What value does a portal have for an average car company?

Are portals worth their money?

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Many car companies struggle with the question whether their investment in car portals is worthwhile. Determining the value of an investment is often difficult if you cannot or do not want to measure the whole funnel. Usually, reactions are made based on assumptions rather than on facts.

Car companies often ask my opinion about their marketing investments and what the Return On Investment (ROI) should be. Now I realize that you have to compare apples with apples. But nowadays you can no longer ask the customer who ‘just’ comes in, which marketing channel he used. Why not? Because that customer simply does not know which of the over 15 digital sources has been the decisive factor. And so we must concentrate on what we can measure.

The ROI report

For the car companies that I help, I have made the ROI report. Specifically to make it clear to the marketer that the money is spent in the right way. Or not. You can now measure everything from two of the three types of leads. The online lead and the call lead (with call tracking) can be traced entirely to the origin based on ‘last click attribution’. This is impossible for the physical customer, but you can measure how many people have viewed your inventory on the different channels.

The report provides insight into many things. The number of visited VDP pages (product page of your inventory model) tells you whether your stock is now being viewed more or less. Printing the VDP page is an indication that a visitor is interested. Not every portal measures that. Marktplaats, for example, does not do that. Yet, it is an indication that there is interest.

I have examined all measurable and relevant matters and assigned financial values to them. Advertising on Facebook and Google also costs money and with that it provides interesting comparison material to determine values. The following KPIs are included in the ROI report:

• VDP page: page of your stock car that is viewed by the visitor. Visitor consciously clicks on the stock from the search results and has an intention. – Value is € 0,05.

• E-mail lead: request via the various ‘calls to action’, such as message and availability. In most cases, at least an e-mail address, telephone number and name are included. Often no zip code and or house number. – Value is € 25, -.

• Bidding: we know a bid mainly at Marktplaats. This is used by most users to come into contact in a low-threshold manner, as they handle everything on Marktplaats. A bid is usually not seen as a real bid, this is seen by the seller as a low quality lead. Often they are (unfortunately) deported for that reason. – Value is € 5, -.

• Call lead: This is the most valuable lead. The customer who is calling for more information buys a car in 70% of the cases within two weeks. Many portals charge the click on the telephone number as a call lead, but only 1 in 4 calls is actually made (measured via call tracking at dealer, in combination with Marktplaats data) – Value is € 35, -.

• URL click: The click to your own website is often an important KPI for the dealer, but not in the interest of the portal. The portal wants to keep the visit as much as possible on the platform itself. Some portals leave this possibility, others don’t. – Value € 0.12 per click.

• VDP-print: In 2005 an important supplier, but nowadays lost because of all the new developments. If you can measure this, it certainly gives a good indication of interest in the car. Marktplaats, for example, does not give this KPI in the program ‘The Power of Marktplaats Statistics’. – Value € 10, -.

• Route requested: This was once an important indicator, but nowadays smartphone users no longer have to request the route. If this is done and measured, it certainly gives an indication of far-reaching interest. – Value € 5, -.

• Test drive: Good lead that everyone wants to have every day, because without a test drive there is often no sale. – Value € 15, -.

• View inventory: Shows interest in your company’s stock. And there appears to be a certain intention. – Value € 0.01.

• Favorite: Potentially a good lead driver, after all, these visitors indicate that they are interested in the car and they could just come by. Because of privacy settings, you as an advertiser cannot identify the identity of these visitors, so they are not actively approachable. – Value € 0.02.

If you look at the known platforms, these are the KPIs that you can measure in the different dashboards. Note that for example Autoscout and Autotrader had separate statistics until March of 2017. Now, these are bundled, so you also have to add up the investments. If you look closely at the statistics, then the VDP views can already be added together ….

Statistics of a real ROI calculation of a car company that advertises on all four (larger) portals!

In this example, statistics are used from a universal car company that advertises on all portals. You see that, regardless of the investment you make, there must always be a positive ROI. Every investment has to sell cars in the first place. And you do need marketing that gives you a positive return on the investment. With this method you can measure that very well. I will expand the reporting in the coming months to give more interpretation.

If, for example, you compare this method with an AdWords campaign on used cars to direct visitors to your website, you immediately see the perspective in which your investment stands and whether you are doing well. And it does not matter whether the visitors look at Marktplaats or on your own website. If only they look at your stock!

Questions and / or comments about this method? I heartily recommend my suggestions or ideas! Do you want to outsource the analysis of your marketing investments? We are happy to do it for you (#DCDW)!

Orginal article

About Paul de Vries

Paul de Vries became a Key Automotive Spokesperson at eBay (Marketplace) after selling Nieuweautokopen.nl to eBay back in 2015. Paul is the founder and CEO of the #DCDW Academy and the presenter of the #DCDW Podcast. He is also a by dealers and importers frequently asked speaker in the online automotive industry. Paul is the winner of the prestigious Lighthouse Award 2016 in the U.S.! `Lead the Way op de digitale snelweg’ is Paul’s new book, which can be used as a guide in the online automotive industry. More information is available at: DCDW.nl.

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