We now have some industry “experts” saying not only are digital agencies unethical and cheating their clients…but that you shouldn’t even listen to Google because they are out to get you too. I read an article where somebody actually compared Google to Marlboro. Yes, a company that produces products that kill people, ruins lives and lied about it is being compared to Google. Really?
Let me give dealers some sound advice. Don’t listen to this garbage. First, of course Google wants advertisers to spend more on their platform. What company doesn’t? Do you think the writer and promoters of this negative narrative don’t want the same thing for their own services?
If you ever worked at a car dealership, you know Google is delivering a serious amount of quality traffic. There isn’t an inbound call source that comes anywhere close to them. Dealers aren’t stupid. They have great intuition and instincts about what works and what doesn’t and Google is a major part of most dealerships strategy…because it delivers an ROI. Nothing comes close to Google for delivering transactions. I am not talking about digital traffic, conversions, VDP views, etc.… I am talking about delivering actual paying customers who buy or service with the dealer. That’s how dealerships make money. But most of these digital experts have never worked at a dealership, so maybe they don’t get it. Please, keep providing us your invaluable advice on how to do something you have never done.
Let me give dealerships some facts and sound advice from someone who has been in their shoes.
Google has recently assembled a world class team that serves the automotive industry. Judge them for yourselves. They are free to use and OEM’s would be wise to include them in their process for selecting approved digital agencies. Google performs business reviews and provides best practices to the companies that deliver 2/3 of all digital revenue in the automotive vertical. They conduct these reviews quarterly. I have been through dozens of them and 90% of them are focused on delivering the dealers a better ROI on their platform. In Google’s mind, the rest takes care of itself and they relentlessly push this message. They are maniacal about delivering consumers who use their platform to a great, fast, mobile friendly experience. Ideally, a “click to call” for consumers to directly engage with employees at the dealership. Google has free tools that 99% of dealers don’t know about. Just search “test my ads with Google” or “test my site with Google”. These tools are FREE from Google to the dealership, including Google AdWords, which Google mandates their certified partners provide access to the dealership. Many agencies, not all, make granting that access an act of congress, just to give dealers free data they should review from their own AdWords account. Ask yourself, why?
The same article that compared Google to the Marlboro Man goes on to make more perplexing statements including “Google, like Philip Morris, has enjoyed a decade long increase in revenue.” That just means consumers enjoy their product, it doesn’t mean people are going to get Cancer from using Google. They also said that “Google generates over 90% of its revenue from advertising- mainly Paid” which is like saying that “Phillip Morris generates over 90% of its revenue from tobacco, mainly paid.” Of course they did, that is their product.
What’s next? Comparing Facebook to a weapons dealer? Google didn’t turn itself into the largest media company in the world, consumers did.
The experts telling you not to “Think With Google”, don’t listen to Google’s team, don’t use their free tools, and … want to sell you something. FREE doesn’t work for them. They want to audit you, scare you, and then advise you to shift your digital budget to somebody who pays them re-seller fees. Dealers are not stupid, most get it, but I am getting tired of reading this scare tactic nonsense with no counter opinion. My point is…before you start listening to people who are going to advise you on how to get a great return on your growing investment in Google, you might want to also listen to Google’s free advice. It’s their bat, their ball, their glove and their scoring system. You better learn to play with them, not in spite of them. The one thing Google can’t tell you is how many consumers actually purchased or serviced a vehicle. But, plenty of great digital agencies can because they actually care about helping their clients. I get that I am old school, but not so naive to not learn how to play their game. AND WIN.
I like FREE, it gives dealerships more money for marketing.