How to Become the Top Dealer in Your Sales Region in Two Months

Picture this: You just finished another monthly meeting Zoom call with your marketing / advertising company. 45 of the 60 minutes were spent digging out inconsistencies and going over reports full of ‘fluff’ which means nothing to you. Does that sound familiar?

The needle at your dealership isn’t moving and you continue to stew on why. You’re looking for some actual leadership! Imagine if you were to trust your gut and switch to a marketing company that is committed to making your dealership more money. Not just talk about an email blast, a google analytics report, some Facebook posts, and frequency bull****. 

In your first month running ads with your new marketing company, you sell 80% more cars month over month.

Then, in your second month, your dealership sells the most Hyundai units in your sales region. Those 3 to 5 dealerships you just can’t beat? They’re suddenly in the rear view mirror. Furthermore, your dealership was able to do this, cutting their advertising budget $13,560 per month (23%) in “marketing fluff” saving $162,720 per year in marketing expenses.  In just two months, you have lowered your cost per car by 60% from $463 down to $156. 

This is exactly what happened to Hiley Hyundai and Hiley Mazda of Fort Worth after partnering with Fountain Forward. 

Here’s how we did it

Hiley Hyundai and Hiley Mazda of Fort Worth hired Fountain Forward to analyze their dealerships data and make better business decisions with the Analytics Edge; a bolt-on “Moneyball” back office using your data to make you more money. 

Starting in October, Fountain Forward located a few key areas that needed improvement at the dealerships.

1. Low CORE lead percentage

The dealership’s lead mix was below optimal. Hiley needed to focus on generating more CORE leads to reduce their dependence on 3rd party lead providers. 

2. Poor 3rd party lead performance

3rd party lead providers were raising the cost per car and flooding the sales floor with low quality leads.

3. Low conversion rate

Once users were making it back to the website, they were defecting at the website level. We figured out why.  

4. Appointment show rate

  • Hiley’s appointment show rate was below industry standards and needed improvement. 
  • Hiley was able to increase their appointment show rate from 54% to 74%. 
  • Over the course of the next 6 months, this improvement was the difference in selling 145 more vehicles. At $2,500 per copy, that change was the difference of $362,500 in additional revenue. 

5. In January, Hiley implemented Fountain Forward’s proprietary sales pods system to focus on further improving the lead handling KPIs.

In the first month working with Hiley, we were able to cut the dealership’s lowest performing 3rd party lead providers and then relocate those dollars into social advertising. November and December resulted in a significant increase of social traffic, however it did not cause an increase in lead volume at the dealerships that we expected.

To understand what the root cause was, Fountain Forward performed an in-depth audit of the marketing accounts that Hiley Hyundai and Hiley Mazda had set up with their existing marketing agency. Both the search and social ad accounts were not driving the results expected from an experienced automotive agency. 

Looking deeper, Hiley’s ad dollars were inefficiently spent as ad sets were not optimized for sales and profit. This particular agency appeared to be running on “auto-pilot” with minimal changes month to month. 

After months of being unsatisfied with the customer service and quality of work, the red flags raised by the Analytics Edge were the final friction points pushing Hiley Hyundai and Hiley Mazda (Fort Worth) over the edge (no pun intended). Hiley was a great candidate for our proprietary Facebook and Google ads strategy with Analytics Edge.

In March, Fountain Forward took over SEM ( paid Google advertising ) and Social advertising, while using Analytics Edge to navigate. Keep in mind, Fountain Forward cut their advertising budget $13,560 per month (23%) saving $162,720 per year in marketing expenses and media spend when the switch occurred.

Immediately, lead volume at the dealership increased 68% month over month, the majority of which were CORE Leads.  

Disclaimer: CORE Leads close 37% faster and make 46% more gross on average. 

The increase in opportunity at the dealerships was due to our proprietary paid Facebook and paid Google Ads mix, driving CORE leads through the Hiley websites. You can see CORE lead volume reached a record in our first month of March increasing 112% month over month.

With the proprietary Sales PODS Model in place and an emphasis on improving lead handling, Hiley was able to keep up with the increase in leads. In return, Hiley Hyundai and Mazda of Fort Worth sold a record number of vehicles between the dealerships. 

The Lead Volume MUST have decreased their closing percentages! No, they didn’t. Eric Schimmels, General Manager of both stores, doesn’t mess around. Eric is a solid leader and when Fountain Forward casted the vision that they could increase quality lead volume, Eric built a bigger and better team. 

“The most noticeable difference is the appointment volume. We don’t have to worry about having slow days because we always have appointments lined up.” – Eric Schimmels, GM of Hiley Hyundai and Hiley Mazda of Fort Worth. This is the reason that Hiley is leading their competitive area and taking market share thus far in 2021!

Hiley Hyundai and Hiley Mazda of Fort Worth used the analytics edge to analyze their data to make better decisions. After focusing on improving the appointment show rate, cutting 3rd party providers, and reallocating those dollars into social advertising, Hiley still wasn’t seeing the results they needed. 

Fountain Forward’s proprietary Facebook and Google ads strategy allowed the sales staff to do what they do best, sell cars to more truly interested buyers.  These results are similar to other dealerships we have worked with around the country. If you’re curious to see if we can help grow your dealership in a similar way, click the button below!