Study: Many dealers ineffectively measure success of ad campaigns


Sixty-eight percent of dealers either aren’t effectively using or simply are not using marketing attribution to gauge the results of their advertising campaigns, according to a recent study by Clarivoy.

The marketing technology firm’s latest study, the 2017 State of Automotive Attribution Report, examines the current state and usage of marketing measurement among retail dealers.

Clarivoy's findings are based on an April survey of approximately 120 dealers.

“This is a glaring hole and effectively makes measuring marketing efforts and spending a guessing game,” Clarivoy chief executive officer Steve White said in a news release.

“Things have changed considerably with the state of marketing measurement, and we wanted to know how dealers are adapting to new measurement tools like Multi-Touch Attribution,” he said.

Clarivoy found that only 30 percent of dealers report being satisfied with how they currently measure their data.

When asked, “Which vendor categories need the most blind faith as to if they are working?” Forty percent of dealers told Clarivoy display ads and 38 percent said third-party listing sites.

According to the study, most dealers rely on in-house reporting and/or vendor reporting (68 and 64 percent, respectively). 

“The display ad answer is a little curious as, set up properly, they should be easy to measure,” White said. “However, the third-party listing site answer is not that surprising.

“The actions a consumer takes following a visit to a third-party listing site and viewing a vehicle of interest can vary over an entire spectrum of possibilities. They could submit a lead on the third-party listing site, call a phone number, bounce to the dealership’s website and convert there, call the dealership or simply show up,” he said. 

“The effectiveness of a third-party listing site can be far from black and white in terms of measurement. And, more often than not, attribution depends on proper sourcing by the salesperson or last-click attribution models — both of which have huge gaps in accuracy,” White explained.

When it comes to attribution tools, 46 percent of respondents said they would prefer a multi-touch attribution solution because they believe that last-click fails to report accurate sources, according to Clarivoy.

Additionally, Clarivoy found that 59 percent of dealers want attribution solutions that include the ROI contribution of each marketing channel.

Fifty-seven percent want analytics that provide actionable insights, 48 percent desire a transparent view of a customer’s full purchase path and 41 percent look for both reporting accountability and accuracy.

To view the State of Automotive Attribution Report study .

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