This is the final article of our three-part series dealing with the interaction between modern automotive shoppers and dealers online, particularly by means of Google.
In our first article, we covered these two questions: “Why should you be focusing more on your digital automotive dealer marketing?” and “What results should you expect from your digital auto dealer marketing?”.
The second part defined the five most crucial online moments for car shoppers during the buying process, and how to walk them through each and every one of these stages.
Today it’s time to talk a little bit about performance measurement. Measurement continues to be critical for understanding the impact of your marketing and for revealing the best way to invest your limited resources. This in turn leads to better marketing, which leads to new customers and continual growth. As you can see, we have some ground to cover, so let’s dive right in.
Nonlinear customer journey
Prior to the digital age, it was a lot easier to track the path that led a customer to a purchase. As the customer journey has become more complex, marketers often find it difficult to gain a complete view of customer engagement. That’s why it is of the utmost importance to deliver reliable measurement solutions. And it all starts with accurate data.
‘An automotive shoppers’ journey has 20 or more touch points, and that’s just on digital alone’
90% of people say they use multiple screens for everyday activities. That’s a whole lot of devices, which can make it a challenge to find and follow a particular consumer. But one thing has remained the same: when consumers need to visit a dealership lot or a service center, they start with an online search first.
So how can you make sense of all the data and gain a more complete picture of customer engagement? Attribution modeling can come to aid.
Marketing Attribution models
Attribution aims to help assign credit for sales and conversions to touchpoints in customers’ paths to purchase. By means of different attribution models you can evaluate the efficiency of your marketing channels as well as understand which steps a customer took before converting.
We want to mention a model that is widely used despite having a big flaw. It’s is called “last click attribution”.
Last click attribution model
Valuable insights emerge when looking at the entire journey of the consumer. Yet most dealers still give full credit to the last click interaction a customer had before they actually converted.
However in reality, all of the research that your customer conducted prior to that last click actually influenced the conversion and should be credited accordingly.
Auto buyers can take multiple steps for weeks when researching for a vehicle. Each one of their steps is like a dot, and a smart marketing strategy involves trying to connect those dots, instead of focusing all your efforts on the above mentioned “last clicks”. But through what measurement models can this be achieved?
There are three basic data-driven attribution models:
Linear. Credit for the conversion is equally distributed across all user sessions on a path to purchase.
Time Decay. The most recent clicks are given more credit than older clicks. Credit is distributed according to a 7-day half-life. For example, a click that happened 8 days before the actual conversion gets half as much credit compared to a click that happened one day before the conversion.
Position-based. This model apportions a 40% credit to both the first and the last visits that led to those interactions. The remaining 20% is distributed across all the other sessions.
If you progress beyond those last click attribution methods and embrace these data-driven models, you’ll be able to deliver more conversions while operating within the same budget. And more importantly, these models will help you in the long run to spot and remove inefficient media from your marketing strategy.
How to deliver your message directly to online automotive shoppers
We hope that this three-part series has helped you to understand your prospects a little better, now that you have some knowledge of who they are and where they can be found. But you probably are wondering how you can get your message out to them.
Well, this is the tricky part. Since today’s automotive shoppers expect a frictionless experience, you have to create ads that exactly correspond to a user’s search.
If you want to promote specific vehicles, your ads should speak to those models and lead customers to the most relevant landing pages about that exact make or model.
At the same time, you need to optimize your website content and your landing pages for these searches.
Also, you’ll want to remember your local message. In the first article of this series, we mentioned that there has been a 200% growth in automotive dealer related searches with “near me” as keywords. And we also spoke to the fact that consumers now expect hyper-localized results automatically, regardless of whether or not they included the phrase “near me” in their search.
It may seem like quite a challenge, but this is where we come into the picture. As a certified Google & Bing Partner, Autoxloo can help auto dealerships to align their online messages with most of their shopper’s intentions across all channels: Google Search, Google Display Network, YouTube, and Bing Search. We know how to take any possible friction out, enable your shoppers to go through less steps, and get to that conversion faster.
Contact us today in order for you to be able to spread your message everywhere and to get the most possible responses from your marketing campaign.
We hope that you have enjoyed reading this final part in this series of articles as much as we have enjoyed writing it. Stay tuned to our blog as we will continue to share valuable insights on trends and opportunities for automotive dealers.