4 Things I Overheard At Digital Dealer 20Jan 22, 2016
I took a quick trip to Orlando, Florida this week for Digital Dealer 20. It was my first auto industry-focused show, so I made sure to pay attention. And the #1 way to pay attention is to eavesdrop...so here are 4 things I overheard:
From an E-Commerce Director to one of our booth staff: “My GM likes [insert your favorite third-party site]. I don’t. What ammo can I give him to show him that the money I’m spending there is getting wasted?”
I heard this from more than one dealer...is it just me, or are dealers increasingly questioning investing in third-party sites who leverage a dealer’s inventory to build their own business, versus sending traffic to the dealer’s site? This particular E-Commerce Director was trying to evaluate whether the 11 engagements his dealership received from a third party site in December was worthwhile. “My GM doesn’t want to get off the train,” he said, “Suppose we stop paying them and our sales go down...then what? But from what I can tell, [the third party site] has no impact on sales anyway.”
Here’s what I took away: GMs and E-Commerce managers/directors alike are wrestling with how to smartly allocate their marketing dollars to capture as many shoppers as possible during crucial online buying moments. Dealers are using a wide net of tactics to do this, and they need a better way of connecting the dots between a marketing investment and results, at the individual VIN level. I am going to help them do that or die trying.
From a GM to a LotLinx sales rep: “It makes so much more sense to pay a vendor to drive traffic to our web site, not their web site. Why haven’t we realized this sooner?"
This is just more evidence of the trend that dealers are focused on sending traffic to their own sites.
From one dealer to another during the “Tech Tank” lunch: “I guess this is the sales pitch part of the show.”
Sales pitches were a no-no at Digital Dealer, which is as it should be. Outside of every meeting room, there was a large sign that read: “If you think you’re getting a sales pitch, call us!” But Digital Dealer did give emerging vendors a clever platform for getting up and giving 3-minute sales pitches to a “Tech Tank” (think Shark Tank - they even used the intro music!) of industry smart guys in a crowded lunchroom. The products pitched were pretty cool - they ranged from new digital dashboards to digital showrooms to integrated chats and click-to-calls for dealers - and I enjoyed watching the audience vote on the winners. Very fun forum!
From a tweet marked #DD20 (this wasn’t eavesdropping, it was eaves-tweeting): “Myth 1: more vdp's =more sales...BUSTED! Quality trumps quantity with VDP views. Not all eyeballs are equal. @subi101 #DD20”
Yes! More people are spreading the word! Quality AND quantity are always the best combination, and dealers need to get a handle on measuring both. For example, did someone come to the VDP and leave within a few seconds, or did they take the time to scroll down, look at the pictures, and watch any videos? Both are counted the same by Google Analytics as a “bounce,” so dealers need to add Event Tracking to their GA dashboards in order to better measure the quality of their VDP views. Our Founder - Len Short - told the dealers in his speaking session that LotLinx would set up Event Tracking for free on their GA dashboards, so contact us anytime and we’ll make good on his promise.
In Len’s words: “No sales pitch, I guarantee it. Our mission is to give POWER to the Dealer and we mean it.”