Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Cardinale Group tracks social media marketing


Cardinale Automotive Group leverages Instagram to reach consumers.

Social media metrics

Cardinale Automotive Group uses social media tools on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to build target audiences, track who’s taking action and see who actually shows up to buy.

Cardinale Automotive Group is not interested in playing social media guessing games.

When the 19-store group invests in digital campaigns on Facebook and Instagram, it’s not throwing money around with no idea if consumers are seeing the ads and converting.

The stores take a granular approach that enables them to attribute the marketing dollars of their digital campaigns to floor traffic and sales.

Armed with customer relationship management data, the group uses tools on those social networks to build target audiences, track who’s taking action, and see what sites the consumers come from, how many appointments are booked from campaigns and who shows up to make purchases.

This mentality is driven by a disciplined approach to spending money in which simply covering costs isn’t good enough. If time and resources are spent, there must be a return on investment, says CEO Erich Gail. 

Cardinale Automotive, of Seaside, Calif., has stores in Arizona, California and Nevada selling 11 brands, including Acura, Audi, BMW, GMC, Hyundai and Toyota. 

“Every single thing we do as a dealer comes down to discipline and math,” Gail told Automotive News during January’s National Automobile Dealers Association convention in New Orleans, adding: “Remove excuses, remove emotions from it. It’s the discipline to do it and the math that produces that result.”

Gail illustrated the group’s tracking precision by touting a groupwide Instagram campaign during the fourth quarter of 2016. 

The stores reached 184,000 potential consumers with ads on Instagram. From there, the group was able to see that 237 people took direct actions, which could include a phone call or an online chat. 

Those 237 actions turned into 107 appointments that resulted in 66 consumers showing up in stores. In the most important stat, Gail said 54 of those people bought vehicles. The campaign’s investment per unit sold was $132.

Gail: “Every single thing we do as a dealer comes down to discipline and math.”

‘Hope plan’

This granularity is a reason why the group moved away from advertising in traditional outlets in 2010 or 2011. Gail said he doesn’t want to drop cash on the “hope plan” where he isn’t sure if someone is seeing his group’s ads.

His company, Gail said, is all about one-to-one attribution.

Instagram “is an incremental piece to what’s happening on Facebook. It’s an opportunity to extend your reach and showcase your content and creative [output] in a different type of landscape,” said Trace Przybylowicz, Facebook’s auto lead for industry relations and strategic growth.

“You’re starting to see more happen now in the dealer community because of the evolution of [direct response] on the Instagram platform.”

Examples of direct response -are buttons asking consumers to “shop now” or “learn more.”

The evolving targeting capabilities on Facebook and Instagram over the years have given dealers more control over who sees their ads.

Based on CRM data, Gail said his stores can use Facebook’s custom audience platform that allows it to reach its active consumers on the network.

The group can then separate those consumers based on age, location and models they own.

The data can be used to retarget those individuals when they cross over to Instagram.

“We know you’ve had your XYZ automobile for three years, we know you’re a sports enthusiast, you like XYZ, it’s probably time we start doing some sort of pull-forward offer for you that appeals to what you currently own,” Gail said. “We’re going to deliver you a message that’s relevant for you, then see if you’re going to take an action on it. If you do, and we find there are others like you, then we will try the same thing with them.”

Social media metrics

Cardinale Automotive Group uses social media tools on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to build target audiences, track who’s taking action and see who actually shows up to buy.



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