3 Digital Derelicts in the Age of Transparency

By | September 3, 2015 | General Marketing Insights

The year 2015 heralded a myriad of changes in the automotive business that have definitively changed the way dealers work with their customers. Companies like Google and other modern digital monoliths have catalyzed the progressiveness of our industry.

Still, we have found that some alarming practices persist that imprison your potential.

We launched Reunion Marketing following years of growth we stimulated at a progressive, mega-dealer group. And our new endeavors with dealers across the country have left us with surprising digital experiences. I, personally, have noticed a quickly growing chasm between dealers and manufacturers who understand the future of this business and those who hope to continue to see business growth without realizing the power of digital marketing.

I have highlighted a few items below. These are vital components that, shockingly, in an age where dealers are demanding transparency and data-driven results, third-party sites and marketing providers are not providing.

1. A Monumental Mess of Metas—Since starting Reunion, we have been surprised to come across manufacturer-mandated sites that do not permit the dealership to enter critical information that search engines read to determine the value of a site in an organic search.

Nearly every customer who graces the showroom has conducted a search on a large search engine. How can these large brands bind their dealers to these subpar sites that do not allow common functionality to increase their brand and dealership’s exposure where their customers shop?

2. High Clicks, Low Values—Paid search and search engine marketing are often the largest expenses that a dealer has in the digital marketing sphere. Unfortunately, not all companies are built to provide dealers with honest and true results.

We recently discovered that multiple large providers have yet to PROPERLY SOURCE their traffic in Google Analytics. This traffic often comes in as direct results or improperly sourced as organic traffic, potentially as an attempt to force the dealer to use the company’s own skewed dashboard results that “conveniently” (imagine some air quotes) do not include pivotal information about the actions that customers take once they arrive at a dealer’s site.

Did the customer look at inventory? Did this person browse new or used car specials?

Without properly sourcing traffic in Google Analytics and integrated your AdWords data, your store cannot accurately measure the success of this important and sizable investment.

3. Content Kingpins—At this point, most of us have heard the adage that content is king. But what is a Content Kingpin? A Content Kingpin is a website platform or manufacturer that controls and forces dealers and agencies to use their representatives to add and edit content before it goes live.

In a business that lives and dies by immediacy, as well as owning the “now” moment, why do we continue to allow these factory-mandated sites control when and how we can add content to reach customers? Often, these same sites place your content in a queue where it will take 3-7 business days to be live.

To us, that should not be allowed or accepted a day more, especially in the age where well-researched content continues delivering a greater number of shoppers.

Each day at Reunion Marketing brings new ideas, challenges, and goals. These are just a few of the oddities that we have come across as we continue to partner with and help more and more companies. We firmly believe that dealers have the opportunity to push back and receive the transparent results that customers demand of them.

Is your store being affected? Let us run a free analysis of your strategies today.