Industry News & Trends

The Weekly Refresh: Google Research, Last Speech and

  • Daily_refresh_iconGoogle research shows – “the sales funnel isn’t six months at all, but more like one month.
  • Thirty-percent of car buyers start the search for a new car less than
    a week before they make a purchase. Seventeen percent start just two
    weeks ahead. Nineteen percent start a month in advance. That’s almost
    70% of the car-buyers starting the process no sooner than a month in
    advance.” The article goes on to say..

    “car companies should be spending a bigger chunk of their marketing
    dollars online than they are today.” Go figure!

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Founder of DealerRefresh - 20+ Years of dealership Sales, Management, Training, Marketing and Leadership.
  • E
    Erica Sietsma
  • September 28, 2007
Ok, I had a little eye juice on that one! Geez...I am mentally making a list of all the people I want to say something to and all the things I want to do before I die!

And as a comment to the Google Search, our Polk lead scoring model showed us very similar results. We had always guessed it, though our internet managers wanted to believe they were all "early" shoppers and that's why they never heard back from the customer. And now our response is, "No, your message just wasn't compelling enough for that customer and they went elsewhere and BOUGHT elsewhere."

Google Research comment...

Jeff you give great information, and I love the site. I hope my comments are seen as supporting, and cautionary, and not argumentative.

I am not saying I agree or disagree, but what I would like to do is make a recommendation to all readers to not assume everything you read with a "research" tag, coming from a specific company, or research paid for by a company, is fact. Don't always believe all the "research" you read from a company that is eager to get advertisers to start spending money in their medium. Of course they want buyers to think the results will come sooner rather than later.

In my opinion, there are just way too many variables to a dealership's adWords (or any PPC) campaigns, for turning clicks into sales, to put a blanket statement on when 70% of searchers will buy... seasonality, market, market location, competition and so forth, are just a few of those factors that would move that percentage and that times frame significantly.

I worked for one of the three top major travel websites. Just like everyone else, I saw the TV ads, with the "independent" research firms, talking about 50% less than Expedia, or 33% better than Travelocity, or 25% better than Orbitz.... What I learned is that those websites PAY the research firms to do a study on the website's selected markets, that they know they have worked deals to have better rates. They know they can't lose.... but people take it as fact because it is "research". What it is really is marketing...
  • E
    Erica Sietsma
  • September 28, 2007
I certainly agree with "Redsearch" (interesting name). Most research is skewed, which is extremely frustrating. Even health research and environmental research. The big oil companies ALL pay "research" companies to show how global warming is a "myth" and a natural occurrence. However, with time for purchasing, we actually took a years worth of data out of all of our stores and ran them against DMV records (Polk did it for us) to see when and what the leads ended up purchasing. What we found was of the 60%ish of the leads that actually bought within the 1 year time period, 54% bought within 1 week, 67% had bought by the end of week 2 and 84% were by the end of 4 weeks.

The fly for us in Google's research is the fact that of all of our leads, only 60% bought in the first year. Which means, nearly 40% were either bogus leads, people who went out of the market for some reason other than purchasing or perhaps just stole a car (I'm sure at least one of 'em did - we're outside Baltimore). So, I can't fully agree with them looking at "ALL" people searching, but I would say of those that are going to buy, they do quick!
  • J
    Jeff Kershner
  • September 28, 2007
Redsearch, thanks for your feedback!! I totally agree with you, one must be careful not to assume that every research statistic is 100% even if it's from Google.

Erica, you provide some valuable feedback coming from a large dealer group. You said "nearly 40% were either bogus leads or people who went out of the market ". Where did the 40% of bogus leads come from...?

3rd Party lead vendors?
Dealer Website Leads?
Unfinished Credit Apps?

;) Jeff