Automotive Marketing Professional Community for Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
Now that the dust has settled from two Florida automotive conference (DMSC and NADA), I wanted to circle back with ADM readers on a theme that developed at the 2013 Digital Marketing Strategies Conference (DMSC). The theme was "Dealers need to become VDP factories!"
Research presented from Cobalt and Autotrader at DMSC independantly confirmed that the highest correlation to dealership car sales trends, was the number of Vehicle Detail Page (VDP) views on their inventory.
Cobalt's research was based on VDP views on the dealership website and Autotrader's research was based on the combination of VDP views on Autotrader.com, KBB.com, and the dealership's website. The higher the number of VDP views that a vehicle received, the greater chance it would be sold.
This research is important in many ways. First, only 30-35% of online shoppers will submit a lead or call the dealership prior to walking in the showroom. Secondly, dealers receive thousands visitors to their websites each month, but less than 10% will call or submit a lead in any given month. Lastly, vehicles that are getting low VDP views over time, can be identified and merchandised BEFORE they have to go to wholesale.
With this in mind, dealers need to examine their marketing budgets to determine which investments are producing the most VDP views. This includes offsite (Autotrader.com, Cars.com, KBB.Com, Craigslist) and onsite activity (their website) of the inventory pages. Dealers need to start to drill down in their inventory analytics to see what is working and what is NOT working.
Since over 60% of car sales are NOT linked to a phone call and lead form, VDP Views is your way to track your engagement with stealth car shoppers!
Using Cost Per VDP charting and looking at which marketing investments are generating the most VDP views is a good place to start. (Sample report mockup shown above from ROI-BOT software). One additional benefit to looking at the dealership as a "VDP Factory" is that old misconceptions will be challenged
"Paid Search Is Expensive!" I hear this all the time. However, if you look at paid search, display, and retargeting as a means to turn your dealership into a "VDP Factory", you will find that it is very cost effective.
Case in point. A dealership wanted to cancel their paid search campaigns. So, I calculated their cost per VDP view from paid search campaigns designed to sell cars, not including service campaigns.
Then I took their budget for radio, TV, print, direct mail, billboards, etc. and calculated the Cost per VDP that these investments generated.
Paid Search, was one-third the cost of traditional media to generate a single VDP view.
I would love to invite you to join me for a webinar discussing how to measure the ROI of your marketing investments to generate VDP views. I would also like to show you how to setup Google Analytics to easily track VDP Views. You will not want to miss the conversation and the research why looking at VDP views is a new metric that should be part of your monthly marketing meetings.
The data of the webinar is March 12, 2013 from 1:00 - 2:30 pm EST. You can register for the webinar by clicking on this link: ADM VDP Factory Webinar. If you have any questions, drop me a line or ask your question here.
I look forward to the collaboration that will occur on March 12th!
Brian Pasch, CEO
PCG Consulting Inc.