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9 Million Reasons Why VDP Views Are The Metric That Matters

Shaun Kehrberg by Shaun Kehrberg, Product Marketing Manager, Digital Advertising

VDP Views Decrease Inventory Time On Lot

Just 12+ more VIN views could mean 44% LESS time on your lot


The verdict is in: if they view the highlights, you’ll view the taillights. In other words, the more car shoppers engage with your Vehicle Details Pages (VDPs), the quicker your cars will move off your lot--- and that’s a fact.

Based on an eight month study of 9 million VDP's, 125 million website visits, and 250 million online actions, our automotive consumer research conclusively shows that:

  • VDP views and time spent on VDP's are 2 of the top 4 online sales predictors

  • VDP’s with 20-30 pageviews spend 29% less time on the lot

  • VDP’s with more than 30 pageviews spend 44% less time on the lot

So how do you best position your automotive digital marketing strategy to be a VIN factory? We’ll address just that in an all-new Cobalt series: The Down & Dirty on Dynamic Inventory Merchandising. In this series, we’ll tell you how to harness the power of multichannel marketing to turn your dealer website into a VDP hot spot.

Stay tuned for Part 1, when we look at the impact of Dynamic Inventory Merchandising in your dealership's retargeting ads.

Source: Cobalt Business Intelligence VDP Study, 2012

About the Author
Shaun Kehrberg Shaun Kehrberg is the Product Marketing Manager, Digital Advertising at Cobalt. He is focused on helping dealers understand the power of today’s advertising technology and the collective value of the Cobalt digital marketing experience. Shaun can be reached at 206.219.8203 or

Views: 1935

Tags: VDP Views, dynamic inventory ads, dynamic inventory merchandising, vehicle detail pages


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Comment by Tom Gorham on March 13, 2013 at 8:03pm

Chris, thank you for responding to my earlier comments.  I have heard of some of the changes you are speaking of and I am anxious to see them.

Comment by Chris Reed on March 13, 2013 at 9:13am

Responding to Tom Gorham's post on the different objectives of manufacturer and dealer advertising...

Tom - We agree.  The way we think about the question at Cobalt is through the eyes of the consumer.  Every consumer should care both about the characteristics of the vehicle they buy as well as the purchase and ownership experience offered by the dealer.  Dealers should see aligning messaging with their manufacturer, and proactively merchandising their VINs through advertising, as a foundation of their marketing execution... it is necessary but not sufficient.

This will maximize your success in connecting the 40-60% of shoppers who are brand-focused in their buying process with your store and your inventory.  But our research shows that consumers can be shopping many stores before contacting you.  You need to be proactive in communicating through advertising, web content and reputation management why their shopping and ownership experience will be superior if they contact you.  Since you are piggybacking on OEM spend for the brand aligned shopper you can spend a majority of your total marketing budget on building your brand and communicating your "why me" message to drive consumer preference and justify a fair price for your superior experience.

The great news for Cobalt customers is that we have recently announced advertising solutions that exploit the dynamically optimized multi-channel advertising platform we developed for OEM-aligned advertising for your dealership's branding needs, with messaging and mix entirely under the dealer's control.  We can provide you the industry's most advanced advertising for both OEM-brand alignment as dealer brand development and differentiation, insuring the efforts complement each other.  

With regard to your comment on creating holistic view of consumer behavior, that is the primary mission of our 70 person strong data science team.  Our objective is to understand the entire online consumer journey across OEM, 3rd party and dealer sites to identify consumer "personae" and optimize those total experiences for maximum marketing ROI.  We are working hard to make these insight visible through our reporting platform but it is ground-breaking work and not a small effort.

Getting back to the theme of Brian's talk - focusing that collective spend on optimizing VDP views at all stages of the buying process will then give you the highest impact on sales.

Comment by Thomas Reidy on March 13, 2013 at 7:21am

Not only was this an eye opener on VDPs--it is a CTA to optimize video marketing. I took a ton of notes!

Comment by Brian Pasch on March 13, 2013 at 3:54am


The focus on VDP views is common sense and yet not commonly applied into business strategy.  In the webinar I show how this information can be turned into a tool to measure the effectiveness of your marketing strategies.  Also, the dealership website vendors are just coming to market with proactive tools to alert dealers when cars have a low "trend" in VDP views over time.  So, common sense and business tools have been far apart. 

Comment by Ralph Paglia on March 12, 2013 at 10:16pm

The concept around dealer website visitor tracking and performance metrics that indicate Vehicle Detail Page (VDP) views can be correlated with a dealer's sales volume is actually well established and for some of us... Old news.

For over five years the auto industry has seen multiple sources of data identify visits to a dealer's website "Vehicle Detail Page" (VDP) as being among the most significant website activities by car buyers which correlates to the sale of a new or used vehicle...But, did you know there is actually a page which Ford's internal "Monetization Study" determined to be of higher value than the VDP? Go ahead and let me know if you know that this page type is... I have mentioned it in numerous other posts and comments.

It has taken awhile for this data to sink into our collective consciousness, but it seems to have finally made it to a "top of mind" status among automotive digital marketers.  The 90 minute webinar facilitated by Brian Pasch of PCG Digital Marketing on this very same topic focuses on ways dealers can drive more traffic to their VDP's, and as a result, sell more cars.

Comment by Mathew Koenig on March 12, 2013 at 7:32pm

Great information here but in its simplest form, it seems like common sense right? (which is why it's great information btw)

It would seem like common sense that the cars that get the most attention would sell faster. More attention is usually given because it's a more desirable vehicle for whatever reason.

To make sure your vehicles get more buy vehicles that are more desirable in your market, price them appropriately, make sure they're in the places where the most consumers are shopping.

I love the data, I truly do, but this hasn't changed since the days before we had the internet. Before the internet, we would say "the cars that get the most phone ups and the most test drives sell faster". Today, the views aren't taking place on the physical lot, they're on the virtual lot. The concept is the same - the mechanism for the action is just more efficient and better tracked IMHO.

Thanks for sharing, your hard work and information are appreciated.

Comment by aaron kominsky on March 12, 2013 at 7:05pm

Brian, todays webinar was off the charts, so many wonderful new and exciting aspects of the digital era you introduced in the market  I learned so much and I plan on watching the video many times over learning something new each time. I think VDP is a major player and dealers need to adapt to this huge element in sales I also believe that it will enhance the customer experience too as you know I am so tuned in to that aspect of the business Once again Great Job and thank you very much for once again sharing your expertise with us . You Rock my friend!

Comment by Brian Pasch on March 12, 2013 at 6:33pm


Thank you for attending.  I decided to also load the webinar on YouTube for all ADM members that could not attend today's webinar:


ADM members who also want the PowerPoint slides can send me an email:

Comment by Greg Wells on March 12, 2013 at 6:26pm

Thanks for sharing Shaun, great information and a validation.

Reveals a different issue though! Even at 76 average days that's too long for a car to be on the lot. were these used cars, new cars or both?

Comment by Tom Gorham on March 12, 2013 at 5:51pm

Brian, I attended your webinar today about becoming a VDP Factory.  Great job!  You were awesome! I agree completely with the importance of VDP vs Click-Through Rate.  Thank you for sending the webinar as video to me so quickly afterwards so I can share with our people. 

To Cobalt, I want to say you are doing some great research and I see some of the same coming from AutoTrader.  Research can be so useful in determining marketing goals.  But as a dealer, you always have to differentiate your marketing goals from those of the manufacturer.  They are both valid and in many ways, serve each other, but are also self-serving.  That's not a criticsm, but a logical observation.

My assertion is that manufacturer advertising sells the product.  That helps dealers.  Dealer advertising should sell the dealership.  If the dealer then sells cars, that helps the manufacturer.  Does that make sense?

But the two different approaches are not the same.  So I wonder, how does the wonderful data research being reported help each party individually as well as collectively?  That will help tremendously in planning our marketing strategy.

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