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Monday, November 5, 2012

Google Declares Existing Web Metrics Obsolete: A Sea Change in Dealer Website Analytics - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Google Declares Existing Web Metrics Obsolete: A Sea Change in Dealer Website Analytics - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community


The 2012 Google Analytics Summit theme is “Next Generation Measurement”, and considering the bombshell Google dropped on day 1, it couldn’t be more fitting.

Google Analytics is set to make a seismic change to its very core, shifting from sessions to users. “Sessions don’t spend money,” as Google Analytics Principal Engineer Sagnik Nandy put it, “users do.”

For too many years, dealer website reporting systems have looked at visits in a vacuum, focusing on single visitor sessions in a short-sighted attempt to understand customer behavior and falling out of touch with today’s automotive consumer who jumps from one web device to another, desktop to mobile, mobile to tablet, and reaches dozens of touch points before purchasing a vehicle or getting one serviced. 

With the release of “Universal Analytics”, Google is set to redefine automotive marketing’s relationship with web data to accurately capture customer behavior across every device, every visit, and every action - even when new and used vehicle shoppers go offline. Gone are the days of looking at Internet sales leads and service appointment requests as the primary goal; showroom traffic and sales are what matters, and that’s exactly what this next generation of dealer website measurement targets.
 
With Google’s new Universal Analytics, visitors are given a clean and simple User ID that replaces the current mountainous number of tracking cookies packed with reams of confusing variables and micro formatted data. This unique User ID is like a customer number in your DMS, but it is stored on Google’s end, and is identifiable across any number of devices and locations. So if your customer first visits your dealership’s website on her home desktop after receiving a promotional email, then returns a week later on her iPhone, but waits a month before seeing a display ad from your store’s online advertising and finally converting by pulling turn-by-turn directions from work to the dealership on her work laptop, all of those interactions will be attributed to a single visitor. And that initial, month-old email will be given credit, along with the last-touch display ad, and any other touch points in the sales process.
 
For businesses with the right technology, User IDs will be sent directly to your CRM software. When customers walk in after visiting virtually, you will be able to log every visit and view them in Google Analytics. You now track all customer points of contact - online and offline - and finally get the complete picture of a customer’s journey from seeing an article your dealership published, researching your make and models, to purchasing on your showroom. A reporting trail that provides the insights and metrics for car dealers to learn which marketing channels actually bring you sales… While ignoring those that generate leads to nowhere!

Marketing and Advertising Channel Attribution Gets More Accurate
Google’s Universal Analytics includes a new attribution modeling tool that uses a data-driven model to assign value to touch points in the sales process.  

Every interaction is now weighted according to its frequency and position in the purchase process, instead of always being given equal credit. And a more complete picture of every sale can now be more accurately configured with cost data that users upload directly into Google Analytics and update daily.  

Track the effectiveness of your dealership’s entire ad spend to realize the true profit on every sale - all without leaving Google Analytics and wrestling with dozens of media and advertising reports.

Analytics no longer begins with a single online session only to end with a disconnected form submission that depends on an email address that blocks messages from your dealership as spam. It begins the moment a customer first engages with your dealership’s websites, blogs and online assets. And it never stops... Welcome to the new marketing reality of Universal Analytics from Google.