Ferman Automotive Management is an independently owned and operated dealer group serving the state of Florida from its Tampa Bay headquarters.  Founded in 1895, Ferman has been in the transportation business for over 100 years.  They currently own & operate franchises for 14 new car brands at 7 locations throughout Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties, as well as 5 Harley Davidson dealerships.

hd-florida-harley-logoThe digital advertising & content shepherded by Ferman to support these dealerships is critically important to their profitability, and has become an increasingly complicated ecosystem to manage.  They needed help defining & measuring success across myriad advertising partners given the disconnect between sales metrics and guest activity on dealership web properties.  Ferman tapped iDimension, a Google Analytics Certified Partner, to help.

183x125Each Ferman general manager (GM) commissions digital advertising that drives prospective guests to local websites for their dealerships.  This must be done in concert with brands that are also doing national & regional advertising to support their dealers – in varying degrees across every dealership in the Ferman group.  Add to this a seemingly endless parade of vendors that try to convince GMs their service will help drives sales – and you have a situation where multiple parties are claiming responsibility for sales.  Identifying what’s working, and what’s not working, is a vexing puzzle.

1439085197_PixelKit_target_iconYou can’t measure success if you don’t define success. Defining success for a car dealership website is not a straight forward process given the gap between sales data & digital property analytics.  iDimension helped Ferman formally define success in a digital marketing measurement framework document, and helped gain consensus & understanding across the entire organization relative to that framework.  iDimension used this client approved measurement framework as the basis for a best practices configuration of dealership Google Analytics web properties & views.

With Google Analytics configured, the next step was to tag the web properties such that data was collected accurately to support measuring success as defined.  iDimension configured & deployed Google Tag Manager containers on all properties to manage a complicated tagging scheme including support for custom Google Analytics pageviews & events, Google AdWords remarketing, Facebook retargeting, and Marchex call keyword level call tracking.  iDimension imports cost data for AdWords, Bing, Facebook & Instagram advertising accounts into respective dealership Google Analytics properties to allow for comparison of ad cost & conversion goal value generated by each advertising source.

 iDimension uses the Google Analytics API to provide data for sessions where a vehicle is viewed as well as digital advertising cost data to Ferman IT, who coordinates with external vendors like AutoTrader.com & Cars.com to obtain vehicle impression & cost data for Ferman inventory on external sites.  This allows for calculation of a “cost per vehicle details page view” both on and off of Ferman web properties.

Success defined & measured correctly through best practices implementations of Google Analytics & Google Tag Manger allows iDimension to help each Ferman GM manage their digital marketing budget to success.  Conversion goal value & return on ad spend (ROAS) work together to shine objective light on what’s working, and where to focus optimization efforts.   Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnel reporting allows attribution analysis to prevent incorrect decision making based solely on the last click attribution by exposing all traffic sources across multi-visit conversion paths.

icon-product-datastudio-64Spreadsheets-128iDimension ties metrics across multiple digital data sources and internal Ferman sales reporting to allow analysis against an accurate, objective, comprehensive picture of their digital marketing performance.  Reports that pull this data together leverage the Google Analytics & AdWords application programming interfaces (APIs), and Google Sheets.  As Google Data Studio matures and allows more data source connectors, this reporting tool will purpose to expose digital marketing performance data in a more meaningful visual manner across the entire Ferman organization.