Are You Holding Your Vendors Accountable?

By: Toni Anne Fardette, President & COO-The Billion Dollar Girl, Inc.
Coaching Counseling & Process for the Next Generation Dealer

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times in my 18 years in the retail car business, I have watched GM’s cancel great marketing, advertising or lead providers. Times start to get rough for one reason or another, and BOOM- they just started cutting whatever they FEEL is not performing. Here’s the problem with that mentality-YOU CANNOT OPERATE ON FEELINGS in any industry if you expect to perform well. There is no my opinion or your opinion. Last time I checked, 2+2 still equals 4. So why are we not looking at the data? At the metrics? At the FACTS?

I’ll tell you why. Because most GM’s, GSM’s and DP’s do not understand enough about marketing or advertising to hold their vendors accountable. Now, don’t get me wrong. This is not a dig at these operators, but the fact remains that most were never “taught” anything about advertising or marketing especially digital marketing. Most GM’s, GSM’s and DP’s came up through the ranks from salespeople.

With, this, it is not an excuse not to learn enough to be able to hold your vendors accountable.

So here are some quick tips:

  1. You don’t have to know ANYTHING to be able to schedule one day per month to meet with all the vendors you advertise with whether in person or via web meeting to review the prior month’s results. Just make sure they know you are watching!
  2. Own your own Google Analytics, Ad Words, Google My Business, Bing and all other business listings. Even if someone else on your team managers, them, you OWN them.
  3. Get Google Analytics and Ad Words Certified. Commit to a video per week. It’s easy and done online. At least know enough to be dangerous.
  4. Always have a trusted outside partner with no vested interest in taking over your account watching your advertising and marketing including the rates you pay.
  5. Go to the top 5 3rd party websites you either advertise on or that your competitors advertise on (i.e. Edmunds, True Car, Car Gurus) and attempt to look for a car and submit your information. See what your customers see.
  6. Once a month attempt to do something quick on your mobile site. Is it painful?
  7. Once a month randomly check specials or spot check inventory and see what you find.
  8. Mystery shop your store both via phone and email once a month from a different ad source each time

Remember, stop with the “I FEEL” and understand your vendor metrics enough to make decision based on DATA.

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