Industry News & Trends

Mazda Eliminates Poor Performing Third Party Lead Sources

Mazda changes direction with their third party leads and Search Engine Marketing efforts.

An email from Mazda Dealer Online:


Over the last few months we have been working with dealers, conducting surveys, and obtaining input from Mazda Action Teams regarding the evolution of our Mazda Dealer Online (MDOL) program. As a result of this process we have jointly developed a strategy to improve our overall lead quality, reduce the impact of lead duplication for dealers with direct contracts, and allow dealers to be more efficient with their monthly lead expenses.  Additionally, we expect this will free up valuable time needed to successfully work those internet leads that have a better chance of closing.

The strategic changes below have been a direct result of dealer collaboration that has also received full support from CD MAT, Tech MAT, and NDAC and will begin to take effect on January 1, 2009 for all dealers participating in the MDOL program.

  • Eliminate poor performing third party lead sources
  • Cobalt/Dealix and Jumpstart will be removed by December 31, 2008
  • AutoByTel will be removed by January 31, 2009
  • Increase lead costs from $5 to $10 beginning January 1, 2009

Additional funds will be reinvested in Search Engine Marketing efforts to generate more high quality leads

* KBB and Edmunds leads will remain in the MDOL program with no changes

This new direction should improve overall lead quality and volume through while maintaining our best third party lead sources. It will also allow us to increase our Search Engine Marketing activities to drive more in-market shoppers and leads through our site that will help to off-set the overall lead volume decrease from eliminating poor performing lead sources.

As you can see over the first ten month’s of this calendar year close rates from ABT (4.4%), Cobalt (5.2%) and Jumpstart (4.0%) have been performing over 50% below (11.0%), (10.2%), and (11.2%) which was a significant factor in our decision making process.

Improving quality as well as speed of response is critical in today’s competitive environment and is necessary in meeting our demanding consumer expectations. This change will contribute to our collective online digital efforts and will strengthen the MDOL program as we move into the New Year.

Zoom-Zoom.  Forever!

Founder of DealerRefresh - 20+ Years of dealership Sales, Management, Training, Marketing and Leadership.
I know that other OEMs are working on similar efforts to measure third party lead effectiveness and then use that information to make decisions about their programs, but Mazda seems to be ahead of the pack. Thanks for passing this on!
  • D
  • December 20, 2008
If Mazda dealer paying $10 a for quality lead. I was wondering how much money small indepnedent dealers are willing to pay for a lead. We are thinking about a "performance based" program for dealer due to the slow of their business. Is $2 for independent dealer sounds reasonable. Does anyone know, in this market, how much small dealers are paying for a lead? Thanks
I guess this means that Mazda has to come up with a strong way of driving traffic to the dealerships sites and the dealerships should really tighten up on that. I think that it gives Mazda a chance to be innovative in their ways and open the doors to something new providing that they have someone smart enough to do it.