In-House or Partner – Which Solution is Best for Your Dealership’s Attribution?

July 26th, 2023

Achieving targets, attracting new customers, and engaging with previous and current clientele. As a professional in the automotive industry, you’re responsible for so many facets that it can be overwhelming. So when you’re asked, “Are you in charge of attribution?”, it can feel like just another item on an already overloaded plate. But that’s why you have a marketing team, right?

Of course, there are service providers and dealer partners who specialize in attribution. You might be wondering if it’s worth it to take attribution off of your marketing team’s plate and hand it off to a third party, but is that the right fit? There’s a cost associated with it, and since you’re staffing a few professional marketers already, does it make sense to invest even more into that department?

When you’re talking about anything marketing-related, there’s always an upshot from increasing your spend, but only when it’s targeted properly. The question is, do you tackle your attribution in-house, or should you partner with a provider for it? Here are factors that can influence your decision.

Can You Keep Up with the Work?

How many platforms are you currently using across all your departments. Social media of course, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (and maybe even TikTok?). Then there are paid ads on Google, YouTube, and the like. And don’t forget about places like third-party listing sites, not to mention your own dealership or group websites. 

Aggregating the data from these sources into a form that can provide intellectual, actionable information takes work – a lot of hours every week or month. Adding attribution to their plate could be a tall ask in addition to their current workflow.

Can You Keep Up with the Trends?

Is your current marketing team Google Certified, and do they have degrees in digital marketing or a related field? That’s a great boost for your team, and that knowledge goes a long way toward building and executing successful campaigns. 

But there’s an evolution that never stops with attribution, from data privacy updates to new tools and features constantly being released. If your staff isn’t given the time to continuously update their skills and knowledge, your marketing efforts may not be as crisp and effective as they could be, and that goes doubly for attribution.

Is It Affordable?

Naturally, professional services like an attribution platform aren’t free. The investment can seem steep, and like any other type of investment, it’s difficult to foresee its results, even after looking at case studies. Perhaps bad experiences in the past with new software tools that are a flash in the pan have you feeling gunshy about any new expenses. 

But attribution isn’t a new tool to integrate. You’re already doing it in some capacity, and you might need a jump start to get it working like clockwork. What’s it worth to unlock several hours of productivity per month for your team, plus reap better conversions on your campaigns as a result? Yes, there’s a cost to it, but the unrealized profit is much higher.

You have an ad spend, and you want to make the most of it. And while your attribution platform investment may or may not qualify for reimbursement from coop dollars, there’s something even bigger that it does for you: it helps you invest more into channels where your marketing budget is most effective, thus making that ad spend go even further.

When Your Dealership Might Need an Attribution Service Provider

So, is an attribution platform right for you? 

You probably DON’T need help from an outside service provider if: 

  • Your in-house team already does an excellent job of aggregating marketing data and has the knowledge to pitch new ideas for campaigns or ways to improve your current ad programs. 
  • Your dealership is overrun by new and current customers, and you don’t have the inventory to support more sales.
  • Management is adamant that new spending is frozen.

If that doesn’t sound like your situation, you’d likely benefit – a great deal, actually – from partnering with an attribution service provider. Here are three instances where it could be the support you need.

Your Marketing Team Needs Some Direction

Whether you have a marketing department for a single store or a group, creative services are one thing, and aggregating data is quite another. You could be great at sending out email blasts and creating ads, but it isn’t fair to think a copywriter or graphic artist have the education or tools to determine the best channels for optimum responses. 

If your marketing team needs their compass aligned, an attribution service is an excellent investment. They can decipher the data across all channels and advise on the best strategies to maximize your results. 

Your Ad Campaigns Are Coming Up Short

If you’re getting frustratingly low clickthrough rates, high abandonments, or it’s all but impossible to figure out how a customer discovered your store but still led to a sale, then there’s some work to be done. You need to figure out which KPIs to track, and which conversions are meaningless. Data needs to be verified so that you know what’s a real lead and what’s duplicate or incomplete. 

Maybe your ads are actually successful but you just don’t know it. Maybe they need to be retooled or deployed on a different channel. Your marketing team is good, but who couldn’t benefit from some support to turn good into great?

You Want to Hand Off Your Attribution Completely

If your marketing department is swamped already, or if you don’t have the time in your busy day to lay down the groundwork with your marketing manager, then an attribution service provider is definitely for you. You’ve mastered the creative side, and you can leave the KPIs, conversion rates, and other key data to someone who knows it best. It allows your marketing team to do what they know intimately, and that’s creating compelling work that will attract people to your dealership – once it gets in front of their eyes.

If you think you could do better at targeting customers, learning more about their buying intentions, and figuring out what channels are best at converting them, then have a conversation with sMedia about Attributely.

Contact us today to schedule a demo or to find out more about what we can do for you.

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