The Dealer Playbook
The Dealer Playbook

Episode 496 · 6 months ago

What Should Car Dealers Know About Amazon Advertising? w/ Vasilios Lambos

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In this week's recap, we discuss where Amazon advertising fits into the media mix for car dealers and what they should be thinking about when it comes to advertising online, in general. 

The Dealer Playbook is about modern car dealers who are meeting the demands and evolving with today's marketplace, hosted by Michael Cirillo. 

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Michael's Marketing and Tech Company: flexdealer.com 

And you said something which triggered the Sidebar ussileos, Russi lie, did I say there? You crushed it, Dude. You don't get to talk to people with sexy names very often. You said something about the First Party data that made me think about this, and it was the mixed having a mixed, a balanced, mixed plan. And so often dealers just there. They're they're spending all their money on low funnel because they're so stuck in the today. I need to sell cars today, I need leads to work today.

So let me ask you this. Now that you've entertained me from it, I'm going to shut up. How well does this Amazon? How well does the Amazon ecosystem work as part? Is it part of a mixed, balanced approach? Can it handle top of funnel all the way through the phases of the bind journey to low funnel? Do we still need to rely on other platforms? Yeah, so I would a hundred percent agree that we're applicable. You want to have, obviously media. Your media plan should have a strategy related most importantly to the business subjective that you're looking to saw. Regardless of that business subjective and for dealer, is its driving arrows, driving sales right, retaining customers, acquiring new vehicles, maybe upselling that vehicle, that customer...

...into a new vehicle. In the end of the day it's liftime value we measure success at the dealership. It's how do we retain and keep that customer for life? And Amazon fits very, very well into that marketing funnel because Amazon naturally is a mid funnel customer and at times it's going to be upper funnel. And so when we say talk about brand awareness and upper funnel, it's all the OTT that we're delivering is predominantly going to be upper funnel in terms of building that brand awareness, and then we layer in, we sort of couple that bottom funnel in ten or. We get more into that consideration midfunnel and ten by layering in inventory feeds, by trying to show users, Hey, this is the dealers brand promise, right, this is the brand promise from the dealer, and here inventory coupled with that, that experience with...

...that dealers brand promise, and so we sort of blend it. I would say Amazon's a very midfunnel customer and based on this strategy you deliver could be more upper funnel, more leaning into that brand awareness play or extraordinarily bottom funnel, and I would say most of our display direct response campaigns are mainly bottom funnel ads that are served to a very mid funnel customer. So, out of the box, amazoncom is an ECOMMERCE shopper. Think of who an Amazon user is. It's somebody who's shopping for convenience. They wanted delivered to their home. They want it fast, right in terms of two day a prime shipping. Right. So you know, I would say you need in terms of the media plan, you hit the nail on the head. You need Google, you need facebook, you need other channels to support holistic media plan. But depending you know, I'm not I don't want to be. I tell people, you know dealers in particular, you know marketing directors. We...

...talked about this, all this all the time. I am not the shiny thing on the block that you're going to go all in on as a media buyer, media planner. I would highly advise against that. And we tell our customers, even though we only deliver programmatic media on Amazon, we have customers media plan with us. I say, Hey, let me look at your media plant, your cost per sale and try to back into finding you efficiencies to buy on our channel right and so in doing that we naturally fit. I would say your your point, which is, you know, where does Amazon Fall? Well, now, Amazon users midfunnel, and how you attack or approach that strategy, you can make you can push budget towards a more brand awareness upper funnel intent or you can you can gear that budget more towards a more bottom funnel campaign strategy. HMM, so it's flexible. You know, whereas search tends to be mainly right bottom funnel, midfunnel in ten,...

...social being a lot more of that brand awareness. I don't even call facebook ads. I don't even look at facebook ads as a significant midfunnel, bottom funnel campaign strategy anymore. After I have evaluated, you know, over the years the quality of the leads that I've seen coming through the platform. I really think that, you know, they've been they've validated the effectiveness really through that offline attribution piece as well, and they did it because they knew that they can track back the impression right to someone who was exposed to the brand. And so facebook was hey, let's turn to facebook to get leads, leads, leads. Then dealers realized no, let's go to facebook and some of these paid social strategies. Is a way to be more brand awareness, to go a long term, and so you know, my best recommendation there too, is like, well, what is your dealer trying to accomplish? How does that media? Let's stop. That's the biggest thing. Let's...

...media planning on the Thirty Day. Can we stop? Can we stop? We understand way. As as as a vendor in the space, we will tailor to your incentives. That though. AM It's right. Great. Well, let's think about your strategy over a twelvemonth window, right. I think that's another thing here to right. When we're thinking about how do we get that media plan and be more effective. Will look at it'll broader window and and back into your business objectives. From there, you're going to find you're going to give yourself a lot of more flexibility and you're going to give yourself a lot more, I think, affective direction in terms of WHO and what media you're buying, right, and so that's that's where it's going to expose like am I spending too much our Google? I'm I spending too much on facebook? Over a longer window, right, that's that's what I'm getting at? Yeah, it makes perfect sense to me. I mean look, if your only business objective is to get ads with dynamic inventory insertion happening, then...

...you're you're successful. If that's your only objective, you succeeded. Except, Oh wait, you're not satisfied with that. Why doesn't turn you around the results that you're looking for? Oh why? Because you haven't defined your business mission yet. What do you try? What are you aiming to achieve? And then, oops, can't happen in a thirty day window, because historically, life express variance tells all of us that anything worth while takes a while. And so I love what you're saying, man, about let's look at your year. You know where you want to get this year. I mean, heck, let's look at your quarter, even though, what you're trying to accomplish this quarter, and then lean backwards. kind of your point, lean backwards into well, what are the what are the tactics then? What do I need to deploy or execute upon in order to make that overarching goal...

...happen? But again, like I said, if just getting vehicles listed through dynamic ads is the goal, then you already won. Except, oops, you didn't get the result you wanted, which tells me that wasn't your objective. You know what I mean? Like it's it's funny, and I say it that way, you know, tongue in cheek, because it's like we need to start acknowledging the fact that so few dealers, not just dealers, businesses, people, don't have a road map that they're working off of. And and I think, I don't know, I'd love your take, but I think that's what's keeping people in thirty day cycles. It is, it definitely is, and you know, I I do want around that out, you know, a little bit more. I think it needs this topic needs to be spoken about more effectively because, you know, a lot of the conversation we had. I think we built this, I say we built this Amazon business at the bottom of the market. What I mean by that is...

...dealers were not looking to spend ad dollars and we were walking in with a very effective solution to find a more efficient media by but it wasn't just it's not just about efficiency in the end of the day, right you you look at the big, big brands like Carvana, carmacks, who are coming in a little bit more of a macro level when you know they obviously have a lot more to spend at that DMA space, but they understand the brand awareness, they understand the long term investment. And our solve to dealers who are thinking a little bit more short term is, let us prove it out for you. Within three thousand and sixty ninety days. You give us your sales data and Lee data to match back to the channel, we can prove the return on ad spend. And so that's been very, very compelling in a space where measuring success in a media channel today is rather difficult, and so you know Amazon being on that bleeding edge. We can solve for that.

Once we do that, the other more basic approach, without going that deeper, I say full funnel Amazon Advertising, is what we've brought to market. You can just look at your overall medium mix. Put everybody on paper, your vendor fees, your Google spent, your Carscom third party endemic snake oil listing, right, that be on there. Throw the you know, some random tool that you bought. Think you're paying six hundred month. Add it all up, calculate your cost for car soul, simple math right, ran and back in, back into your media plan. From there you'll probably free up fifty, Sixtyzero, so you can start to spend in a more longer term media by like a brand awareness campaign, like a awesome video acid on Ott that talks about soandso dealer. Right, and your message in the local market. You can compete, is what I'm telling dealers with this. I'm...

...not saying by US, because it's Amazon. No, I'm saying by the into the media channel and instruct your media plan to deliver results for you. Right, and so I think that's the biggest thing and I think you hit the nail on the head. I hope that, if there's anything dealers take away from this is that you got to stop thinking short term with your media and marketing and embrace that long term investment into what you're delivering in a market, what you're saying to your prospect of customers. I'm Michael Sirillo and you've been listening to the dealer playbook podcast. If you haven't yet, please click the subscribe button wherever you're listening right now, leave a rating or review and share it with the call weak. Thanks for listening.

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