Professional Community for Car Dealers, Marketing, Advertising and Sales Leaders
It's very easy to get caught up in the big picture.
We're always told to look at the big picture. It's usually more easily accessible, particularly for car dealer personnel who have a thousand things they must get done every month. One could even make an argument that driving your business from a big picture perspective is what helped successful people like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk make their companies so great.
There's a problem with big picture thinking. It usually leaves very little room for digging into the details. This is one of the reasons that so many vendors in the automotive industry have asked their clients to adopt a big picture mentality when judging their products and services.
I'd like to make a case that big picture thinking is fine for an overview but that diving deeper into the numbers is necessary to find true success in our industry. Dealers who understand the numbers that drive their business are better prepared to make smarter advertising and marketing decisions.
Today, dealers are often shown big numbers that pertain to their advertising campaigns like impressions, reach, and market coverage. There's nothing wrong with looking at these numbers, but it can be simplified by making it more complex. Contradiction? Let me explain.
Part of what I do as "The Web Doc" for television stations around the country is to analyze the effects of advertising practices and the venues that drive them. As a result, I'm forced to look deeper into the numbers to help others make intelligent decisions. Applying this to the car business means that I focus on three numbers in particular: traffic, leads, and sales. That's it.
Traffic doesn't have to be isolated to website traffic. For example, I understand that dealers aren't always happy with companies like AutoTrader and Cars.com who promote the exposure of vehicles as the primary benefit they give to dealers. It's hard to quantify leads and sales from these third party sites, but we can make assumptions based upon the traffic they receive. People don't simply browse these sites in hopes of having fun. To quote Alec Baldwin's character in Glengarry Glen Ross: "A guy don't walk on the lot lest he wants to buy."
This is why we love companies like String Automotive and their Dealer Positioning System and PCG Digital with their ROI-Bot. They look at the numbers and help dealers make intelligent decisions about what they're doing with their overall advertising. Just as we do with our email dashboard, these companies take a look at the driving forces behind the numbers so that it can all come together as actionable data. This is what I mean when I say that making it more complex can make it simpler. By looking at the details within the data in a way that gives business intelligence to the dealer, the mess of trying to determine if impressions or reach have a positive effect can be reduced down to easy decision-guiding information.
I don't sell AutoTrader, DPS, or ROI-Bot, but I have no problem identifying the systems that work. It's the same thing that guides our CRM Gold product and it's the difference that can help dealers keep a big picture perspective while getting more analytical along the way.