Do you know exactly what your online providers call a conversion? What they call a lead? If you cannot definitively answer that question it might be time to have a chat with them. Although there seems to be endless oversight in the automotive industry, there is no industry standard for what we call a lead or a conversion.
Most people would agree that a form completion, email, text, chat or clicks-to-call all represent a lead as a consumer is engaging directly with your business. Sounds fair.
Unfortunately, some take it a step further. Over the past year we have seen more and more dealers boast about leads, conversions and cost per acquisition only to have no sales at the end of the customer journey (I don’t like funnels) to match the increased online performance. So why is that? What we see are some providers calling anything a conversion or a lead. Like what you ask? How about clicking through from a SRP to a VDP – is that a lead? What about VDP views or time spent on VDP? One dealer was even lead to believe by a provider that YouTube video impressions/views were a lead! $0.11/conversion sounds great, but do you consider that a lead?
Now I want to be clear, all of the above mentioned actions are definitely important to measure. We track them and call them significant actions, other people will break it down into Micro and Macro conversions. The point I want to make is you need to have a clear understanding of what your provider labels a lead, a conversion and a significant action and here is why: if you don’t understand or have complete transparency in your reporting you will focus on the wrong aspects of your business.
If your reporting tells you that online leads are raining in (like points from McDavid) but sales are not, you might focus on lead handling, sales process or something else when in fact the real issue is with leads and conversions. So have the conversation with your partner and make sure the definitions are clear.
Couple warning signs to look out for:
- If your partner will not give you access to Google Analytics, you should be concerned.
- If your partner will not use Google Analytics, you should be concerned.
- If your partner will not sit down with you monthly and review the reporting that they send you, should be concerned
- If your partner will not show you the back end of Google AdWords or Facebook and show you how your money is being spent, you should absolutely be concerned.
For more information about leads vs significant actions, don’t hesitate to give our team a shout.