It is scary to think that the dealer group I work for has been with 4 different site vendors, 5 different SEM vendors, 2 different SEO vendors, and who knows how many Internet click-through campaigns since 1999. I know there are dealers out there who flip between these companies faster than Paris Hilton hops to the next party. I like to think we have found a good home with a few of our current programs, but there is always something better on the horizon. Forget about the next greatest thing and forget about any fancy gadgets one company has; let’s talk about tracking.
Tracking is one of the greatest things the Internet provides us. It is also one of the hardest things to police. One company’s 1,000 unique visitors are another company’s 5,000. Who is correct? We have a tendency to flock to companies with backing tools such as Google Analytics, but what happens when two Google Analytics companies show differing numbers? It has happened to me, and I’m sure it has happened to others here.
Let me get back to my company’s vendor jumping…sure, it has been due to a better deal coming along. Sure, it has been due to a fancier product coming out. Sure, it has been for many of the same reasons everyone else can state too. The one thing that seems to be the major shot of death, is a loss in faith due to untrustworthy tracking numbers.
I’m sure most of the DealerRefresh participants watch their own site’s traffic like hawks, but is it truly trustworthy? Why is there no standard out there that everyone abides by? Why do I get different numbers from my site provider than I do from what my current banner ad on www.whereBmybannerad.com tells me they sent to me last month? Why are the differences so huge?
P.S. To the vendors reading this thread – I’m not attacking anyone in particular. If this article is taken as an attack, please point it toward the Internet industry in general, and not solely the automotive end.