9 Clouds Automotive Marketing Blog

Where automotive meets digital marketing.


A Digital Audit: The One Thing Every Automotive Agency Should Provide

Digital marketing is exploding in the automotive industry.

The average marketing budget for auto dealers now spends over 50% on digital marketing. As Media Post reports, the automotive industry is the second-largest advertising category (behind general merchandise stores) at $35.5 billion. More startling stats: “Car sales are up 5% this year and ad budgets are up 17%. Online media accounts for 95% of this year’s increase.”

With this gold rush on digital media, it is easy for auto dealers to buy “snake oil” from digital marketers looking to get in on the action.

Many marketing agencies are quickly adding digital services to jump on the digital marketing bandwagon, while large software companies are rolling out templated campaigns to as many of their users as possible. What's most frightening is that auto dealers don't even own their data.

In this digital boom, auto dealers should ask every potential marketing agency for one thing before agreeing to work with them: a digital audit.

You Need a Digital Audit

Before you build a house, you survey the land and create a blueprint. Before you purchase online services, you should receive a similar survey that sets benchmarks for how the work will help your dealership, identifies your greatest opportunities, and creates a budget based on measurable results.

At 9 Clouds, every potential customer receives a digital audit, both for their benefit and ours. We don't want to work with people who won't benefit from our services and don't believe what we believe. Setting a client's expectations before we become partners is essential for long-term success.

Think of a digital audit as a classic SWOT analysis. Your potential agency should look at your store's online strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and timeline for achieving realistic benchmarks.

What's in an Audit

At 9 Clouds, we break down the SWOT method even further. Every audit includes the following:

  • Traffic analysis and comparison
  • Top link and conversion opportunities
  • Email marketing and lead tracking strategies
  • SEO rankings, strategy, and competitive analysis
  • Social media analysis and strategy
  • Google AdWords and Facebook ad cost predictions, strategies, and conquest opportunities
  • Education on inbound marketing, marketing automation, and big data so that the potential client knows what works in other industries and how it could work in their store as well

Based on the results of our digital audit, we provide the lead with important action steps, including:

  • 3-5 changes the store can make immediately online
  • 3-5 areas of focus 9 Clouds could work on. If there aren't at least three areas of improvement, the lead doesn't need us.
  • Benchmarks for traffic, conversion, click rates, SEO, and ad costs. These are the standards to which stores should hold their marketing efforts, whether that's through an internal marketer, a software provider, or a digital agency like 9 Clouds.
  • Suggested budget for digital marketing based on their current conversion rates and potential for conquest and sales

Less Snake Oil, More Data

Too often, automotive dealers are attracted to shiny objects. Avoid the temptation by requesting a digital audit. If the marketing agency you're considering cannot identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and potential benchmarks online, you know it's selling either snake oil or a pre-packaged product that won't be customized for your store.

You deserve better. Request a digital audit and know exactly what you are investing in. We don't do work without it, and neither should you.

Contact 9 Clouds to request your digital audit. You will learn how to quickly improve your digital marketing efforts and have the chance to ask questions with us during our personalized digital audit phone call.

Image: William Frankhouser