Connecting the Digital Dots – Automotive Marketing


Marketing has evolved from being creative driven to being a data-driven process and marketers constantly struggle to connect the dots.   The customer journey also continues to evolve as technology enables consumers.

Research shows that Auto Shoppers want a better digital experience and in fact, most would complete the entire buying process on line.   80% of Auto Shoppers use some form of digital technology to research their buying preferences and 62% are initializing the car-buying process online, including social media.  This has resulted in Auto Shoppers visiting less dealerships in the buying process.  And as a result, dealers now spend nearly 65% of their marketing budgets on digital marketing.*

Unlike traditional media, with digital, we can measure how many consumers a marketing campaign delivers.  By using Google Analytics, we can see the number of unique visitors a digital campaign delivers to a dealer’s website and by applying conversion metrics, can further quantify the results.  Google Adwords provides data on the most profitable keywords and ad copy response in a PPC campaign.   This allows marketers to measure the MROI (marketing return on investment).  I’ve met with many dealers and reviewed digital campaign results that show as many a 3,000 unique website visits in one-day that also had the proper conversion metrics enabled.  But, the conversation always comes back to the marketer being able to provide bottom of the funnel leads with actionable Auto Shopper data.

In the traditional marketing days every dealer would admit that 50% of their advertising didn’t work, they just didn’t know which 50%.  With digital it’s all changed.  With technology changing faster than you can change your social media profile a dealer now has the opportunity to evolve with the customer.  The good news is there are now new digital media platforms that actually allow us to “Connect the Digital Dots”.

We now have a platform that can capture a dealer’s website visitor data (name, address, email, compliant phone, credit score and vehicle ownership data).   Thus providing actionable data on a daily basis that is piped directly to your BDC.

Geo Fencing was a tremendous break-through in technology for conquesting new customers on your competitors’ lot or showroom.   However, again, it was limited to providing the just metrics on how many people were served ads and clicked through to a landing page or website.  That’s where it stopped.  We now have a platform that can provide a dealer up to 10 geo fences.  When a customer enters the fence, we can capture their device ID resulting in a data pull that includes their name, address, email, compliant phone, credit score and vehicle ownership.   We can deliver 1000 shopper data records in a campaign that delivers as little as 50,000 impressions.   So, it’s no longer about the impressions, clicks, etc.  It’s about providing the data of bottom of the funnel shoppers that are in the process of buying a vehicle in a given day.

Email continues to be a highly effective platform to reach Auto Shoppers that are in the market to buy.   Our campaigns provide the highest open rates in the industry (average 13.5%).  As part of our targeted campaigns we provide the consumers postal data of every open.  But here’s the best part.  We can now drop a Ringless Voicemail on the email openers cell phone without it every ringing.  We provide the dealer a script to record a personalized actionable message.   We have an inbound call centers that takes the calls and sets the appointments for your promotion.

At we are “Connecting the Digital Dots” and can help your dealership sell more vehicles this month by providing you real leads with your digital campaigns.

For more information, call me for a custom quote at 850.203.0554 (cell) or 850.591.5719 ext. 700.  You can email me at


*Source:  Accenture


Does your dealership have a 2017 Digital Strategy?

In 2015, Automotive Manufacturers represented 3 of the top 10 companies that spent the most on advertising with a total of $7.8 billion, and when combined was number one.

1. Procter & Gamble ($4.6 billion)

2. AT&T ($3.3 billion)

3. General Motors ($3.1 billion) General Motors

4. Comcast ($3 billion)

5. Verizon ($2.5 billion)

6. Ford ($2.5 billion)

7. American Express ($2.4 billion)

8. Fiat-Chrysler ($2.2 billion)

9. L’Oréal ($2.2 billion)

10. Walt Disney Company ($2.1 billion)

According to Borrell, in 2016 automotive advertising will be nearly a $40 billion category, up almost 10% from 2015. $22.1 (55%) billion was spent by local dealers. 63% was spent on Digital Media, 21% on Print and 12% on TV, Radio, and Cable.

Some of the most innovative data and technology driven creative marketing concepts and ideas come from Tier 1. But there’s a huge disconnect from the Tier 1 level to Tier 3.

Some local franchise dealers don’t know what marketing they are doing month-to-month. It’s subject to change on a whim, or on having a “bad month” which results in a knee-jerk reaction like “let’s pull all the PPC stuff and send out 50,000 direct mail pieces with jiggy prizes to get the toothless in the door”.

In my last article “Dealer Digital Warfare – Do You Have a Winning Strategy” I addressed the importance of having a digital strategy in place. Unlike most local retail businesses, we have the data and technology to effectively and efficiently develop a local winning marketing strategy. We can look at a dealers PMA, analyze DMS/CRM data, overlaid with over 18 other data sources and develop a highly sophisticated, targeted marketing plan. Based on the data, we know which zip codes have the greatest propensity to buy from you or your competition and can tailor your digital marketing plan accordingly (“fishing where the fish are”) – targeting shoppers that have an interest in your dealership, your brand. However, none of this matters unless you as a dealer embrace the strategy and stick to your plan.

So, moving into 2017, what should be your marketing priorities?

· Develop a mobile strategy. All digital campaigns should align with your mobile strategy.

· Be big somewhere. Pick 3 or 4 digital platforms and own them. It’s no different than in the days of traditional only when a dealer would dominate TV, Radio or Print, etc.

· Manage and Measure your campaigns by setting up conversion metrics in your Google Analytics account.

We recommend the following digital platforms in order of their importance:

· Targeted Pay Per Click – target and bid by zip code (our GeoForce platform allows you to target customers and bid by zip)

· GeoMobile Marketing (location based mobile) – we serve your ads to customers that are in your competitors showrooms and on their lots.

· Video – we develop a consistent video marketing strategy from YouTube to Video Pre-roll.

· Conquest Email Marketing – our email campaigns have the highest Open and CTR rates in the industry.

· Retargeting – give Auto Shoppers a second chance to see your offers through retargeting

· Display Advertising – we place ads on all of the major sites including, ESPN, CNN, Fox News and more.

· Social Boosting – only 5% of your post get seen on Facebook – we boost your posting and reach a specific target audience.


Does your dealership have a 2017 Digital Strategy? At our Google Certified digital specialist can help you develop an effective and efficient marketing strategy. Our data and technology driven platforms can help you measure and managing your digital marketing and save you up to 30% on your current digital spend. Call us for a no-obligation digital evaluation at 800.591.5719.