In our conversations with dealership marketing leaders, one thing is clear: marketing reporting is anything but easy. 

Marketers believe in the power of their campaigns and the budget spent to drive leads and appointments, but when it comes time to prove the value of those efforts, things get tricky. 

This isn’t the marketer’s fault. Aggregating marketing data is in and of itself difficult when you need to pull from somewhere between 3 and 30 sources. Some marketers focus on just one piece of the puzzle, for example, determining the percentage of website traffic that converts. But one view can never tell the whole story, and certainly doesn’t prove out marketing ROI. Not surprisingly, Nielsen data shows that only 54% of marketers have confidence in measuring ROI across the funnel.

To answer why this process is so challenging, we have to first look at the major marketing data sources themselves. While they all offer insights, they each pose challenges as well. Let’s take a look.

Analytics Data

Tools such as Google Analytics are powerful resources for website reporting. Estimates suggest Google Analytics alone is used by over 55% of all websites. 

Analytics tools provide data on web pages, audience demographics, and more. They show where conversions come from, including specific forms, pages, etc. This is a primary benefit for dealership marketers looking for marketing measurement data.

But this data is anonymous–you can’t connect any of this activity back to a sale or person. Google Analytics may or may not include phone calls or all calls depending on your setup. 

You’re left with a list of conversions but remain unable to determine where all your calls came from and what marketing efforts resulted in these conversions.

Beyond this, these tools can feel overwhelming. You can access a lot of data, but you also have to invest in configuring your tool for your needs. And not everyone needs all of the power of Google Analytics. Some marketers even see it as a source of guilt–” I should know this better, but I don’t…”

Website Data

Another major source of marketing data for dealers is the website provider. This reporting generally shows data on website conversions and traffic, but the level of robust reporting varies, and it doesn’t always offer more information than Google Analytics. 

Website providers also don’t connect conversions to real people. It’s rare for the website reporting to be connected to a CRM, and sold attribution is still very manual. Even if you do get a list of names for something like a form, you still have to manually connect those names to your CRM data. We can all agree, that doesn’t sound like a fun way to spend 3 work days every time you want to measure ROI.

CRM Data

If conversions are the name of the game, why not go directly to the CRM? This is the sales source of truth after all.

The first limitation is that CRM reporting reflects the leads generated that end up in the CRM. That sounds obvious, but given that more than 11% of leads go unlogged, you can quickly see how CRM data becomes skewed. 

Source attribution is generally very limited as well. Oftentimes the source for a lead is “website” or the name of a chat provider, telling you nothing about which online marketing efforts inspired someone to become a lead.  

Matching CRM data to other marketing data is still that delightful manual process we referred to above. Manual entry is not only time-consuming, it’s more likely to result in errors. 

Finding Better Solutions

Though every data source has limitations, there is still power in data. Each source offers a look into your overall marketing success. 

While we’ve mentioned overcoming the hurdles with manual solutions and workarounds, you can also use a tool like Foureyes Omni-Tracking. Omni-Tracking tracks every web lead from call, form, or chat and connects them to your sales, giving you a clearer picture of marketing performance. We know the headaches that accompany marketing reporting and created Omni-Tracking with that in mind, so to speak. If you’d like to see what insights you can get for your business, get a demo today.