THE UK automotive industry will spend £1.94 billion on digital ads this year, and it is predicted to grow 8.1% to £2.10 billion in 2020, according to experts at eMarketer.
The billions spent will direct motorists to manufacturer, dealer and online classified websites, and a lead will be generated and sent to the appropriate dealer.
It is here a disconnect can occur, and marketing campaigns don’t get the feedback they need to target resources more effectively, and in turn, generate more enquiries.
Martin Hill, chief executive of Dealerweb, said: “There are cases of best practice across the industry, but too often, it is challenging to link advertising spend to vehicle sales and effectively measure a return on investment.
“The technology and data exist to take human error out of the process and create a direct circular loop that helps to direct resources where they are most efficient.”
Digital leads can be fed straight into a good lead response tool and in turn a lead management system to ensure the value is realised with every inquiry followed up.
Linking sales to ads
Greater transparency will be created through the use of data feeds. Sales can then be linked to ads, and the best dealers supported further.
Compliance will also be enhanced with data managed through the system automatically. Finance related information and FCA requirements can be tracked and reported on in real-time, and GDPR is supported with permissions gathered at the appropriate times.
Hill said: “Dealers will benefit from a closer and more transparent relationship with their manufacturer. High performance can be supported, and problem areas quickly addressed to increase sales across the network.
“The use of data and technology to create closer integration between manufacturer and dealer across the customer journey will also improve the experience for the car buyer.”
In a recent survey undertaken on behalf of Dealerweb, 30% of buyers said they expected a dealer to respond to an inquiry in under 15 minutes. To help retailers respond more effectively to this growing demand for swifter replies the company launched a “Click to Call” function in its React platform, which channels all digital leads into one location.
Hill added: “With over 30% of buyers saying they would prefer to receive a call from the dealer during traditional working hours, sales teams can now respond immediately to all inquiries at the click of a button from their desktop or mobile device.
The benefits of technology
“The technology offers numerous additional benefits to hone sales team performance, including integrated call recording and instant playback, as well as being able to analyse the lead response activity through automated tracking and reporting.”
Dealerweb React is unique in that it is the only system that provides a business with the option to respond via a fully HTML formatted email template or with a direct phone call to the customer all possible from either a mobile, desktop or laptop device.
Hill said: “We’ve made it easier to call the customer within the system, which helps ensure compliance procedures are supported, and the sales process is optimised.
“The launch is part of our ongoing product innovation programme where we are investing to help dealers and manufacturers meet the challenges of a fast-moving industry.”
Digital dominates the car buying process and Google argues a buyer will make over 900 digital interactions before making a purchase. Manufacturers and dealers know that the average research timeline for a new car purchase will span months.
Over that period hundreds of opportunities exist to support the customer’s decision, whether that be by mobile, email or in the dealership.
Hill said: “It is vital that the industry acts to bring manufacturers and dealers closer together to integrate data along the customer journey and better track outcomes.
“The use of sales data can be modelled by the dealer and manufacturer to identify and share best practice. It is increasingly essential to understand complex customer journeys and support the buyer at the right time and in the correct way.”