***Click on the pic of the guy wearing the sunglasses to hear about this Hot Springtime Sales Event! **Share this with your friends too! Thanks!!**
***Now take Douglas Volkswagen with you anywhere you go! Right on your phone! *Schedule a Service Appointment, Get a Quote on a New V-Dub, Browse our Inventory, Order Parts, Contact our AutoBody Shop, see our New/Pre-Owned Specials or even watch a cool video! *It`s all about being convenient & accessible! *Where else? Only at Douglas.
You know what guys? You`re absolutely correct when you say there are tons of things to do out there..... I just thought I`d share this one because of the cost...... FREE!
@ Larry - as for a Lead/Conversion Ratio..... not really measuring that with an ad of this caliber... because of it potentially being flagged it may not be out there that long. Also... when you post something like this it takes all of 2 minutes to post.... so as for ROI..... it`s a little free ad that someone might stumble across on CL., there`s not much of an investment here.
*We have had quite a bit of success with the many different types of ads like this that I`ve been using Craigs List.
*@Mike - As for traffic, these little FREE ads do tend to drum up some visitors to our sites.
*** Hey the keyword here when it`s all said & done boys is....... FREE!
@Ken - Thanks for a real-world perspective on the metrics and measurement analytic questions... I like being able to look at reports and then slice and dice which postings, referring sites, keyword based conversion by source, etc. have the most impact... BUT, when you are doing hundreds of "Tactics" a week and selling cars, well, sometimes the time it takes to set up measurements, assign custom URL's, put tacking scripts into pages, and all that is needed to set up accurate tracking, is more time than it takes to implement whatever it is you are trying to track! And, let's face reality... We all know that CL is an effective tool for listing cars for sale. And if we know that already, then getting creative to see how much CL admins will tolerate before flagging a post is a good investment of time, IMHO.
So when would tracking and metrics for something like this be essential? If my staff at ADP Digital Advertising wanted to "productize" this practice and offer it to dealers as an optional service, then we would need to pilot it at least ten times with dealers who are willing, such as Douglas VW, use tracking pixels, unique URL's for each classified ad posted and then pull relevant reports from Omniture to see if the results variance from this service merits the cost we would have to charge while meeting margin requirements for non-dilution of department NOI, etc....
In Ken's case, I am with him, if you know it works, in your own heart of hearts... Then run with it! Personally, I think that when you add up the sum of all that Ken publishes using free web services and assess the impact it has on buyers in his market who are cruising the web for used cars and see this type of stuff repeatedly, the impact of frequency becomes a factor. The positive impression and top of mind awareness this creates is worth a lot when compared to what you would need to spend in measured media to achieve the same results. Of course, you would probably get all the tracking reports your heart desires if you budgeted a campaign with an ad agency to do this with purchased media placements.
In the end, would I trade tracking and metrics for reduced costs? Only if the cost reduction was enough to make the increased risks acceptable. In Ken's case, I'll bet on this guy before I go with the full cost ad agency approach and more analytics than you can shake a stick at! Flying blind is sometimes better than than the $6 Million Dollar Man with the vision of an Eagle as your pilot... IF your pilot flying blind through the fog is Sully landing on the Hudson and knows what he is doing.
Thanks Ralph! Yes..... As much as I agree with tracking/ROI & such, as you stated, a quick little marketing strategy like this would have little time to be measured/evaluated properly because of the flagging factor. You know even in regards to my videos, .... some people ask me do they always work? Absolutely not.... but then does anything ALWAYS work?
*Like you said,.... sometimes when something works, you just have to roll up your sleeves & run with it. This is not rocket science...... it`s just cool, Digital Marketing.
**You have to keep pannin`boys & girls, `cause I`m tellin` ya there`s gold in them ol` Craigs List Hills! -LOL!
@Ken I agree with you there is gold in the CL hills or more like pearls, and you gotta go through a lot of oysters to find one.
While the ad was free the time involved to make the ad wasn't, the time to go through the leads isn't and one has to wonder what the real cost of FREE is?
If it were me Ken I would run these leads to a mobile microsite and track that against lead conversion and sale conversion with ad time of day and vehicle type (price, yr, model segment ie sedan, coupe ect.)
This would start to give you a sense of what the real cost per lead / sale is and what time of day to run ads, what price rage converts and sales best and what type of vehicles sell best.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) I'll be going over this at Digital Dealer this year if your there.
Larry brings up a valid issue and one of my pet peeves... The cost of resources required to properly respond to leads! When you do the calculations on all aspects of generating any type of opportunity to do business (Lead), the first thing that jumps out is the acquisition is often times the LOWEST COST COMPONENT. Try this some time, take all the costs associated with a BDC, including rent factor and payroll, as well as the payroll costs based on a percentage of total time used by managers who supervise, and then divide that number by the total number of inbound phone calls, or electronic leads... Or outbound calls, or just make a spreadsheet that calculates for all categories of activities and allocate some percentage of the BDC's total time/resources applied to each category. When I worked on the Ford BDC program a few years ago we would do this as a normal part of the reporting process, along with the gross profits generated within each category so that there were two easily determined numbers to review from an ROI perspective... Such as how much it cost to answer/make each phone call within the call's process category, and how much gross profits realized were associated with such calls. I have uploaded these spreadsheets here on ADM in the past.... BUT, it brings me back to the issue that Larry raises... The cost of handling each lead. Is it worth the outcome? Is it different for each lead source, or category of lead source?
@ Larry - "While the ad was free the time involved to make the ad wasn't, the time to go through the leads isn't and one has to wonder what the real cost of FREE is?">>> As for "Time" Larry, that`s part of my job, to create & implement quickly, immediate on-line promotions/events by utilizing sort of unconventional marketing methods, hopefully with the intention to get maximum results from minimal resources($$bucks!).
I believe all of these marketing avenues/techiques have a their own specific purpose & place in the over-all scheme of our world of Digital Marketing i.e. Facebook, Craigs List, Autotrader & such. How we choose to improvise these various marketing avenues, will ultimately impact or current & future sales results. So will we all be the same or will someone stand out from the pack & be different & take the road less traveled to get there? As for me, I`m rollin` up my sleeves & divin` right in.... I don`t like to wait. I like to make things happen!
One gentleman who knows me, I had lunch with & he commented on how I consistently drive in business for our dealer group. He says I`m the X-Factor for the group! -lol!
**Note- I do not know exactly where all of our business came from today, as I wasn`t there,(I`ll know more on Monday) but we did 18 cars at VW today. Not too shabby for a company that does absolutely "0" newspaper advertising....... The Internet is our main source of advertising. Sooooooooooooooooooooooo how do you think those customers found out about our 96-Hour Sales Event????? -lol!
*I think you know the answer.....
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