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Most dealerships still make their ad buying decisions based on a traditional ROI report... The problem is, these traditional reports are little more than smoke and mirrors.
An ROI report assumes that there is a precise and (importantly) exclusive connection between a lead and a deal. Which is ALWAYS true, except in the overwhelming majority of cases. Why then do most dealerships determine which lead provider brought them a sale when it’s reported through a broken system? With so many factors diluting the report it can be difficult for many dealerships to pinpoint the exact source. This makes it nearly impossible to better their future lead generation, and most importantly, where the money should be spent.
Most customers submit multiple leads through different sources before they buy, and that collection of leads influences their buying decision.
Let’s start with an example. Jeff submits a request through a lead provider, then comes into the dealership, and takes a test drive. Jeff waits a week, calls in and asks about another vehicle on the lot. Jeff then submits another lead through another lead provider, and comes back and purchases. While Jeff may be indecisive, that’s not the issue. What is, is what lead provider should get credit for that lead and most importantly how to pinpoint the source in the first place.
With that said, every deal WILL get an ad source posted for it. However, that creates a false narrative and begins to drive ad funds toward lead providers of which may be falsely recognized by skewed results.
Analytical reporting through a dealership’s CRM, the “Ad Source ROI Report”, is the most common function to determine which lead provider resulted in lead generation. But with all the diluted information inside these reports, they need to be reconfigured to better function properly. ROI reporting working in tandem with the CRM analytics can have the ability to provide a separation between what is determined a TRUE lead source and an UNKNOWN source.
Such technology, as with CRMSuite’s Lead Influence Module, shows the true and proven lead source independently from the entire grouping.
For instance, if the reporting shows 30% true sourcing separate from the remaining and diluted 70%, a stronger ad source targeting campaign becomes available to the dealership. This is done also by targeting the previous 3 months rather than the standard 1 month. Doing so provides the dealership the ability to identify TRENDS & INFLUENCES rather than the randomness that is attributed with looking at only 30 day reporting.
Another large cause to the true unknown ad source, is employee based.
This creates a conflict of interest with the results, to better benefit the department associated with the ad source. Remembering Jeff from above, if he walks in on Monday and then submits a separate lead on Friday, a traditional CRM report can be altered to better suit the internet department, even if he was a “walk-in" to begin with. Basically, a traditional CRM ad source report gives the power to employees, who by nature will be bias towards themselves and their department.
For all the reasons and so many more, it is greatly important to know how the lead was influenced and who/what influenced them.
Basically, if you have an ad source that is the first lead on exactly ZERO deals, but the second lead on 50 deals, is that ad source useless? Surely not. They were an influencer. Maybe even a closer. So if customers buy based on the total influence of a collection of leads (and they do), dealerships should be investing in INFLUENCE (and they don't). You need an introduction. So the first lead "in" on a customer matters. But most people don't get married on their first date.