Five Ways You’re Wasting Money in Your Digital Advertising and Administration

by Herm Brocksmith, President, PIN Business Network

The Digital Foot Print (the DFP) has overtaken the Traditional Foot Print (the TFP)!  Boom!  There it is…your online digital advertising presence is significantly more important today than your traditional media spend.  Yet, do you even understand all of the necessary elements to a successful DFP strategy or have an understanding of what all of the elements even do?  And, can you keep up with all of the rapid changes to each of the elements?

Let’s talk about things that actually raise your blood pressure for a moment.  Dealers spend a lot of money on advertising.  You’re constantly asking yourself, “Does all of this advertising work?”  You ask that question because the TFP advertising model doesn’t permit you to track results effectively.  Sure, you can ask every prospect that enters your showroom floor how they heard about you, but you have no idea if a sales person just clicked the “Drive By” source-box in your CRM, do you?   With technology constantly changing, gross profit margins eroding, expenses rising and continued rising personnel costs, it seems that you are constantly being Nickel, Dime, Quarter, Dollar’d (NDQD’d) to death, doesn’t it?

Now, let’s talk about things that should be raising your blood pressure.  Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media, Reputation Management, Retargeting, Landing Pages, Cost-Per-Click (CPC), Pre-Roll, Contextual, Key Words, Mobile, Desktop, Tablet…and the list goes on and on.  You may have a person at your dealership responsible for the above DFP categories or you may have multiple vendors performing services for you.  But, how do you know how effective your tactics and strategies are?  Are all your campaigns working effectively?  Do you know which tactics and strategies being effectively implemented?  Are all your messages coordinated across all platform categories?  Lots to know…and as an executive manager at your dealership, you must know it, understand it and hold people accountable to it.  Right?

We have identified Five Ways You’re Wasting Money in Your Digital Advertising and Administration.  Here they are below:

1) You Spend a Bunch of Money Buying Your Own Dealership Name with Your Keyword Spend. Fact of the matter is that you should only buy your dealership name for Mobile because of the small screen on most phones.  Yet, just about every SEM vendor buys your name and you show up with a paid-advertisement when you search for your dealership name.  Proper SEO will get you high ranking without buying your name.  Remember, that is organic search.  You will be on the first page below the ads.  Put the money to work elsewhere.

2) Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is Not Just About Low Cost-Per-Click (CPC). But, some vendors will have you think it is!  An effective SEM strategy certainly must have purchase metrics but it is important to be able to reach the people who are actually going to spend money in your dealership, right?

3) Your Dealership has Multiple Vendors Promoting Multiple Messages on Multiple Platforms with Zero Accountability. How does this happen?  We have our monthly marketing and advertising meeting.  We prepare the creative and get it out to our TFP vendors.  We create a web banner with our promotions on the home page of our website.  But, who informed the vendor for:  SEM, SEO, Retargeting, Social Media, your Enewsletter, Landing Pages, etc.  Get the picture?

4) You Use a Generic Shotgun Approach in Digital Advertising Instead of Highly Targeted Campaigns WITH Specific Landing Pages. The shotgun approach may have worked one day with your TFP advertising, but do you really know because there really was no science behind that big TV, print or radio spend.  With a well-coordinated DFP strategy, you can track each and every person who looked at an SEM ad, came to your landing page, Liked a social media post, wandered around your website looking at specific inventory, etc.  AND, yes, you can retarget these consumers, follow them around the internet and see what their buying habits are…but are you doing this?

5) You’ve Not Analyzed Your Customers’ DataDNA. Who are your customers?  What are their demographics?  How about their lifestyle?  Kids?  Gender?  Age?  What sites they went to after they visited your site?  By analyzing the DataDNA of your customers, you can find people with the same DataDNA and specifically target this new group of prospects.  Make sense?  Kind of scary, isn’t it?  This is the new reality of digital retailing.  This is your new reality.

About Herm Brocksmith:  Herm entered the retail automobile business in 1986 and has held every position in a new car dealership and used car dealership up to and including dealer principal. In January 2016, Herm joined PIN as the President. He can be reached at hbrocksmith@pinbusinessnetwork.com.