Imagine sitting there as the month comes to a close. It’s another month that you’re behind your competitor(s) AND it’s another month of confusion as you sit there trying to figure out how to take market share. You’re sick of being behind, because those dealerships really aren’t any better than your dealership.
You need something to start chipping away at those competitors. But how? Your marketing channels are tapped out. You’re doing all of the marketing that you are supposed to be doing, but you still aren’t getting enough lead volume or ups!
Then, you start to spend your money right and eat up market share with all three of your franchises while also selling the most amount of used cars in the history of the dealership.
No matter what way you spin it, you’re taking over. The roles have flipped, YOU are now the big dog. Now YOUR DEALERSHIP is the store that the “other guys” are worried about.
This is exactly what happened to Scaffidi Automotive in Stevens Point, WI. Scaffidi hit the highest pool percentages and record new sale months on all their brands by spending less money.
Here’s how they did it.
When Don Scaffidi reached out to Fountain Forward in September of 2018. He wanted us to figure out exactly where the dealership was spending inefficiently.
The dealer felt that it was over-exposed at the halfway point in 2019. After analyzing the budget line by line, Fountain Forward cut ad spend and focused the budget around what was working by utilizing the platforms and channels that were driving sales.
By analyzing dealerships across the country, we have learned that dealerships can only fail at 3 different levels.
If a you choose to fix one that isn’t failing, you not only don’t fix your problem, you waste in excess.
Scaffidi was failing at the 1st and 2nd failure point.
After locating, isolating, and taking care of Scaffidi’s failure points, the dealership sold 90 additional vehicles in the second half of 2019, a 14% increase, while spending $5,000 less per month on advertising.
1st Failure Point: Failing To Find In-Market Buyers
Scaffidi was not effectively finding in-market buyers as their marketing budget was one dimensional. Their budget consisted entirely of Google Ads, 3rd party lead providers and some traditional TV and radio advertising.
If you’re trying to reach an increased sales goal, you’re probably not going to reach it just spending money on Google ads and 3rd party vendors.
Rather than continuing to dump advertising dollars into busy, saturated marketing channels like TV and radio, Scaffidi was a great candidate for our proprietary Facebook ads strategy.
After testing thousands of different ads in the marketplace, we found brand awareness and brand engagement ads were not converting into sales.
Demand was high enough in the marketplace that we needed to focus solely on in-market consumers. Scaffidi’s new advertising budget was focused on finding and converting in-market consumers into leads. Our spends focused on increasing KPIs that strongly correlate with car sales like CORE Leads and VDPs. Not brand awareness. For example, after cutting ad spend Fountain Forward drove 22,000+ more VDPs.
In addition, Digital marketing channels were being underutilized throughout the market place. This was Scaffidi’s chance to gain an edge on the competition.
Over time, Facebook has done a better job finding in-market buyers at a lower cost per buyer than other channels. Scaffidi was able generate a return of nearly 12 – 1 in the first year of running ads on Facebook.
In addition to our Facebook ads strategy, Fountain Forward launched an aggressive SEO strategy taking over Scaffiidi’s SEO efforts from Dealer.com. The SEO strategy focused on ranking for the highest volume search terms in the marketplace where Scaffidi then ranked organically for these search terms so they wouldn’t need to buy them from Google.
In the second half of 2019, Scaffidi increased organic traffic by 25% as their SEO strategy had started to yield results. Scaffidi no longer needed to continue to buy keywords they now ranked for organically. Scaffidi was able to reduce their SEM spend without any adverse effect on the dealership.
2nd Failure Point: Inventory and Merchandising
We realized the vehicles were merchandised well but the website structure resulted in a poor user experience.
Scaffidi had separate websites for each brand and a combined website where used cars were shown. Prior to working with Fountain Forward, they were driving traffic to 4 different websites. How was the customer supposed to know where to go?
We compared a variety of significant metrics for Scaffidi to our database of dealerships across the country. Conversion rates signaled that users were defecting from becoming leads at a higher rate than normal.
As we started running ads, it was quite evident that we had a leaky funnel and had to tighten things up on the website.
We centralized the website to one URL. Now consumers could go to one site, shop all brands AND used vehicles, while seeing the best offers available. Then, we optimized the site for conversions by changing call to action buttons to use correct verbiage, worked on lead forms, and analyzed traffic.
After isolating and optimizing the consumer experience, Scaffidi’s lead volume increased by 490 leads (20%) and Scaffidi’s cost per car dropped by 11%.
3rd Failure Point – Lead Handling
Once a lead is submitted, how are those leads nurtured? How many appointments should you be setting? How many people should you get into the dealership? How does that compare to other dealerships?
We track these statistics for each dealership we come into contact with. Working with over 50 dealerships across the country, we can identify key strengths and weaknesses based on how a dealership compares to these averages. For the purpose of this blog, we have focused our content around other failure points.
After locating, isolating, and taking care of Scaffidi’s failure points, the dealership sold 90 additional vehicles in the second half of 2019, a 14% increase, while spending $5,000 less per month.
In addition, Scaffidi was able generate a return of nearly 12 – 1 in the first year of running ads on Facebook.
These results for Scaffidi are similar to other dealerships around the country. If you’re curious to see if we can help grow your dealership in a similar way as Scaffidi, click the button to claim your no cost strategy call.