Automotive Marketing Professional Community for Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
Do you have a flat ad spend budget? Did your PPC provider "provide" you with a flat spend allocation? Do they tell you that has no effect, so a constant amount is okay? Or did they merely tilt it a little so that it distributes on a linear line? Is it really, however, a rising sawtooth? Or at least a spend that targets the buying cycle, which is usually the last third of the month? And does your PPC provider account for any of that?
I'd like to hear from you on this in this thread, including vendors who'd like to speak out about it w/o making a commercial out of the post.
Keith, I just jumped onboard with FordDirect SEM. It's only been two weeks, but I am just finding out how much control I don't have over the whole Ford SEM program. I have a flat spend allocation. I have no idea what the click graph would look like, because they do not supply you with any reporting tools. Also they do not tell you what words you are paying for or how much you would be paying for them. Thanks for bringing up key PPC practices to look for. At this point, there is no accountability for any cost involved.
I am the in-house person who needs to learn and understand PPC but if I cannot have access or input to keywords, the learning curve has just hit a wall. BTW, Ford co-ops the SEM and that was the determining factor to using their service.
Interesting Bill, for a larger agency in the past I've provided all my Ford dealers with the 'Approved' kw list and a screenshot of an ad running as was part of co-op submission as general practice.
Personally I dont think providing transparency gives away any 'secret sauce', it is the service that you are paying for.
Keith, I've tried everything.
We spend just under a million a year for the Eagle Group. The best plays are consistency and a 90 day plan that you revisit on a monthly basis--with earthquakes, stop sales and additional inventory driving your adjustments.
Google allows you to set a daily spend, but my efforts to change campaigns on a daily basis didn't make a difference bc it took to long to respond. However, you can move money between campaigns on a month-to-month basis and see a difference. Example: 50-50 new/used allocation to 30-70 new/used allocation.
Anything I've done that tries to time pay days, holiday weekends, or end of month just doesn't play in the world the Google created.
That's my 2 cents! :)
Thanks Jim! That's very interesting. What that means to me is that there is something not clear about the way that clicks lead to sales. I made a list of the variables I can see for ad conversion to a click:
text ad title
the offer present in the ad
current market draw of the make/model in the ad in the target geo
program of effective adwords
competition for the adwords
ad budget and allocation
Outer variables would be:
typical make/model cycles
national OEM periodic marketing "cover fire"
national opposing OEM conquest efforts
national traditional media cycles and endorsements
For the conversion/landing pages, I listed success factors of click-to-contact:
compelling, ad-amplifying content (header matches text ad)
any inventory presented is same make/model, diff trim/color
phone number is prominent and trackable
email is prominent and trackable
form is available and trackable
chat is available, trackable, and effective
And what did I miss?
Keith, that's a great list.
In a previous role I worked with a team of Rice MBA's in an effort to determine the best predictor of car sales. We ran every leading economic factor, stock prices and many things you listed into a 20 year history of sales. So some of this was even before Al Gore invented the internet. :)
The strongest predictor didn't involve incentive dollars, inventory levels or even advertising. For what it's worth housing starts turned out to be the leading predictor in the research we did.