What is your best marketing expense in the car business?

Certainly, there’s no single straightforward answer to that; what works for me may not work for another. One thing is clear: if you don’t succeed online, winning offline becomes considerably challenging. On the flip side, if you aim to succeed online, you must set aside your gut feeling and focus on data. My intuition means nothing if it can’t be backed up with figures and data. Additionally, at Ligier Store Doesburg, we have a division of responsibilities. Marketing is responsible for creating opportunities, online leads, and calls, while sales is responsible for converting leads into sales with a minimum required conversion rate. If we fail to convert 13% of gross leads into sales, it can never be attributed to the perceived quality of the lead…

So, winning online?

Marketing, which I usually find relatively straightforward for the dealership and/or car company. Regardless of your stance, you need the portals! Now, I could argue from my position at Marktplaats as a proud ambassador that it’s the only portal that works, but that’s not true. Autoscout, Autotrack, and even Viabovag can and do provide us with a positive ROI when we examine the data.

Looking at the first 5 months in my Walcu dashboard, I see this:

At number 2 is Marktplaats with the number of leads, Autoscout at 5, Viabovag at 7, and Autotrack at 10. Our own two websites, Ligier Store Doesburg and Experience Store Doesburg, are at 1 and 3. However, these are destinations, not necessarily sources. When looking at the campaigns, which resulted in leads, you notice something else. A campaign could be a Google CPC campaign that brought a visitor to the website and requested a lead there. In the first picture, you see that as a lead from Ligier Store Doesburg, and in the second picture, you see that as Google CPC.

Then you see that in positions 2, 3, 6, 12, 14, and 15, there are all Cost per Click campaigns that deliver visitors to one of the 2 websites. Which one do you need then? Do you look at the number of leads, or leads combined with campaigns, or do we look at sales?

Then you see that numbers 1 and 2 are not real sources, but the destination of all our online marketing that refers to the websites. All portals directly participate in leads that result in sales, with Marktplaats being our number 1 both in quantity and quality.

However, if we look at the campaigns, just like with the leads, you see this:

The CPC model of Marktplaats, called Marktplaats Pro, is number 1 for us in terms of visitors landing on the website that lead to a concrete sale! All visible at a glance as a marketing manager.

So, as a marketer, it is my job to create opportunities that lead to sales. My goal is not to generate as many leads as possible because if I do that, I go to Facebook, I have the most leads, at the lowest Cost per Lead, but with the lowest conversion, with the highest Cost per Sale.

Only if I want to win online, then I must want to look at the data, and even if I, which I do not want to, stop using all the portals because it costs money, but in reality, these are not costs but investments that actually lead to a positive ROI.

And as for the division of tasks, no, it is not the job of my salespeople to determine which marketing investments to make. Without this data, only gut feeling speaks, and with that feeling, I cannot win online!

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