As I write this article January is almost over.  Dealers have set sales goals for 2015 and are executing on their sales and marketing plans. If you ask an automotive dealer if they will hit their year-end goals today, they will most likely answer yes. They know their business and the economy still looks strong.

But….. if you ask the same auto dealer if their online marketing investments are optimized to provide the best Return on Investment (ROI), most will admit that they are not sure.

This is because every one of their vendors are telling them a different story on what is important for their success in 2015.

  • One vendor will tell a dealer it is visits to the “Hours & Directions” page.
  • Another will tell them to keep their lead costs under $15.
  • Another will tell the dealer that Vehicle Detail Page (VDP) views are the most important Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for future sales.
  • Another will smile and say that social media advertising is the blockbuster strategy for 2015 that dealers are not leveraging.
  • Yet another company will convince a dealer that online marketing is too competitive and they should invest in more direct mail.

Who is the dealer supposed to believe? What are the new benchmarks?

In an attempt to answer this question, dealers must first see if their vendor(s) believe in data transparency. Will their vendors provide automated data feeds to your dealership so that you can analyze monthly reports in Excel or a dashboard like ROI-BOT? Vendors that don’t provide full transparency, of dealer owned data and marketing campaign data, should be asked:

What fears are preventing you to give me, your customer, full access to my campaign data?

Dealers should not put up with companies that will not give them full access to all their data. If it is not clear why this is important, give me a call. Dealers need data to make smarter decisions.

Once full data access is granted, dealers must ask each vendor partner which KPIs are the most important to determine success for their product or service. (The number should not be more than ten!)  Ask for clear, and inspectable KPIs is a very important step. Dealers must fully understand what they should be inspecting each month. Dealers must also understand why the vendor KPIs are important to their sales and profitability.

If the vendor’s explanation of their KPIs is weak, and if it does not feel right in your gut, keep asking questions. Dealers can not afford to spend thousands of dollars a month on marketing investments that they do not fully understand!

I Should Have Spoken Up


shutterstock_228125710I recently conducted a dealer education course and one of the attendees came up to me and said:

“For the past two years I have been fed information from marketing agencies that never seemed right. I was afraid to speak up because I didn’t want to look foolish. After you showed me the new automotive KPIs that I should be looking at, everything felt right. I will now speak my mind because I have wasted two years of my life looking at data that was not actionable.”

Could this describe you? Are you sure that you are looking at the right numbers, data trends, and reports that really make an impact on monthly sales and profits? What if you are not looking at the right data?

What Are The KPIs of Your Vendor Data?


One of the benefits of using the ROI-BOT™ dashboard is that your product support coaches educate your dealership on the KPIs that truly make a difference. We compile a CUSTOM set of KPIs for each dealership, across all their vendor partners, and automate the inspection of the KPIs with our Dealer Scorecard.

Inspecting all the dealership’s marketing metrics and reviewing the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) now takes less than one minute.

If you are taking more than 60 seconds to inspect ALL your marketing KPIs, then you should request a 10 minute demo of ROI-BOT™ today.  Once you see how our data dashboard organizes your vendor data and visualizes new opportunities, you will be hooked. It is the answer to a problem that dealers never realized they had.

Ready For The Next Step?

If you are already using ROI-BOT™, consider joining the top minds in the auto industry at the 2015 Digital Marketing Strategies Conference (DMSC) in the Napa Valley, April 12-14th.




Brian Pasch, CEO

PCG Consulting