Who provides Automotive Vendor Management?
One of the top struggles we hear from automotive dealerships and automotive marketing directors, is dealing with 3rd party automotive marketing vendors. As with any typical car dealership, you likely have a handful of outside vendors you pay to perform a marketing service on behalf of your dealership. This ranges from direct mail and mail creatives, to lead providers, website providers, social media management, traditional media buying and much more. Even with reporting from your vendors, it’s easy to get lost in the data they provide. Many automotive marketing vendors provide pretty pie charts and graphs, but who’s job is it to determine whether the results are good, bad…or just polished smokescreens? It’s the job of your Automotive Vendor Management company.
What is Automotive Vendor Management?
Ever sit in on a conference call with a vendor and feel like they’re speaking another language? Or listen to a vendor tell you they are delivering amazing results, but you’re just not seeing it on your end? Automotive Vendor Management is a service that acts on your behalf to decipher those results, and to help ensure that your vendors are delivering on what you’re paying them to do. An automotive vendor management service acts as an inside advocate on your behalf. It’s kind of like having a translator, that’s on your side. Someone who isn’t trying to sell you on the results, but instead making sure that your dealership’s marketing budget is being spent in an effective way. Our job is to make sure your investment helps you sell more cars.
What does an Automotive Vendor Management agency do?
There’s a variety of ways your dealership can work with an automotive marketing vendor management company. For many, just having someone sit in on your calls and reviewing the provided reporting can offer you peace of mind. Knowing that someone else is paying attention means you don’t have to stress about missing a detail or not understanding something. This is a great way to test the waters with an automotive vendor management company, to see the benefits and determine if it’s right for your dealership.
For a more involved approach, you can direct your agency to take a more active role. Sometimes, just letting the vendors know that you have an outside 3rd party looking over things, is enough to get them straighten up, and without doing anything, your results can pay for themselves. Most vendors want to get your results, but but many are far too comfortable collecting checks for mediocre service. By looking over their shoulder, it almost forces them to be on their toes and to deliver on their promises.
For many dealerships, once you get comfortable with the process and results a vendor management company can provide, you can turn much of the campaign decision making process over to them. By allowing them the freedom to dissect what’s going on, and to direct your vendors to act on your behalf, you can focus on the inner workings of the dealership showroom, instead of staring at graphs and charts and wondering what to do. Let your vendor management company do all the hard work, and watch your results improve almost immediately.
What are the benefits of Automotive Vendor Management?
In many cases, simply bringing them on board will drive results. An automotive vendor that might be comfortable coasting with your dealership’s marketing may not be so comfortable knowing there are trained experts looking over their work. And a vendor management company that does a good job will almost certainly be able to improve your results. There are many benefits to hiring an automotive vendor management company. Let’s review a few of them:
- Lowered PPC AdSpend – By thoroughly reviewing your current adspends in PPC (Pay-Per-Click) through Google AdWords or Bing Ads an agency can usually help to pinpoint areas to reduce adspend based on your KPI’s and what is driving actual high quality traffic and vehicle sales. A deep dive into the labyrinth of campaigns and ad groups usually reveals areas that aren’t producing as effectively as others. And because many times, the vendors providing these services get complacent with a campaigns performance, these are the first areas that get overlooked. By funneling adspend away from where it’s not working, a vendor management company can help you reduce wasteful adspend, almost immediately.
- Increased KPI – By focusing on the KPI’s (key performance indicators) that matter to you, an agency can help make sure that your marketing budget is coming back to you in ways you’ve directed. All to often, an outside vendor will dictate to you which metrics you should be focusing on, and give you plenty of ‘reasons’ to back it up. Many times, targeting these KPI’s can represent low hanging fruit for them. Something that’s easily attainable, and will represent a ‘win’ they can share with you. But if it’s not helping you sell more cars, what good is it?
- Increased ROI – ROI (Return On Investment) is measured differently by some dealerships, but typically represents how you measure your marketing budget and what it provides you back monetarily. There are many ways to calculate it, and what to include, but at the end of the day, it’s one of the most important metrics to pay attention to. It’s also maybe the most important benchmark to use when determining the success of any automotive marketing campaign. A reputable vendor management agency will always keep that in mind as a collective goal. By making continual improvements in your marketing efforts, the end results has to be an improved ROI.
- More Leads – This is always a favorite among car people! When your dealership is getting more, high quality leads, everyone is happy. Your sales staff & BDC gets excited when there’s positive activity and things are happening. Your middle management gets excited because they are hitting their numbers and projections. Your Service Department will be buzzing with work. Service Managers and Service writers will be busy writing work orders. GM’s & GSM’s can celebrate hitting goals. And ownership is happy because their bottom line is improved and they’re moving volume. Everyone likes leads. It’s the lifeblood of any successful car dealership. And by making sure that all pistons of your marketing engine are firing, the outcome will be more, high quality leads and an improved close ratio.
- Dealership Success – All of the above means one thing – the success of your dealership. A thriving dealership absolutely must have successful & effective marketing. Simply hiring 3rd party vendors does not ensure success. Each vendor is comprised of people of all types. Some deliver, some don’t. It shouldn’t be your job to babysit your vendors and their employees to make sure they are doing their job correctly. Your dealership requires personal attention to be successful, and if you spend your time dealing with vendors, your floor will suffer. By hiring a automotive vendor management company, you can focus on running your dealership, and leave the babysitting to us.