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The automotive industry spends more than $12.4 billion in digital marketing alone. Dealers have evolved their thinking and no longer look at segmenting their ad spend into “traditional” and “digital”. Rather they are segmenting the budgets by “branding” and “converting”.

Marketing KPIs Helps Grow Dealership Revenue

by Anthony Giagnacovo

There is a famous saying that states, “You can’t improve what you don’t measure” while there is a significant debate on whether measurement is the solution to most things in life, this saying rings true for digital marketing.

Running any dealership in a software and technology driven era means you must spend significant amounts of money on digital marketing to acquire more customers. Any marketer worth their salt knows that to run a successful digital campaign, they have to receive a certain return on their investment (ROI). This translates into more higher call volumes, increase in inbound and outbound calls, and increase in annual ROI based on sales increase.

ROI refers to the profit you earn from the money you spend on digital marketing efforts. ROI calculations are a vast concept and can only be measured by tracking certain key performance indicators (KPIs). Knowing the correct KPIs to focus on and tracking them is a dilemma most digital marketers face.

There are basic KPIs, such as the number of visitors to the site, and what content they engaged with (e.g. VDPS vs. Service). Thanks to abundant technological solutions, there are also ways to measure complex KPIs such as shopping cart abandonment rates and email opt-out rates.

Therefore, KPIs are essential for digital marketers to measure the cost of investment and know their marketing campaigns’ actual impact. This article elaborates on how KPIs can improve marketing performance and the seamless technological solution for tracking them.

3 Important KPIs for Automotive Digital Marketers

The automotive industry spends more than $12.4 billion in digital marketing alone. Dealers have evolved their thinking and no longer look at segmenting their ad spend into “traditional” and “digital”. Rather they are segmenting the budgets by “branding” and “converting”. Branding campaigns have the goal of raising awareness of the dealership, the brands (OEMS) whose products they represent, service operations, and how they help the communities.

Converting, the larger segment of their budget, have the goal of getting conversations started with the dealership – leads, phone calls, and chats. To ensure these returns, marketers need to carefully track these three fundamental KPIs to improve their performance:

1. Cost Per Conversion

Cost Per Conversion (CPC) is an effective and simple measurement tool that is applicable to any marketing campaign. Simply divide the campaign cost by the number of leads, phone calls, and chats. Keep in mind that these are contacts not sales, but should be measured as they define advertising effectiveness, number of touchpoints to conversion and messaging influence.

Knowing your baseline will help you to understand what your CPC goal should be. For example, if your marketing budget for a cost-per-sale is $350, and your average rate of converted leads, calls, and chats averages 10%, then your CPC goal should be $35. This CPC is an average for most franchise dealerships, and it may fluctuate higher in larger metro areas or lower in more rural locations.

2. Traffic by Metropolitan Area

Every dealership has a target market that is defined by a surrounding area. This designated selling reach is typically based on the metro size, competing brands, population density and market research. When dealerships work with a digital marketing or advertising agency, it’s important to define your target market and ensure your campaign dollars are specific to your potential audience and market reach. Avoid the wide-cast approach or spray and spend as this will create overspending and under performing marketing metrics.

While a dealership may sell an occasional vehicle out-of-state, it is not the intention of the marketing efforts. Measuring the campaign traffic by metro area will help you understand where your audience is engaging with your marketing and which campaigns are more or less effective.

3. Rate of Engagement

Measuring page engagement helps to paint the rest of the picture. Over the years a lot of attention has been paid to the number of vehicle display page views. While there is some value in this, it does communicate the visitor’s intent. Measuring what the visitor is engaging with, such as pictures, payment calculator, or CARFAX reports, will enable you to better understand why they came to your website and what inventory or services matter to them.

A One-Stop Solution for Tracking KPIs

Now that we have established how important KPIs are, the question emerges of where to easily keep track of them. Thankfully, CallRevu’s CallVision DNI tool is a one-stop solution that enables businesses to track all the important metrics of a single digital marketing campaign in one place.

Dealers can customize CallVision DNI to take advantage of session-based call monitoring and call tracking. The software uses pixel technology to capture the customer’s session information, user ID, as well as what they click on while on your website. This information is shared with your Google Analytics to expand your reporting which includes this behavioral information.

Behavioral tracking is based on unique dynamic phone numbers (local and toll-free numbers) that are provided to the dealership for tracking your marketing campaign effectiveness. When a customer dials the number, this data is recorded, measured, and reported in the CallVision DNI reporting dashboard.

Unlike Click-to-call, you know that all inbound calls are measured and attributed back to the campaign that made the phone ring–including referral traffic from vehicle listing sites. The CallVision DNI Dashboard will also show you how many leads and chats were attributed to each campaign. This can be viewed by campaign, ad group, keyword, metro, or any combination therein.

Final Thoughts

Without detailed performance metrics, zeroing in on the most effective business strategies becomes little more than a guessing game. CallVision DNI helps dealerships effectively track their KPIs to design and implement effective marketing campaigns and sell more cars and service.

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