization, and data accessibility are key. When you have a dealer group that uses 3 different CRMs/DMS how do you produce a "single source of truth?" Layer in the process components of "this is how we use our CRM but our other store uses it this way"... it becomes challenging to map the (example) 26 fields eLeads has vs. DealerSocket only having 7 status fields. In addition, matching back to your CRM/DMS can't and should not be a manual once a month thing... It needs to happen everyday if not instantly. Our industry is averaging 35-50% match rates and to me, that's unacceptable. The folks on this forum might have better match rates because there aren't maybe newbies here or you're using Driven Data. :)

Again, we can learn from other industries here. For example... What was the last item you bought online? After you bought it did you get retargeted with the same or similar products for the next 30-60 days on facebook? Ya, that sucks doesnt it? Matching back to your CRM/DMS isnt only about attribution, it's about being able to dynamically suppress your marketing based on the consumer actions. For example, if someone buys a car from you today and googles your name tomorrow because they still owe you that second set of trade keys... WHY ARE WE SERVING UP NEW CAR ADS FOR THEM TO CLICK? Worse off... ever bought something and then got retargeted with a lower price? #saltwound

To answer @Eley Duke question from last year because I'm derailing this post... Don't treat your marketing dollars like a gift card. You don't have to spend it all at Old Navy although my email would suggest they had some pretty sweet Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals. If you haven't yet, consider mapping out your desired outcomes for marketing and treat them like levers/pulleys. You'll know which levers you can push and pull via better budget allocation.