Professional Community for Automotive Marketers, Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
Those who know me would likely agree that I am a massive data junkie. Don't believe me? My twitter profile even says it so it must be true! I'm not exactly sure when or how my enjoyment for analyzing data came into play, but needless to say; I thrive on actionable data.
For me, actionable data reaches further than simply meaning intelligence that you can take action on; it's data that's easy to comprehend and draw conclusions from. Often I see providers who puff themselves up with the data they provide neglecting the true reason for it, which is to help the end user gain profitability.
To that end, I'd like to share two reasons why I like data and what it can be used for to increase the success of your digital marketing efforts.
1.) Data doesn't lie
Data tells the truth, the full truth, and nothing but the truth. This means that businesses should never have to make business decisions on what they think may be happening in the marketplace or by heresy. With the data, you can actually see what's happening and make decisions based on what is observed.
In the digital world, the importance of knowing the market is crucial to success. Where you think people are going to search for vehicles, may not actually be where they're going. With data, you are able to decipher the truth and get a clear birds-eye-view of how consumers are behaving online. Be prepared for the outcome of your findings though. It may just be that online vehicle shoppers are actually visiting sites on the opposite end of the spectrum from where you thought they were, which means you've been dumping your ad dollars in the wrong place.
Doing business requires great strategy. You as the chief strategist should acquire as much intelligence (data) as possible, make decisions, and take actions to see the strategy through.
2.) Everything is measurable
When I worked in automotive traditional advertising, the common frustration that dealers had with the medium was just how many tactics they had to employee in order to get reasonable metrics. At the end of the day, it was somewhat difficult for them to measure the effectiveness of their advertising without really asking every person how they heard about the sale, dealership etc. Even then, due to the great branding debacle, answers from the consumer were skewed. "Hey, it's an automotive magazine, it must be the AutoTrader" and so on.
Even with call tracking enabled for the ad, you were still left to rely on the phone calls coming in for the metrics to be captured, and what happens if the phone doesn't ring?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that with proper strategy traditional advertising can't be extremely effective, I'm merely suggesting that the ease by which digital marketing can produce data is a wonderful and convenient thing.
With the Internet, everything is measurable. How many visitors your site gets, how many are returning visitors vs. new, how long people are hanging out on your site, what they're looking at, how long they looked at it, where they were referred from, what keywords led them to your site - on and on the list goes. I love it!
The Internet arms you with a slew of resources that provide actionable insight into how to get your dealership dialled in. From what the data tells, you can make decisions that will attract, engage, and convert more qualified vehicle shoppers, and that's exactly the position you ought to be in.
Data allows you to get creative with your digital marketing. For instance, if through the analytics you find that a particular VDP on your site draws in a ton of traffic, engages your visitors and has good conversion rates; this provides insight into the popularity of that VDP. From there, many conclusions can be made and you can get creative with promotions, landing pages, micro-sites and more all surrounding what you learn about how visitors are interacting with a particular page. This is just one example of many!
If you don't have access to data (at the very least, Google Analytics), GET IT! You need the data to advance and conquer.
Are you using data for your business? What are your favourite/most helpful metrics?