Tracking your new-car internet advertising performance
We’ve gotten great feedback on our site changes and enhancements to our franchise ad package so far (although more feedback, pro or con, is always appreciated). The new-car shopping experience on the site will continue to evolve through the rest of the year and into 2013, but in the meantime, we’re focusing on our reporting, particularly when it comes to the new vs. used shopping and selling experiences.
Before we get too far into this, everyone – do me a favor. If you work at a franchise dealership, open up your email and find your last email from [email protected]. If it’s not there in your Inbox, check your Spam folder. I’ll check for new #WWE #RAW1000 tweets while I wait.
Ok – assuming you found something, you’re looking at the Market Intelligence Report. If you didn’t find it and you’re a dealer that lists new cars on Cars.com, please contact your Cars.com rep right away.
Now, let me pose a hypothesis: for the dealers reading this who sell both new cars and used cars, I would guess that you run these two aspects of your business very differently. You acquire new cars differently from used, price them differently and manage your floor plan differently. You probably also merchandise them differently, and I suspect that your strategies for marketing them and maximizing profit per vehicle differ between the two as well. Your dealership’s location, value story and reputation also matter more – I’m sure many of you would tell me that your new-car shoppers care a lot more about your service department than customers shopping used.
So I ask you, in today’s online world, why are we still using used-car metrics, like SRPs and VDPs, as the primary method of measuring new-car advertising performance when the way you measure success overall is more about your make, your market and your share in that market? Why does our industry focus so intently on metrics specific to an individual vehicle on your lot when car shoppers – new-car shoppers especially – are also basing their decisions on your dealership’s brand and reputation?
We here at Cars.com wanted to find a better approach, so we set out to create a report just for new cars – one that is specific to the way you sell them, and one that offers more insight into how your prospective customers are shopping for them. The result is our new Market Intelligence Report.
Let’s break things down and take a look.