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Your CRM is the BEST Marketing Decision Driver, Right?

Discussion in 'Websites, SEO, SEM, Display, Social, Marketing' started by ed.brooks, Feb 18, 2017.

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  1. ed.brooks

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    I read two fantastic, ground-breaking, eye-opening posts this week --

    The first was from Brian Pasch on LinkedIn --

    And the second was from Darren Haygood on the Transparency.ai blog --

    Both address a situation I see way too often at dealerships; basing marketing decisions on data produced by a tool that WAS NOT designed to produce marketing analytics.

    Darren drives home the point that CRMs are great at managing the customer relationship, and are vital for the successful operation of a modern dealership, but they fail at providing the sort of advanced marketing analytics I wrote about in We are being beaten by socks. SOCKS!

    Brian goes to the heart of the problem with this quote, "CRM platforms only show LAST-CLICK attribution which hides the other important influences that created the sales opportunity in the CRM." CRMs are great at tracking consumer interaction after they make contact with your store, but they are lousy at everything that led up to that contact.

    So I pose these questions to you,
    Are you making marketing decisions without seeing the full picture?
    Are you using a hammer to drive a screw?
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. jscole86

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    So, if you were a dealer, and you are looking at marketing decisions, which specific methods would YOU use to make marketing decisions? What I'd like to hear, is which tools, platforms, and metrics would YOU use.

    I completely agree there is more to marketing than just lead counts and "conversions", but I get pretty frustrated when people say this "full picture stuff", but don't provide actual solutions for HOW to measure your marketing based on the full picture!
     
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  4. Rick Buffkin

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    Thanks @Ed Brooks@Ed Brooks for posting this. It's kinda late here this evening and I'm kinda in a semi weird train-of-thought right now. I've been in this business for about 14yrs. 13 of them in Inet sales and marketing . I myself have seen tons of transitions along the way. Right now, what is currently running all over me is a major issue with vendors. I have respect for both of the people you linked to. My issue is this. It never fails that if a vendor rolls out a product, they preach to the masses from the F'ing mountain tops that dealers should turn focus in their marketing plans to what their product provides. It's kinda like a string promotion of their product or application or another vendor they've partnered with's product or app. I'm sure most of the Sr. Refresher's in here remember, 6, 7 or 8 years ago, It was all about SEO, SEO this! SEO that! SEO! SEO! SEO! Then Social! Then Adwords. Retargeting and Display. Then Video. Then this, then that!! Now the focus this year is Attribution!! This $hit never ends. Truth be told.... It's the vendors fault!!! Autotrader, Cars.com, Cargurus and every other F'ing vendors fault. Years ago, I mean mother f'ing years ago, these vendors could have created and placed tracking codes on the dealers websites to provide the dealers with an attribution model of what their services was providing. Analytics data between the two platforms / websites!! They have chosen NOT TO! Instead, they want to send their reps to your facility with hypothetical reporting data with possible sales attribution data. The question is, WHY?!?!?!?! Why would a vendor thats the size and caliber of the 3 I just mentioned do this??? My .02 personal opinion.... If you really saw the F'ing numbers and the amount of traffic they are truly sending you, you'd probably cancel all of their $h!t tomorrow!! I think it's complete BS. I get and understand what the articles are saying about Last Click attribution data that the CRM provides and how using that could be misleading. If it's that F'ing important to the vendor, then the vendor should have things in place with the site providers like tracking codes! Partner with the larger CRM providers to show the dealer what happened with the leads that they actually did send into F'ing the CRM. There's so many things they could do. They choose not to do any of these unless they F'ing own the website provider or CRM company. It BS! They say most ppl now are just showing up at the front door now and that is their first contact with the dealership!!! They've been saying that for a few years now. Why not provide the dealerships with some sort of survey on a tablet or something the dealer could give the customer after the deal is done while they are waiting in the showroom? There's 101 things that could be done and they simply are not doing them. Don't get me wrong, I'm not only talking about web and digital. I'm also talking about the traditional media a$$holes to! For years they could have linked to your GA account or had website traffic codes on the dealers website an provided the dealers with diff metrics to show increases in site traffic, floor traffic via the CRM data or phone traffic. Like I said earlier. They have chosen not to provide the dealers with this I think, In fear of what they are really providing vrs what they say they are providing!

    Dealers... It's your own damn fault if you launch any digital or traditional marketing campaign and you don't put anything in place to measure the results of the campaign and NOT have established benchmarks( Floor traffic, phone calls, Web traffic and forms) prior to launching.

    Also a sidenote. Is it a coincidence that both of them have attribution products that they sell and both are singing a similar song???
     
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    #3 Rick Buffkin, Feb 19, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017
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  5. Alex Snyder

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    Rick - you're sooooooo right and soooooo wrong all at the same time. I really really really like your post though :thumbup:

    Yes, vendors suck. They suck because they have absolutely zero idea about what a dealer really needs. Only a small number of ex-dealers are in positions to influence some decision-making vendors, but we are few and far. So vendors get lost in a feature chase. Someone says SEO and they all rush to make some BS story about how they support SEO better than the other guy. Someone says attribution and 2 years of development goes into tuning the crap out of some BS attribution model that will still be focused on the same old tired analytics that everyone is just converting into an Excel file anyway. The vendors don't get it.

    And that's why these things happen. Not because they could have done it 14 years ago, but because nobody was paying for it 14 years ago. Few push the bar to give dealers what is needed; most just build it once a dealer will pay for it. Steve Jobs never touched the car industry.

    Decisions from CRM reporting should be focused on operational improvements. And this is a place where dealers suck. If dealers truly wanted to develop personnel the CRM would be a sacred jewel.
     
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  6. ed.brooks

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    Hi @Rick Buffkin@Rick Buffkin -- thanks for the engagement.

    You're giving us a lot to think about; I'll respond to the high-points, but if I miss anything, please forgive me.
    I believe there is a dramatic difference between the list above and what we are talking about here; Attribution is a tool to measure everything above and look at the value -- at the return -- of those tactics, methods, and strategies. To paraphrase the old BASF commercial, "Attribution is not a marketing decision you make. Attribution makes the marketing decisions you do make better."

    Not to point fingers at the CRM vendors, but they were not then and are not now set-up to perform muti-touch attribution analysis. They were happy to provide a drop down for you to plug in a lead source, but that was about it for attribution. The customer's best memory of their last click or, for the relatively small percentage of folks that submitted a lead, the CRM would enter the last click for you.

    At my company, we embraced Visible Customer and then Transparency.ai to help track the consumer's complicated journey to a purchase decision and show our role in that decision.

    At NADA we also announced that we are partnering with Clarivoy and that we "will be making our data available and transparent via Clarivoy, providing our customers the ability to see the influence Cars.com has on consumers throughout the car buying journey."

    Well! :o
    Every time we run one of these Transparency studies or share our data with Clarivoy, we take a chance that the numbers will not turn out in our favor, but it is a chance worth taking. And my sense is when dealers see the amount of influence 3rd parties can have, most dealers will be extremely pleased with those marketing investments.

    I would encourage other third party sites to make the same commitment.
     
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    #5 ed.brooks, Feb 19, 2017
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  7. ed.brooks

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    Josh,
    I'm sorry that I didn't respond sooner! Brian Pasch had some specific, actionable advice on how to see a 'fuller' picture in his post -
    "Google Analytics can't see all the influences that impact vehicle sales, so dealers will need help from companies like Clarivoy and Transparency for a more complete picture."
     
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  8. Alexander Lau

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    I saw both of those too, partly because I follow Pasch on LinkedIn, but you generally share the good stuff and I follow you. He's absolutely right about it. Nice! Clarivoy is a great group.
     
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  9. Rick Buffkin

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    I guess to me (keep in mind, I'm only speaking for myself here) It feels like a misdirect, kinda. Right now, the majority of vendors in the automotive segment are researching ways to provide a attribution model of some sorts if they don't have one or maybe tweak the one they are currently providing the dealer simply because the keyword "Attribution" is floating around the entire automotive segment right now. Attribution is important. It's very important. But, there's so many other things that are more important than attribution right now that are very, very tangible.

    When I look at the focus thats been turned to digital over the past 7 - 8 years, it's been freaking MASSIVE!!! Then I look at and try to compare these items on a improvement gauge. On one gauge you have website applications, dashboards, social, chat, etc!! In short terms "Products" for the dealer to purchase and what the "Industry Experts" say is important. On the other gauge you have internal items like, lead handling, phone skills, appt setting skills, employee turnover, training, etc. I don't know what to label that guage. Lets just short label it STM ($hit that Matters)

    Over the same timeframe, If you had the two improvement gauges side by side and compare where they were previously to now, the Products gauge would basically be almost maxed out compared to the STM gauge that would have barely moved over the same timeframe. Dealers are still struggling with internal lead handing. Dealers are still sucking to the high heavens when it comes to phone skills and setting appt's. Employee turnover is still through the F'ing roof!! (FYI - I know employee turnover isn't a vendors fault.) At the end of the day, dealers are being told to focus on this or, focus on that. When the things that actually pay the bills are being completely ignored!! Ignored is a little strong! Skimmed over is a better phrase.

    The Misdirect to me goes like this.

    "Here's your dashboard Mr. Dealer! This customer here was on website A, B, and E then clicked your paid search ad. Called and Came in and purchase a car! Congratulations."

    Mean while, the rep that sold that car, sucks on the phone and has a horrible way they handle their Inet leads and lost 8 or 9 other deals because he sucks at those things because of the lack of training and accountability (skimmed over).

    If vendors partnered with the website companies and the CRM companies, the rep for that vendor could provide a attribution report and show the dealer but, that rep could also show the dealer that his sales rep really needs to be trained in a serious way. The vendor could also show a sold report on the leads they provided the dealer and a lost sold report (Leads that was delivered to that dealer but another dealer sold the customer) if the connection between the various vendors was built. Right now, it's not. It's very sporadic if any at all.

    I guess to kinda sum up this weird train of though:

    Having a new dashboard is awesome and being able to track a cusotmer back to the time they were born on the internet (thats a joke) is great. The MASSIVE hemorrhage of leads that was there 6 -7 years ago is still there today and from what I can tell, isn't going away soon!! I'm not only talking about sales!! I talking about all the profit areas of the dealership!! There's still a massive hemorrhage!

    The things you focus on tend to improve and grow for the most part in the right direction. It seems like for the last longest we have been focused on the apps, widgets and dashboards. The things that really matter where the rubber hits the road has kinda fell to the way side. Developing sales people, Developing managers and leaders. And vendors actually having strong metric tracking tools to help the dealers to strengthen those key points like phone skills, lead handing and actually having data that was tangible. And by tangible, I don't mean VDP views!!!

    To me and I think most dealers would agree, people are any dealerships most important asset. It seems like with every new and shinny digital object that has come out every year, the focus on that primary asset is less and less.

    I apologize if I've gotten off of the subject that the thread was originally about. I'm simply trying to convey that while attribution is very important and it's awesome that the technology is there now, there's items thats just as important that's being neglected. I know there's alot of vendors in here that read the post. A question I pose to you is, when was the last time you visited your dealers?? Did you meet with only the Manager or did you actually meet with the boots on the ground and explain your product to them? Did you actually sit down and make some phone calls to the leads with them?? Maybe explain the experience a visitor has when they visit your website?? What a customer actually see's when they visit your website?? You kinda know where I'm going with this! I'm talking about becoming more of a partner with the dealer, instead of simply another vendor with a new dashboard.
     
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    #8 Rick Buffkin, Feb 20, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017
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  10. john.quinn

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    I think it's interesting that we're about 20 years into this attribution conversation, and it's largely unchanged:

    "Mr. Dealer, advertise this way, and we'll prove the results."

    "Mr. Vendor, sure seems to be a lot of gray areas -- hard to trust this information."

    "Mr. Dealer, here's a new shiny widget that proves our results."

    "Mr. Vendor, sure seems to be a lot of gray areas -- hard to trust this information."

    And around, and around, and around we go.

    THE attribution solution? Noah's Ark... Ark of the Covenant... Holy Grail...

    I dunno????
     
  11. Alexander Lau

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    I read you, loud and clear. All valid points. Tangible probably means the most to a dealership. IMO, it comes down to expectations. Vendors are going to throw services / products at dealers to see what sticks. Some of those are going to be worth it to a dealer (show ROI or ROAS); some an absolute waste of time and money. Automotive retail attribution is, of course, very important and an automotive, digital marketing buzz word that's here to stay.

    I find your point on the lack of quality BDC / CRM resources to be interesting. There's no doubt, there are plenty of vendors that bring dealerships quality leads (some argue bad leads fail to exist) and they are followed-up on poorly by dealership staff or outsourced BDC. The questions needs to be asked, "is it the fault of your 3rd party vendor or your internal staff that is causing sales number headaches?" Maybe it's a combination of both? It could expose internal sales process resource issues, however, IMO, it isn't always clear, regardless of what's been set up with lead scoring, etc. I do find AI tools such as Conversica to be interesting, which can assist in lead conversions.
     
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    #10 Alexander Lau, Feb 21, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017

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