Working with Attribution in Automotive Marketing

31 July 2018

Attribution is an important ingredient in effective automotive digital marketing. Knowing which campaigns and strategies are actually getting people to convert shows you where marketing dollars are getting the greatest return, and helps you plan strategically.

Attribution data in online marketing may refer to any of the following: lead attribution, traffic attribution or sales attribution.

Traffic attribution is about understanding which sources - organic search, ads, social media etc., are bringing the best converting traffic to your website. This can be easily tracked down and measured by using Google Analytics.

Lead attribution helps your auto business understand on which offers a lead converted into a paying customer. Your dealership CRM software can measure this data accurately.

Understanding which touch-point made the customer actually close the deal is sales attribution, and it is the most difficult one to keep track of.

Attribution : Challenges

A customer who converts or closes a sale based on just one single interaction is very rare. Due to this, most companies have moved away from single-touch attribution, where all the credit is given to one source, toward multi-touch attribution, where multiple interactions are taken into account.

Typically, when it comes to lead attribution, the first conversion gets credit. But what if a customer converts during the second or third interaction?

It certainly makes no sense to give credit to the first conversion always. With people doing more car buying research than ever online, all auto dealerships want multiple engagements. Every opportunity to move leads down the sales funnel is important.

Google Analytics Can Help

Google Analytics is a very effective tool for measuring attribution data for your auto dealership. It even provides you different attribution models that distributes credit to different aspects.

While some models provide more weightage to the last touch-point or equal weightage to each touch-point, other models give higher priority to the most recent touch-points. There is even a model that splits 80% of the weightage equally between the first and last touch-points, while distributing the balance 20% between the remaining touch-points.

Instead of relying on just one model to give you the required data, we recommend comparing multiple attribution models at once. This will provide deeper insight into how to properly attribute conversions to your marketing efforts.

Using Attribution for the Advantage of Your Auto Dealership

What auto dealers must understand is that multiple conversions are the key in the world of online marketing today. When looking at attribution for digital marketing, a multichannel attribution model is recommended to account for all aspects of the marketing funnel.

From the top of the funnel to the bottom, a customer will see multiple touch-points on different channels. You can better optimize your marketing campaigns by understanding the value of each channel.

This will provide further insight into how to properly attribute conversions to your marketing efforts. Quantifying how marketing affects a dealership’s bottom line is crucial to its success and expanding its marketing campaigns.

It’s helpful to look at the data to spot trends rather than absolute winners or losers - which sources usually bring in better leads? Which ones perform well overall, and which ones don’t?

Thinking of attribution from this angle will be a better way to spot influential points and work on them to increase the revenue generated from your auto dealership.

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