Reducing Your AdWords Cost per VDP View

Dealers are spending more money each year on Google AdWords campaigns. AdWords can be a very effective way to connect dealers with in-market shoppers.  With budgets increasing, I want to encourage dealers to demand more transparent reporting from their AdWords management agencies.

Google Adwords Campaign Report

In particular, I would like dealers to request that each AdWords campaign to have additional metrics documented so that some specific campaigns can be better optimized.  In the example below, adding three columns to standard AdWords reports can be very helpful in campaign optimization for online advertising strategies that are designed to connect consumers with in-stock cars.


Not all campaigns are designed to drive consumers to look at in-stock vehicles. However, campaigns like a dynamic inventory campaign based on in-stock VINs, should be driving a high percentage of clicks to Vehicle Detail Pages (VDP). The data shown above is from actual dealer campaigns that I recently audited.

“I’ve NEVER Had a Computer”

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sam sommers

“I’ve never had a computer.” The paradigm shift from next door.

Last night, I was at a buddy’s house and his 21-year old next door neighbor came over and he was showing me his newest phone, the Samsung Galaxy S5 Active (it’s sick.)

Anyway, at some point, I moved away from smartphones and asked him – “what operating system (Windows or Apple) he used on his laptop or desktop?

“Neither,” he replied.

“Linux?” I said.

“No, I mean I don’t have a computer.

“What happened to the old one?” I asked.

“I’ve never had a computer,” he replied…. keep reading and comment

Why Mobile-only Shoppers are Changing Car Sales

If you had to guess, how big would you say your dealership’s showroom is?

25 percent consumers mobile only

Somewhere in the neighborhood of 15,000 or 18,000 square feet, maybe bigger? The front façade is probably in tip-top shape, the last of the 2014s are glistening, perfectly detailed and merchandised online. And I bet it’s full of amenities – lounge areas, a coffee bar, flat-screen TVs, WiFi –  all of which help your customers feel at home when they come visit. But that’s not entirely accurate.

The truth is that for one out of every four of your customers, your dealership is far smaller. In fact, it lives on a screen that’s only about five inches wide – a smartphone. I sure hope the espresso maker fits.

Understanding Mobile-Only Shoppers

Earlier this year, we commissioned a study with the research firm Placed Inc. to better understand how car shoppers use their mobile devices during the shopping process, and to learn how mobile affects consumer decisions on dealership lots. What we found is that an astounding 25% of consumers used only a smartphone to do automotive research before visiting a dealership.

Now that’s a radical concept…

A Fresh Look at Segmentation and the Consequences to Dealer Marketing

Although most dealers don’t perform formal market segmentation analysis, the vast majority understand and use some form of segmentation.

Consumer Marketing Segmentation

While there is value in a more formal practice, changes in consumer behavior are causing us to take a fresh look at the broader subject and rethink our approach to segmentation. Regardless of the dealership’s desire, or even tolerance for formal marketing practice, this new wave of change merits understanding. It brings opportunity and consequences to dealership website design and other communication challenges.

The formal study of market segmentation has been around since the 1950s. However, there is evidence that the practice of segmentation was being executed in some areas even 200 years ago.

Over the past six decades, marketers have used cluster analysis (when the data is available) or segmentation trees to divide markets along the following criteria:

Keeping a Work-Life Balance – Michael Hyatt Shares 3 Vital Aspects of Balance

“Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance you must keep moving” - Albert Einstein

wilde e coyote life work balance

In the HBO series True Detective, in episode 3, Marty (Woody Harrelson) was having a slight break down where he explained that “he felt like Wile E. Coyote, running off a cliff, but kept running and running by the possibility that if he kept on running he might just be fine”.

Side Note: If you have NOT yet watched True Detective on HBO, you’re missing out on some of the best TV ever!

Of course, we all know Wile E. Coyote eventually looks down and gravity kicks in.

Accepting too many projects, failing to say ”no” to another when you should have, working long hours into the night, working past 10 pm for a delivery, speaking at too many events, thoughts of month-end sales quota. All they do is prevent a good night’s sleep.

And, that’s just work. Add responsibilities of a family with young children into the mix, house, pet – no time for hobbies. Where’s that jet-pak when you need it?

When Marty spoke of Wile E. Coyote, running off a cliff only to keep running and running, it resonated with me, as I many times feel the same way. If I keep running (keep doing what I do) and I don’t look down, things might be just fine. Heck, I may even make it to the other end where there’s land, allowing me to possibly slow down a bit. Problem: That rarely happens.