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Google's AdWords Digital Marketing tool is quite possibly the single most powerul tactical means of self-generating leads, phone calls and floor traffic for a car dealership that has ever been created... I know, because I have used it for years to generate lead volumes at the thousands per month level!

My question for this forum is based on what the key indicators are that a dealership is ready to self-administer their own Google AdWords based keyword, Site Placement, Radio, Newspaper and TV campaigns?

Tags: AdWords, Google, consulting, dealer, dealership, seminar, training, workshop

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Shame on you for asking your students to share with the teacher! YOU FIRST!!! We all know that you already have the answers to the test.
I second that!
I think the crickets are chirping here because it's rare to find key indicators that a dealership is ready to administer their own Google AdWords. It's not like Google AdWords is brain surgery, but in my experience, I've only found one such dealer that I trained as a do-it-yourselfer. They have experienced exactly what excites Ralph on this topic which is... excellent results, great ROI and a visibility that they had previously only dreamed of. They "key" here was the dedicated, progressive, accountable and perhaps most important, "capable" person to own it.
I highly value and respect what Shaun Raines has observed... He has correctly pointed to the key ingredient being the right dealership employee assigned to the day to day management of the dealership's AdWords account... That person must be properly supported with access to training, consulting support, relevant and current marketing data, such as all new OEM incentives, dealer cash programs, invoice costs, average gross margins by model line, current and in-transit inventory levels, all updated bank rate data sheets, lease and rate guides, desking sotware tools, DMS report creation and administration access... And, did I mention that the person must be able to conceive and understand the chain of tasks and sequences which those tasks must be completed to put successul Google AdWords campaigns together? And then manage them on a daily basis, which is a lot more diicult to do today than it was 2 years ago! Despite all these challenges... I have seen General Managers such as Chris Guerrero at San Tan ford in Gilbert, AZ; Darin Wade at Rich ford in Albuquerque, NM, Manny Souza at Anderson Honda in Palo Alto, Paul Scarzinsky at Crest LM in Birmingham, MI, Grag Newby at Newby GMC in St. George, UT, Chris Carlson at Scott Robinson Honda in Torrance, CA and many others I have personally seen take what I taught them about Google AdWords and absultely rip their local markets wide open by getting highly creative, applying their car guiy savvy to what they see the system is capable of and then developing tactics that I had never previously thought of. I have seen Manny Souza build entire campaigns around popular keywords that nobody was bidding on and then link the ads to microsites about that speciic subject matter as indicated by the key words! Now, as many know I did a lot of that at Courtesy over a 2+ year period, but while I focused on speciic models, I have seen Manny exploit car buyer's searching for towing capacity to get them interested in a Honda Ridgeline!

By the way, getting this done can't be all THAT easy because Rich Lucy at Courtesy Chevrolet hacked into my personal Google AdWords account using an AdSense password I gave him to get into another account. He then changed passwords, deleted my access and locked me out! He Then had access to 3 years of detailed campaign data and results metrics for over 100,000 keyword strings, and the results of over $500,000 in ad spend during that time period... And then, he did nothing with all that treasure trove of historical Phoenix market area data...
In my experience it's not typically something that can be adopted successfully by anyone who isn't a native to either Internet marketing or SEO. Of course, "success" is a relative term here... a poorly managed PPC campaign still beats the crap out of any print ad in most regions.

I'm still torn between the idea of every dealership having an "Internet guru kid". They're quickly becoming easy to find, cheap to employ, and pretty valuable as long as you can keep them in check. Any dealer with someone like that on-staff can eventually run AdWords in-house, but should it really be a Consultant's official stance to say every dealer should have one of these employees?

I just answered Ralph's question with a question... how helpful of me.

I have to agree with your point Mitch, we're always getting cold calls from automotive magazines and various trade mags pitching ad spaces on their publications. It's very costly and we haven't had much luck from it.

The benefit of Adwords is that you can really cherry pick high quality search queries which are what the industry calls "buying" or "high converting" keywords.

I prefer the consultancy route as opposed to the inhouse route though, I've attempted Adwords a couple of times and did not have much success. We'd always spend a lot of money and all sorts of traffic with little results. Because we're an industrial/automotive computer supplier we tend to get a lot of consumers clicking on our ads looking for end user tablet PCs. After hiring a consultant he was able to get our ads only displaying to the automotive market with precise keyword selection, his website is here. Certainly if you have time to learn Adwords you're better off doing this in house. However outsourcing was best for us.

Here is the bottom line! If they are willing to bring someone in-house to manage the PPC as their first priority, then I say that is the time. If PPC is going to be a persons second or third priority, then they are setting themselves up for problems. Simple as that!

Yes, bring in an expert to do it, no ifs, no buts. Getting an amateur to do the job is asking for trouble. Especially when they're managing fairly large budgets, even a relatively small adwords budget like 3K a month - it's best to have a professional manager do it.

Though you'd need to have a very large campaign if you were to hire in someone to do it inhouse. SMEs generally only require 20-30 hours a month in management. Not enough to warrant hiring someone full time.

My experience has been that it's pretty difficult to find and recruit a sole PPC manager to do this kind of job. There are few people skilled in this area, staff turnover for these web related jobs are pretty high too. Even for a large firm we always had staffing issues where web marketing personal with jump from one firm to another. Skills are in high demand, supply is limited. Staff always get poached.


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