I love when technology is developed that improves our fundamental ability to better serve our clients. Mostly, we must create that advantage for ourselves. But, our thanks go out to Google because they have carefully been releasing new technology that tracks when customers who have previously engaged with their advertisers also visit their place of business. I would call a person who shows up at our dealerships “the ultimate conversion”. While there is a growing capability for dealers to both deliver and pick up vehicles…99% of all sales and service transactions still occur at the dealership. Ask yourself, how many times have you shopped online, then showed up at a business and purchased their products or services? It’s a weekly occurrence for me. Isn’t that the ultimate conversion? A dealership visit is better than a click, a form, or even a call, which is commonly a point of failure for businesses.
We are fortunate to have a significant number of clients who already meet Google’s requirements to utilize this technology. The best part is we can now report on the correlation of people who show up to our clients’ stores with the exact campaign(s) they engaged with. Tracking logged-in devices is the primary method of collecting data today, but the new technology wave includes tracking beacons and other Geo-Based technology placed within showrooms, service departments, and pre-owned departments to further improve the tracking at a granular level. These enhancements allow us to create and properly bid on campaigns that we know with certainty will drive showroom traffic that our clients are most likely to convert into profitable transactions.
Here are the top 10 things we have learned so far:
- Inbound phone calls from PPC campaigns and store visits have a strong correlation.
- To my dealer friends, your inbound calls are golden. Please monitor them closely.
- Obviously, Brand and Geo Brand campaigns drive significant store visits. No surprise there.
- The good news, the store visits for Brand campaigns are inexpensive and average less than $10/visit. For those that say don’t do it, the math says it would be foolish not to.
- It’s critical to have campaigns and ads for every single new model you sell, not just your 3-4 most popular models. You should also be running ads on your pre-owned inventory but we will get to that in a minute.
- Campaigns that promote specific inventory, pricing, payments and updated incentives produce significantly more in store visits and have the lowest cost per visit.
- Get in the game with service marketing on Google. Don’t bid on your name, but rather the services you provide with a competitive offer. Next to brand campaigns, these will be the campaigns that drive the most store visits at the lowest cost per visit. The ROI is at least 5:1.
- Run ads on every used vehicle you have and update them nightly. The store visits are significant after online shoppers have viewed a pre-owned vehicle you have in stock.
- Both Re-targeting and Behavioral Pre-Roll video are incredibly effective. I was skeptical of Google’s statistics that 46% of people who view videos from a business will then show up…until I saw the data.
- Don’t think twice about re-deploying some of your traditional budget into Pre-Roll. Its targeted TV and it works to drive showroom traffic.