Lead Tracking: An Essential Dealership Tool

How do you truly know where your customers are coming from and which of your advertising is delivering the greatest return?

There is a multitude of sources from where leads can come: from searches, listings, websites, and digital advertising; through to database marketing campaigns, print and radio ads.  So, given the level of investment required to run successful advertising campaigns, it’s vital to be able to accurately track the advertising origin of your leads, and establish which have become showroom visits, test drives, and sales, otherwise you could be tearing up money and missing real opportunities to sell more cars.

Case in Point

A real-life example where lead data was able to give a more accurate measure on advertising performance came from a dealership that had recently implemented call tracking technology. 

This telephony solution involved establishing a multi-channel phone system that both identified the campaign origin of a lead, as well as the keywords that had been searched by the customer prior to calling.

When measuring the budget applied to his search engine marketing (SEM) campaign against website enquiries, the dealer’s marketing agency found that one particular keyword was delivering a very high cost per acquisition (CPA) of $75.47.  As a result, they recommended the removal of this keyword from his SEM campaign.  However, when the dealer measured the results against both website conversions and his call tracking data he actually found that that same keyword was delivering the best return of the campaign, with a CPA of $12.22.  This example shows how vital it is to be able to accurately measure the origins of all of your leads, to enable you to make more informed decisions about how to invest your marketing budget to get the best return. 

 So, what tools are available to enable you to fully understand your business’ marketing performance?

Call Tracking

Despite all our technology and automated systems such as chat, SMS, email etc, Google has found that 60 percent of searchers are still likely to call a dealership when given the option.  Despite popular belief, data have shown that since the introduction of call buttons and ‘click to call’ functionality on websites, search listings and social media, phone calls to dealerships have actually increased by as much as 22 percent in the last four years. This means that a significant number of the telephone calls you are receiving, are a direct result of the advertising you are running in the digital sphere.

It is important to understand what is driving those calls so you can accurately measure where your advertising dollar is best spent. Adding multi-channel call tracking to your dealership’s existing phone system enables you to apply a different phone number to each marketing stream including display and social ads, email marketing, print media etc., and then track which campaign is generating calls. This technology can also assign a single phone number to each visitor of your dealership’s website, meaning that all their online activity- including searched keywords- prior to them calling, is traced.

Attribution Platforms/Lead Dashboards

A number of providers in the auto industry are now delivering marketing dashboards and attribution platforms to clients with the aim of delivering more insight into lead tracking.  

Some of the most effective attribution platforms are able to provide a single view on all leads received by the dealership and what their origin was.  They can then match this against test drive and sold car data to give a full customer journey profile. Such data is invaluable when it comes to making decisions about how and where to spend your marketing budget to ensure the greatest return on investment for your dealership.

Given the competitive nature of the automotive industry and the need for “always-on” campaigns, it is imperative that dealers have a clear and accurate understanding of which types of advertising work best for their target market, so that they can spend their marketing budgets wisely.   You can no longer afford to make decisions without hard facts, so, equip yourself with the data you need to get the most out of your advertising.  Your marketing agency should be able to provide you with this information, and if they can’t, find one that can.