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5 Reasons to Attend PCG’s Automotive Engagement Conference

1. The Mission…

QUALITY > QUANTITY

Unlike any other conference in digital history, the Automotive Engagement Conference began as a collective mission to expose all digital entities guilty of not delivering QUALITY, measurable solutions to dealers. It all began as a dream, or more so, it began when industry leaders started waking up to a big problem. Study after study found evidence of dealerships paying for website traffic that consisted of BOTS – not humans – not actual people that were capable of purchasing a car, let alone converting into a showroom visit. The unfortunate reality is all too often digital advertising sources are charging dealers big bucks for clicks and impressions that did not engage with their website or the content and lead forms within it.

Orbee, an automotive software company that specializes in identifying bad website traffic, determined up to 60% of dealerships’ paid traffic, and up to 80% of their overall website traffic is coming from non-humans (or bots). Furthermore, Orbee’s late 2016 Automotive Website Traffic Quality Report stated, “Bot traffic is a $7 billion problem for the advertising industry and with dealership digital marketing budgets averaging $30-50K per month, the automotive industry must address this issue to prevent massive waste in digital adverting spend.”

Last year, Brian Pasch, host of the AEC Tour, began the PCG Engagement Project in efforts to measure the quality of traffic coming to dealer websites. “Once dealership managers understand the impact of not measuring engagement – their advertising blind spot — they will act to get their website(s) configured to start tracking engagement,” said Pasch.

Pasch’s mission to expose these “sharks” along with the rate of waste occurring under the radar was something AutoHook ethically HAD to get involved with. The AEC Tour isn’t your ordinary pay-to-play conference where vendors spend thousands of dollars just to get their product in front of dealers around the country. This is a movement. This is a collective mission to hold ALL automotive agencies and vendors accountable for providing their dealer clients with accurate reporting that shows their solutions deliver actual human traffic, capable of converting into a sale.

2. The Experts…

PCG has hand-picked the companies and presenters listed below because of the simple fact that their solutions are all proven to increase consumer engagement, and most importantly, increase sales from all lead opportunities. 

LEARN FROM AWARD-WINNING AUTOMOTIVE MAR-TECH EXPERTS

 

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3. The Content…

Dealers will learn proven methods to:

  • Accurately measure their website’s engagement metrics to further increase conversion rates and ELIMINATE areas of waste in their marketing spend.

  • Leverage marketing automation tools to create relevant advertising optimized by consumer engagement.
  • Improve their online communications strategies to increase conversions: leads, calls, chats, and text messages.
  • Lead their dealership in a digital age and protect your store from Digital Sharks!

AutoHook President, David Metter, will be presenting:

“99 Problems but the Data Ain’t 1” – Check out the teaser video below.

4. The Value…

+ $300 WORTH IN MATERIALS

+ AWESOME SWAG BAGS AND FREE PRIZES!

5. AutoHook Will Cover Half Your Ticket…

Tickets for the event cost only $50. Have you ever attended a conference for just $50? When you visit AutoHook at a city near you, we’ll reimburse you for half your ticket cost with a $25 Visa Card.

BOTS EXPOSED: Defining & Uncovering Your Wasted Ad Spend

| by David Metter

Over the last several months, it’s been refreshing to see more and more automotive leaders shifting their focus from quantity to quality when it comes to their website traffic and overall marketing. Rather than holding value in the number of site visits, the value has shifted to the percent of visitors that either complete a lead form or show up at a dealership. In other words, traffic that is capable of converting into sales or service revenue is the most valuable, and it’s the only type dealers should be paying for. There is an undeniable growing need for technology that flags sources that drive bad traffic so that those sources can be eliminated.

When I say bad traffic, I’m referring to BOTS. Bots (defined below) are also referred to as Internet crawlers or spiders. There are both good and bad types of Internet bots, but none of them are human, and none of them are capable of purchasing or test-driving a vehicle. Bots have been around for years, yet so many marketers still suffer from “bot traffic denial” thinking it couldn’t possibly happen to them. The reality is, no website is safe from these digital creepers. If you’re paying for digital marketing, you are absolutely paying for bot traffic – unless you fight back.

 Source:  Techopedia

Source: Techopedia

What’s The Big Problem?

The problem is SEVEN BILLION DOLLARS of wasted money. Orbee’s Q3 2016 Bot Traffic Report stated, “Bot traffic is a $7 billion problem for the advertising industry and with dealership digital marketing budgets averaging $30-50K per month, the automotive industry must address this issue to prevent massive waste in digital advertising spend.”

The setbacks these invasive pests present is incredibly simple. Dealers put a lot of trust (and a lot of money) into driving website visits when over half of their paid traffic could be derived from false or suspicious clicks. ClickZ warns advertisers, “Some non-human traffic is fraudulent and some merely causes a technical problem. Both kinds can cost advertisers a lot of money, whether intentionally or not.” Regardless of the type of bot, dealers and their advertising partners do not want bots clicking on their ads, generating bad traffic and sucking the life out of their finite monthly budget.

How Do I Avoid Bots?

When reviewing your vendor services, or if you’re considering a new advertising vendor, make sure to ask the questions that can save you thousands of dollars. Orbee recommends starting with the following questions:

1. What measures do you have in place to detect bot traffic?

2. What % of total traffic do you mark as bot traffic?

3. What is your refund policy regarding bot traffic?

Conquest Automotive has defined 5 red flags dealers and their vendors should look out for to identify bot traffic:

1. Percentage of Out of Market Visitors – If the majority of visits to the dealership’s website were outside of the dealership’s primary market area (PMA), it is characterized as abnormal traffic.

2. Percentage of Desktop to Mobile Devices – If the percentage of visits to the dealership’s website from desktop devices is higher than 90%, it is characterized as abnormal traffic.

3. Percentage of Windows Operating Systems – If the percentage of visits to the dealership’s website exceeded 90% Windows operating system devices, it is characterized as abnormal traffic.

4. Percentage of Footer Link Clicks – If the visits to the dealership’s website triggered an abnormal number of visits to the dealership’s privacy or sitemap pages, it is characterized as abnormal traffic.

5. Hours of Day Clicks – Most Clicks should come during normal hours, not in the middle of the night. 

Remember that when all else fails, you can always trust the data. Data never lies. If you receive a report showing a high number of website visits but no engagements or conversions, you most likely have a case of the bots. If you are one of the thousands of dealers that use AutoHook, contact us and we will set up a feature that will trigger an alert to catch this type of activity…or lack there of it. There are also new technologies specifically made for attacking and exposing bots, while also alerting dealers of potential problems. PCG is one company taking big steps to expose the issue through the PCG Engagement Project and through tools like Vistadash that measure actual human engagement metrics across all your ad sources.

Better yet, come out to one of the upcoming Automotive Engagement Conferences (AEC), starting in Atlanta on March 23rd. AEC is seven-city national tour showing dealers how to measure consumer engagement to eliminate advertising BOTS, BLUNDERS, and BLOAT in their marketing investments. Learn more or register at http://pcgcompanies.com/aec/.

ARE YOU IN THE DARK? The Dark Truth About Bot Traffic

by David Metter

Sometime in the 1890’s, marketing pioneer John Wanamaker coined the famous phrase, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” Personally, I have always hated this phrase. My old boss and mentor would say it to me all of the time. However, advertisers have lived within the confines of this mindset ever since. Even today, dealerships just “accept” that some of their advertising will work and some won’t. As a former CMO and a current “Urban Scientist,” I find this entire concept to be demeaning to marketers. This is 2017. We have the science, technology, and tools to make decisions based on prescriptive, data-based confidence rather than “going with your gut” or experimenting with different solutions. You should never be in the dark when it comes to 50% of your budget.

The same concept applies to your website traffic and the conversion of that traffic. Transparent vendors don’t just tell you how many clicks and visits you received, but whether or not those visits converted or engaged with your website. They should also be the ones alerting you of any suspicious activity. If an ad source is generating a significant amount of traffic, but none of that traffic is filling out a form or interacting with your site’s content, you’re most likely paying for bot (non-human) traffic. This is a huge problem for an industry that spends billions of dollars on paid search.

As of January 2017, Incapsula studied 100,000 domains and found 51.8% of website traffic came from bots. Orbee is an automotive software company that analyzes the quality of dealer website traffic and specializes in identifying bots. Orbee determined up to 60% of dealerships’ paid traffic, and up to 80% of their overall website traffic is coming from non-humans. That’s extremely alarming, and it’s concerning for several reasons. First, robots don’t buy cars. Second, dealers are paying for traffic that is incapable of converting. Traffic that converts is the only type worth paying for.  

 Source: Incapsula

Source: Incapsula

In a recent episode of CBT News’ Auto Marketing Now, Brian Pasch, Founder of PCG Companies stated, “Most dealers have Google Analytics installed, most dealers are getting reports about website traffic, but to be truthful many of those reports are coming from the companies who are selling them advertising.” What this means for dealers and OEMs, is they have to face the fact that their vendors and ad agencies may only be sharing one piece of the story.

Website visits are important, as your traffic patterns can be a great indicator of how to stock your inventory or prepare for future market conditions. However, when your Google Analytics are not showing engagement click actions, there is a need to dig deeper. The average dealer doesn’t get reports from their advertising vendors on cost per engagement. Dealer principals and managers don’t have the time to dig deep into their analytics and look for instances of fraudulent activity. As a result, advertisers can take advantage and get away with charging dealers for traffic coming from bot clicks with zero intent to buy.

In their August 2016 Research Report, PCG identified several automotive marketing companies that were generating “highly irregular” traffic and strongly felt dealers were being misled about their ROI. Brian Pasch wrote, “Automotive leaders are now investing in intelligent website analytics and bot detection software. Orbee is leading that charge by providing bot detection for all online marketing investments.”

VistaDash is also a great tool that combines all sales and marketing data from multiple vendors and sources into one dashboard to immediately identify instances of wasted spend. VistaDash is the only independent data dashboard that scores and measures your website traffic engagement.

With all the new technologies and third party vendors entering the market, dealers need partners that will alert them of any instances of bot or fraudulent traffic. Across all verticals, automotive is the second-largest spender in digital advertising, so you have to know your tools. Know who your tools are coming from. Know how they work, why they work, and the data that sits within them. Choose to know where your money is going. Choose vendors that take strong security measures and will go out of their way to inform you of any suspicious activity.    

 

Note: The AutoHook platform has strong security measures in place in order to catch suspicious activity pertaining to our virtual incentives. If we recognize any behavior that is out of the ordinary, we will reach out to our OEM, agency, or dealer directly in order to further investigate and resolve any issues.