by: Darren Haygood
I have a question. Wouldn’t we all agree that the data that’s within your CRM solution is “bad”? I don’t know of a single dealership that would finalize their accounting statement based on the information that comes out of their CRM.
But if this is true, and if “last click” attribution is so outdated and inaccurate, then why do so many dealers still make important marketing and advertising decisions based on the sourcing information that’s within their CRM?
Before we answer this question, I think it’s important for us to first understand…
“How did we get here?”
You’ve got to remember, CRM’s were built back in the late 90’s, early 2000’s based around classifying customers by “Type”, i.e. Walk-In, Phone-Up, Internet and “Other”. At the time, the internet was just starting to emerge within our industry and we wanted to properly track how many “leads” we were receiving from these internet providers. Fast forward almost 20 years, and unfortunately we’re still measuring and classifying customers this way.
Guess what folks, they’re ALL Walk-Ins! How else would they get there? They didn’t come in on a Hoverboard! But let’s imagine if they did…
“Ah, Mr. Smith, I see you came in on a Hoverboard. I’ll put you down as a “Hoverboard” customer.”
And at the end of the month, your GM notices,
“Wow, we had 156 Hoverboard customers this past month! Those things are really becoming popular. I guess we should hire a “Hoverboard Dept. Manager”, because the needs of those hoverboard customers are different.”
Sounds ridiculous, right? But how many dealership’s still have an Internet Sales Department Manager? Or an “Internet Sales” comp plan? Guess what folks, there’s NO SUCH THING as an “Internet” customer either. They’re ALL Internet customers too!
In 2017, there are only two (2) types of customers, Sales and Service. PERIOD.
And once you understand that the “Type” foundation is flawed, then making ANY marketing decisions based around information contained within the “Source” report that is a subset of the “Type” breakdown, is truly flawed logic.
Now please don’t misunderstand my point. Don’t go firing your Internet Sales Manager, or cancelling your CRM. Your ISM is probably the best “Data Analyst” you have at the dealership. And CRM solutions are a vital and essential tool to any successfully run dealership. But you’ve got to utilize them for how they were intended, as a “Customer Relationship Management” solution and not a “Marketing Decision Management” tool.
Stay tuned for our ground breaking, first of it’s kind, case study, where we worked with a major publisher and a top 10 dealer group, to redefine the “Type” of customers that visit your dealership and share how to better manage and leverage the data that’s within your CRM.