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No Google Analytics in 2018

ed.brooks

Sr. Refresher
Jan 15, 2010
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Ed
I was in a multi-make franchise dealership yesterday and I asked the Digital Marketing Manager if they had Multi-Channel Funnels set up in Google Analytics with conversion goals, etc. He then pulled up their Dealer.com dashboard... I said, "no, in Google Analytics..." and he replied that they only use the Dealer.com dashboard and proceeded to get Dealer.com on the phone. The Dealer.com rep conceded that GA would be able to offer more insights.

My question is; how many franchise dealerships (with a Digital Marketing Manager, no less) don't have Google Analytics -- properly configured -- in 2018?
 
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Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
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My question is; how many franchise dealerships (with a Digital Marketing Manager, no less) don't have Google Analytics
Out of ~16,000 franchised dealerships I would say less than 10% because most have some sort of OEM program. In those cases the website provider probably has a GA account setup for them. The real question is "how many dealers know how many GA scripts are installed on their website?"

For example:

I did the original GA install on Checkered Flag (#1). We divorced the original, under my watch, when I got more educated on how to use it. Reinstalled (#2), but didn't get rid of the tag. Dealer.com installed their own (#3). I left and @Christine Plunkett took over the job. I know another version was installed on her watch (#4). When she left @Ryan Montville was promoted into the job and he now has his own GA version (#5) and I can only assume their current website provider, Dealer Inspire, has their version too (#6).

Other digital marketing vendors have asked for accesses and/or their own versions installed. I can't say how many different GA tags are on Checkered Flag's digital properties, because Dealer Inspire is the only one who can answer that. CDK would have to answer for the OEM programs that are on their platform and Dealer.com would have to do the same for the ones they host.

There is no way for Checkered Flag to know what is actually installed in their own website. I would bet there are at least 2 tags active per site.

-- properly configured
You had to throw those two little words in there didn't you. I'm going to say this is less than 1%. I would give @reverson @craigh @jon.berna @georgenenni enough credit to do it right. But there isn't even a website company out there who I have enough confidence in to believe they got their own GA accounts configured properly.
 

ed.brooks

Sr. Refresher
Jan 15, 2010
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Ed
...You had to throw those two little words in there didn't you. I'm going to say this is less than 1%. I would give @reverson @craigh @jon.berna @georgenenni enough credit to do it right. But there isn't even a website company out there who I have enough confidence in to believe they got their own GA accounts configured properly.
Well, 'properly configured' is subjective. ;)

But this dealership and their Digital Marketing Manager weren't sure if they had Google Analytics installed at all. Folks like @kevinfrye and Brian Pasch have been preaching the benefits for at least a half a decade now. Forget advanced attribution, this stuff is fundamental. Or am I wrong?
 
Reactions: Alexander Lau

reverson

Jr. Refresher
Mar 21, 2012
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Ryan
It's crazy how many dealerships we acquire that don't have access to their Google Analytics or Google My Business.

We have multiple Google Analytics tags installed on all of our websites but it's intentional.
  1. INDIVIDUAL - Each website has its own unique analytics property of course.
  2. OEM AND SECONDARY - Stores that have multiple websites such as a mandated OEM site and a second primary website - a separate analytics tag is placed on both websites. This allows us to see the full combined picture of the store's performance.
  3. AUTOMALL - "Auto mall" like stores that have multiple franchises on a single property - a separate analytics tag is placed on each website to see the full combined picture.
  4. VENDOR - We create a separate analytics tag for each of our website vendors and place it on the appropriate websites. This allows us to quickly identify trends of each website platform. For example seeing that CDK organic traffic went up.
  5. STATE / REGION - We create a separate analytics tag for each state or region we're in and place it on the appropriate websites. This allows us to identify trends by state or region.
  6. ALL WEBSITES - We have a tag that we place on every single website. This is cool to be able to easily show our traffic growth, etc

Within each analytics property, we then have multiple analytics views setup:
  1. RAW - The raw analytics with no filters, goals, etc
  2. FILTERED - The raw analytics with internal dealership traffic filtered out
  3. GOALS (Leads) - Filtered analytics with goals setup for leads
  4. GOALS (VDP Views) - Filtered analytics with goals setup for VDP views
  5. VENDOR - Filtered analytics where we add vendor users that request access

It definitely takes a while to setup but is well worth it!
 

ericmiltsch

Smile, it's good for you!
Apr 16, 2009
85
27
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Eric
I was in a multi-make franchise dealership yesterday and I asked the Digital Marketing Manager if they had Multi-Channel Funnels set up in Google Analytics with conversion goals, etc. He then pulled up their Dealer.com dashboard... I said, "no, in Google Analytics..." and he replied that they only use the Dealer.com dashboard and proceeded to get Dealer.com on the phone. The Dealer.com rep conceded that GA would be able to offer more insights.

My question is; how many franchise dealerships (with a Digital Marketing Manager, no less) don't have Google Analytics -- properly configured -- in 2018?
Oh my. This happens far too often. Had the same exact conversation with a relatively new marketing manager for a top performing small group. He has been there for about a year - extremely bright, but new to the industry.

He said he was told “this is all you really need to know everything you need to know.”

He now has GA access, plus Sesrch Console and cant believe he was never even offered them as options.
 
Reactions: Alexander Lau

ed.brooks

Sr. Refresher
Jan 15, 2010
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Ed
Oh my. This happens far too often. Had the same exact conversation with a relatively new marketing manager for a top performing small group. He has been there for about a year - extremely bright, but new to the industry.

He said he was told “this is all you really need to know everything you need to know.”

He now has GA access, plus Sesrch Console and cant believe he was never even offered them as options.
This was my experience yesterday as well, Eric. I was meeting with a bright young gentleman who just didn't know what he was (potentially) missing.
 
Reactions: Alexander Lau

Alexander Lau

Sr. Refresher
Feb 11, 2015
2,149
585
113
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Alex
I was in a multi-make franchise dealership yesterday and I asked the Digital Marketing Manager if they had Multi-Channel Funnels set up in Google Analytics with conversion goals, etc. He then pulled up their Dealer.com dashboard... I said, "no, in Google Analytics..." and he replied that they only use the Dealer.com dashboard and proceeded to get Dealer.com on the phone. The Dealer.com rep conceded that GA would be able to offer more insights.

My question is; how many franchise dealerships (with a Digital Marketing Manager, no less) don't have Google Analytics -- properly configured -- in 2018?
Goes to show you the lack of education out there or 3rd parties giving bad info to dealers ("just use our tool" = these systems are designed to show weak KPIs / exponential growth that doesn't mean much).

I find that to be crazy considering Google Analytics has become the norm for the vast majority of dealerships across the United States and Canada. Not to mention the fact that Google Attribution (beware independent automotive attribution providers, your time is running short = it will become the norm) is coming to town and that will streamline things, seamlessly integrate the performance data (without blocking Google Ads IDs LMFAO).

But, the fact that dealers have Google Analytics installed does not mean they are using it correctly. The Web Traffic Attribution tool I used to support opened a lot of dealers eyes and mine too, most dealers have no goals or bad ones set up or anything to do with custom channel groupings breakdown and recording (you know the ones, AT, Cars, Edmunds, PPC (both Google and Bing), YT, etc., etc.) and custom events, let alone the input of spend in order to calculate cost per lead / acquisition (goals).

And... that's if an agency or 3rd party is giving the dealer client the right level of access. Access issues are huge.
 
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Reactions: GerryFoster

georgenenni

Refresher
Apr 13, 2012
100
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George
Out of ~16,000 franchised dealerships I would say less than 10% because most have some sort of OEM program. In those cases the website provider probably has a GA account setup for them. The real question is "how many dealers know how many GA scripts are installed on their website?"

For example:

I did the original GA install on Checkered Flag (#1). We divorced the original, under my watch, when I got more educated on how to use it. Reinstalled (#2), but didn't get rid of the tag. Dealer.com installed their own (#3). I left and @Christine Plunkett took over the job. I know another version was installed on her watch (#4). When she left @Ryan Montville was promoted into the job and he now has his own GA version (#5) and I can only assume their current website provider, Dealer Inspire, has their version too (#6).

Other digital marketing vendors have asked for accesses and/or their own versions installed. I can't say how many different GA tags are on Checkered Flag's digital properties, because Dealer Inspire is the only one who can answer that. CDK would have to answer for the OEM programs that are on their platform and Dealer.com would have to do the same for the ones they host.

There is no way for Checkered Flag to know what is actually installed in their own website. I would bet there are at least 2 tags active per site.



You had to throw those two little words in there didn't you. I'm going to say this is less than 1%. I would give @reverson @craigh @jon.berna @georgenenni enough credit to do it right. But there isn't even a website company out there who I have enough confidence in to believe they got their own GA accounts configured properly.
Thanks @Alex Snyder very kind, still learning a ton from Dealer Refresh! I really like the framework @reverson outlines below, smart approach. I find the same situation @ed.brooks describes, dealers rely on vendor reports, most lack the full picture. The other challenge is relying on vendors to be objective, human nature is that there’s a struggle to find fault in your own campaigns. That’s why I chose to be vendor-agnostic. Dealers should either learn GA in house or hire consultant.
 

Alexander Lau

Sr. Refresher
Feb 11, 2015
2,149
585
113
First Name
Alex
Thanks @Alex Snyder very kind, still learning a ton from Dealer Refresh! I really like the framework @reverson outlines below, smart approach. I find the same situation @ed.brooks describes, dealers rely on vendor reports, most lack the full picture. The other challenge is relying on vendors to be objective, human nature is that there’s a struggle to find fault in your own campaigns. That’s why I chose to be vendor-agnostic. Dealers should either learn GA in house or hire consultant.
It's a good framework, but dive deeper into automotive best practices for goal creation against the plethora of platforms and themes / dB structures. IOW, it depends on what you're attacking (who you are, a dealer vs. a vendor or agency = different needs).

There are templates out there that can assist. No way, shape or form those are the same. At one point, I commandeered ~500 rooftop GA goals set ups, custom channel groupings and events (difficult to scale). The biggest issue(s), gaining access across accounts, properties and less attractively the view (by itself) = many components need to be compulsorily installed on the property and without access you're screwed.
 
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reverson

Jr. Refresher
Mar 21, 2012
287
315
93
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Ryan
I really like the framework @reverson outlines below, smart approach.
Thanks!

One other thing we do in all of our analytics accounts is setup custom alerts to notify us of any drastic changes, positive or negative.

You wouldn't believe how many times we've discovered that our Google Tag Manager script was inadvertently removed off of a website by a vendor. If we hadn't implemented these custom alerts, we probably would have went weeks without noticing and lost all of that valuable data. We can also quickly identify large influxes of bot traffic and filter that out before it really messes with our analytics data.