I have been blessed to travel and work with automotive dealers around the globe and although there are major differences in culture and some processes, I am still amazed how many leaders run their business from their “gut”instead on data management. In a world filled with data, many either ignores this data or are overwhelmed by the data and so make important decisions by instinct
Now is this wrong? Should we trust that someone who has been in the auto industry for a long time knows the trends or knows what seems to be working? I am sure many would say yes. But today’s shopper has changed and business leaders need to understand how data management, find the important data and then needs to understand what to do with the data.
How to use Data Management
If we know that 70% of car shoppers do not contact the dealership before walking in, then how do we track this stealth shopper to know what they are looking at?
If we are getting reports each month are we really making sure our marketing dollars are driving customers to look at your inventory?
What metrics should you be looking at? Let’s take two examples.
Last week I wrote on some of the common mistakes of your SEM campaign. What if you wanted to see if you SEM or Paid Search was working correctly. Would you be focused on Cost per Click (CPC), or Cost per Lead? Some dealers would say yes but what I feel you should be looking at is Cost per VDP (Vehicle Detail Page). How much is your campaign costing you to get eyeballs on your inventory? That is a metric that dealers should be looking at.
Many of our clients who when they first begin to use our ROI-BOT reporting tool can see some campaigns their agencies are running at $9 or $12 to get one person to look at your inventory. We feel it should be less than $4. Do you trust your gut that things look right or are you looking at metrics that count?
Another example of is based on a discussion I had with a dealer who said, “If we are not having a good month then we need to get more leads for the team”. I asked him why would he get more leads if he may not be handling the ones he had correctly? Did he know where the real training opportunity for his team was and he said he did not know. Was it contacting leads? Was it appointments not showing up? Was it not enough appointments?
Unless you are tracking data correctly then you will not know where to focus your training. In this example there could be enough appointments set but not the correct % showing up. Well then your training should focus on listening to the calls to see how they are setting the appointment.
Data Management can focus your decisions on the right impact area will not only increase your sales, but also help you to become more efficient in your execution which impacts the bottom line as well.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Gut instincts can only help so much in this day of data driven metrics. Partner with someone who can help train you on how to read the data and then coach you on what to do. That will be one of the best investments for your long-term success.
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