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Are you still buying leads? Aside from OEM leads and funds spent on dealer site promotion, money thrown at third-party lead-providers is dwindling at a shocking rate.

Why? Well, frankly, the paradigm has shifted.

Third-party leads are becoming (have become?) irrelevant in the face of generating incoming buyer action through relevant in-market inventory exposure. Drops the cost-per-sale, spikes the ROI, feeds your staff, and fills your dealership. The new paradigm combines the best aspects of the last 50 years of automotive marketing:

* As quantifiable and trackable as Leads/CRM(ILM).

* Effective Branding like Print.

* Mass exposure like Radio and TV.

* Generates consumer action like Direct Mail.

Tags: Leads, SEM, SEO, automotive, direct, mail, marketing, newspaper, party, print, More…radio, third, tv

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'Nother thought: I'm sure we have all noticed the drastic increase in OEM willingness to co-op ever greater portions of the 3PLP cost, in some cases buying them outright and using them as a carrot to induce dealers to require internet department efficiency. Do you see a day when OEMs will take an AutoNation/AutoUSA approach?
Drew please expand on this question a little, and regional inventory sites like are not 3PLP's, they are inventory listing sites and as such the leads generated are really based on the dealer's advertisements (inventory) within those sites/ It is also important to note that there are "Lead Aggregators" and "Lead Producers" which are very different from each other. For example, Dealix and AutoUSA are Lead Aggregators, where as smaller lead generating sites like CUDL,, and others like them actually generate the leads that are wholesaled to the lead aggregators.
Ralph, I think your definitions are very helpful, however I would add that any site with product configurators is also capable of generating new leads, which are not directly connected to any inventory advertised by dealers. The best example of a pure configurator generated lead is that from an OEM website.

As I recall both and Autotrader have car configurators which generate new leads for a few local dealers being referred. Surely Cars or Autotrader get paid in some way for those referrals?

Any lead generated by inventory should be going directly to the advertiser owning that particular vehicle and no one else.


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