Is your Marketing Wasted? Part 1

Are you and your employees unknowingly sabotaging your marketing efforts? It was once said that “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don't know which half.” This was said well before the digital age where we have tools such as website analytics, tracking URLs, call tracking, customer relationship management systems and even ways to track consumer activity from their cell phones and social media! The big question is, are you wasting these resources? Or worse yet, making things worse by tainting your own data?

There are many things to cover that encompass when a consumer first comes in contact with you, but I will focus on tracking phone leads and how they often originate from internet focused efforts. Since every situation and dealership is slightly different, it can be difficult to blindly state “this is definitely what you need to do”. In lieu of that, let’s simply question how you are currently doing things. From there, your opportunity for change should rise to the top.

Do you use call tracking tools for your inbound calls? Do you use different numbers for different campaigns so that you know precisely what is driving those calls? If you are using the same number for your website that you are using for third party sites, how do you know which element enticed the consumer to pick up that phone? Are you sending photos out with your dealership name and phone number overlaying the bottom of each photo? Are these photos being used for multiple marketing efforts?

Furthermore, have you ever really dug into your call tracking reports or listened to the calls only to realize that a percentage of the “repeat, quality calls” are actually friends and family of your employees calling them throughout the day? To top it off, you are starting to realize that you don’t know what you are really getting from your website because everyone uses it as a phone book to reach you. Have you ever thought of enforcing within the dealership that any personal calls come in on an untracked or simply a separate line? That would surely clean things up! The phone book companies have survived for years while leaning on the unknowns. Everyone that needs to call you has to find your phone number SOMEWHERE… take control over the unknowns.

These are all definitely some questions to ponder and this leads me to summarize things with these recommendations:

  • Do everything possible to separate the data around lead calls from non-sales related calls (employee or other business related calls)
  • When tracking, differentiate! Make sure you know what numbers are showing where, so that your data truly gives you the detail you need.
  • Implement separate call tracking for different departments. Many consumers will merely call the first number they find but any opportunity to filter your data should be taken.