How to Actually Measure Your Dealership’s Digital Marketing Success in 2020

  Chaya David

If you’re like most dealerships, successful marketing and advertising is on your list of priorities for 2020. The problem? There are so many myths about what success actually means that even pinning down goals can be elusive.

So in honor of the new year, let’s walk through some marketing myths and facts. We’ll clarify a few misconceptions that can help you make the most of your marketing efforts in 2020.

Myth: You’re getting a great ROI if each metric shows improvement.

Fact: Your ROI might be good if your metrics are looking up, but the truth is, you can’t say for sure unless you have two things: metrics that actually measure something of value to your dealership, and a unified source of data.

For example, you may see an uptick in ad impressions, but that’s only news to be excited about if ad impressions are your goal. If your goal is to increase sales with your ad campaigns, your impressions don’t tell you much about your success. In that case, impressions look good, but aren’t a good measure.

That’s also why you need a unified source of data. You won’t see your true ROI unless you can connect each marketing investment to sales. Simply assuming you are on the right track without sales data to back that up would be a mistake. More often than not, you have room to improve.

Myth: Closing rate is the best assessment for a lead vendor.

Fact: Your overall closing rate is dependent on many factors, including your traffic quality, your BDC process, and yes, your lead vendors and tools.

Let’s say you have a low close rate on a particular vendor. That vendor is doing poorly, right? Not necessarily. Assuming a low close rate is solely the function of the lead vendor doesn’t take into account some very important context. Does this lead vendor focus on up-funnel leads? If so, you can assume the conversion rate will be higher but the closing rate may be lower. If a vendor focuses on closer-to-buy shoppers, you will see a lower conversion rate but a higher close rate. To really understand vendor performance, make sure to take into account the context.

Myth: Google Analytics gives you a full picture of your marketing ROI.

Fact: Google Analytics helps you track important pieces of your marketing funnel, but since it does not connect your ad spend with your CRM data, it can’t give you the full picture.

When you see your clicks and impressions on Google Analytics, you can see improvement in your brand exposure, maybe even your website performance and optimization. But to actually see if your ad spend is leading to sales, your ad data must be connected to your CRM data.

In marketing, there are no simple answers. Getting at the truth requires ongoing assessment, clean data, and of course, knowing how to analyze and interpret. Let’s all jump into 2020 with a renewed effort to dig into our assumptions, and our data, to produce more valuable marketing outcomes.