Automobile Dealers: Do You Know Where Your Sales Come From?
Since the beginning of the automobile era, car dealers have been advertising to their customers using the same basic methods. Whether it’s newspaper advertising, tv or radio ads, or billboards, the goal was to cast as wide a net as possible and hope that you lured in enough people to make money month over month. Then came the digital age and the internet. This presented an interesting challenge to auto dealers in terms of where to advertise. Many dealers started using Google Adwords and Facebook ads to augment their existing advertising and hopefully reach more customers. They used built-in filters to target customers within a certain radius of their dealership. Some went even further, identifying advanced customer demographics such as age or gender. But they still didn’t have a clue as to who ultimately walked through the door or why they decided to come in.
Let’s Get Mike!
That’s where the name Mike Annable comes in. Mike spent the better part of 20 years in the internet marketing business. After working for a dealer group in Florida as ecommerce director, he quickly saw the need for a business to manage auto dealers’ SEO and paid search.
So, Mike founded Showroom Logic to do just that. Within a few years, Showroom Logic was handling this work for over 1000 dealers across the country. As the business grew, Mike realized he had a problem, and it had a name, “Marketing Attribution.”
In the process of a buying decision, a customer experiences several “touchpoints” or interactions with various media, whether it be seeing an ad on TV or radio, seeing an ad in a magazine, or using comparison shopping sites on the web. Attribution is the science of giving credit to or assigning dollars from a sale to each of the marketing touchpoints that a customer was exposed to prior to their purchase. Mike had difficulty doing this, because he just didn’t know what all the touchpoints his customers had hit on the way to their purchase.
A Better Mousetrap
That’s when Mike decided to develop a software tool called ROI Detective that could do the heavy lifting of identifying how customers ultimately came to the dealership. ROI Detective is a unique software that allows dealer salespeople to survey their customers. They are asked questions regarding which websites they visited prior to visiting the dealer, what their first method contact with the dealer was, and other questions. The great thing about this tool is that it’s done post-sale so there’s no pressure to answer one way or the other. The dealer gets true data from actual customers, which they then aggregate with data from other customers to develop a comprehensive attribution picture. Armed with this information, dealers can fine tune their marketing mix and spend based on evidence and facts, rather than presumptive ideas of how customers were acquired.
The company, founded in 2015, has been growing rapidly and refining their software, which is now in the hands of a handful of dealers in the Florida area. Mike’s goal is to get dealers across the country using the software to gain real, actionable data on the customer makeup.