Mark Stringfellow, VP of Sales for Nextup, weighs in on the "attribution buzz" happening throughout the automotive industry...
You’ll see many of the big players like Cars.com, Autotrader, and many others continuing to tout this buzzword moving into the new year, for good reason. You will see attribution companies popping up and marketing agencies, trainer consultants, making this the main focus in our industry.
Let's just get the Wikipedia definition just to all get on the same page here (being on that page when it comes to attribution in our industry has sparked many a debate):
"In marketing, attribution is the identification of a set of user actions ("events" or "touchpoints") that contribute in some manner to a desired outcome, and then the assignment of a value to each of these events. Marketing attribution provides a level of understanding of what combination of events in what particular order influence individuals to engage in a desired behavior, typically referred to as a conversion."
The reason why, is more and more shoppers are spending 18 plus hours doing their research online to just show up at the dealership without ever making contact with the dealer through a lead form, phone call, or chat.
54% of shoppers will show up at the dealership without any contact prior to their arrival. (Google ThinkDealer stats 2017)
While attribution reporting will be very important to where you invest your advertising dollars but are you missing a key ingredient to the overall success of the dealership. Will attribution, like big data distract us from what’s happening on the showroom floor with those shoppers?
Will attribution really matter if you’re not tracking 100% of your showroom traffic? You can give credit to advertisers for vehicles sold but what about the traffic they delivered that our sales team didn’t do anything with. Ask yourself, what’s more important in 2018? Where they came from? What happened when they got here? Or both?
The way I see it is if you are not looking at what’s happening with shoppers when they arrive at your dealership then everything else is irrelevant. 2018 should be “Year of the Sales Floor”! The questions you should be asking should all pertain to the sales process, customer experience, and accountability. We are spending too much time analyzing one cog in a larger machine.
If we know that more then half of our traffic is just showing up, what accountability to do we in place to track it to ensure every customer is being greeted by a sales professional, introduced by a manager, given a test drive, received a proposal, and logged properly in the CRM?
The "loop of attribution" won't close until your sales floor does.