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The Inbound Sales and Marketing Blog

3 Reasons You Shouldn't be Checking Off Web Marketing As Finished

by Bill Poole on April 28, 2017


I am relatively disciplined when it comes to getting regular workouts. I really enjoy mountain biking, which makes a lot of the workouts very fun for the majority of the year, but winter is a bit different. Although I live in Colorado, it is not possible to take quick break to go for a ski during the work week, so I begrudgingly go to the gym to get my workout.

I regularly notice a gal at the gym sitting on the stationary bike, peddling slowly, with more attention spent on her phone than on anything else. She is quite the texter! There is plenty of stuff that I can find on my phone to keep my attention for the 45 minutes that I am at the gym, but that seems a bit counter intuitive to me. My reasoning for going to the gym has little to do with the time I am at the gym. I go to the gym for a few reasons:

  • I am more productive the rest of the day!
  • When I do mountain bike or ski, it is more fun, and less work
  • While I usually eat a healthy diet, I do enjoy yummy food and an IPA here and there
  • I sleep much better at night
  • Being fit results in less aches and pains and other getting old stuff
  • I just feel better all day!

So, my reasons for going to the gym are directly aligned with things that are valuable to my life, and have little to do with the time that I am actually there. Different people go to the gym for different reasons. For example, some go for social reasons. That said, I am a bit curious about the reasons that the texting biker goes to the gym. My only guess is that she is checking the gym box off in her daily routine, and doesn't really have a list of reasons why she is actually there.

Similarly, there are varying approaches as to how dealerships look at their web marketing strategy. Which approach do you take?

  1. Is your web marketing an expense that enables you to check a box?
  2. Are you investing in web marketing to support your business? 

A lot of dealerships take the checkbox approach to web marketing and look at it as an expense, not an investment. They have a website, and a checkbox social presence because they have to. There are 3 very important reasons that you should look at web marketing as an investment, not an expense:

  1. Your prospects
  2. Your clients
  3. Your employees of today and in the future

These are 3 things that should not be checkbox items for your business. Let's take a look at the impact of web marketing as it relates to each of these three and how you might contemplate the return on your web marketing investment for each.

Reason #1: Your Prospects

Let's look the process your prospects go through when making a decision. We will look at this from 2 different standpoints:

  1. Initiating a sale cycle
  2. Supporting a sale cycle

Initiating a sales cycle

Buyers typically enter into sale cycles in one of three ways:

  1. The sales team generates the opportunity
  2. It is an existing client that needs new services or products (See reason #2 below)
  3. They don't know you and they seek out a provider on the web

Web marketing impacts only the third way. Think about what needs to happen to turn these folks into an opportunity? Can your dealership be found on Google? Once they do land on your site, does your website connect with them? Create a positive impression? Does it have enough information for them given where they are in their decision-making such that they trust your business enough to engage with you?

Supporting a sales cycle

Think about purchases that you have made. Personally, I do a lot of research on my own, many times not during business hours. I don't think there is much doubt that your prospects do the same.

Does your website have content that helps a prospect through the various stages of the sales cycle? Of course you need bottom-funnel information on your products and services, but what about when the buyer is exploring their problems and considering different ways to address it? Do you have content to support that? Do you have client success stories?

Weighing your ROI

Unlike most forms of traditional marketing, some aspects of web marketing can be very easily weighed. It is easy to identify what web leads and call-in leads directly resulted in business -- so long as you are tracking how these folks found you.

What is not-so-easy to weigh is the impact of your web marketing investment on supporting ALL prospects (sales generated, current clients, as well as web-generated). Clients that decide to go with your competitors may have done so because they were more engaged with your competitor's web touch points earlier in the sales cycle.

Are you investing in web marketing to help your business, or are you checking the box?

Reason #2: Your CLIENTS 

A great deal of our clients say their competitive advantage is the service they deliver to future clients. From their standpoint, that might mean they have an amazing, tenured support team. "When someone calls us, we deliver responsive service." Let's look at this from their client's standpoint since they are the ones whose work is disrupted when they need support.

Millennials are the future of the workforce. What are the various ways that people want to interact with your dealership from a support standpoint?

  • Away from their desk on a mobile device?
  • Via chat to get a quick fix that may not require sending someone out?
  • Online support?

Is your web presense set up to handle this?  How easy is it to access support on your site from a mobile phone? Is your support page helpful? Is live chat even an option?

Ensuring you are set up to enable your clients to interact with your business how, where, and when they want builds long term loyalty.

Weighing your ROI

Loyalty is very hard to measure from a dollars and cents standpoint. Measuring Net Promoter score is one way to assess your client's satisfaction. Ironically, the dealers that are able to measure this are also the ones that are set up to support clients the way they want to be supported.

REASON #3: YOUR EMPLOYEES of today and in the future 

Your current workforce

Is your website an asset to your sale team? Per the points above, your sales team should use your site to support their client interations. Do you have content that supports clients through all the stages of their decision (exploring the problem, options, and client success stories)?.

What about your support folks? Do your support touch points streamline or create more work for your support team? Online support can streamline the support process, minimizing human errors and expediting support quicker.

Your future workforce

Your website and social touch points create the first impression of your business. The best workers for your business are the ones that have options. They make a judgment about whether or not they will even apply to for that opening based on what they see before they talk with you or anyone on your staff.

What impression does your website make?

Weighing your ROI

The financial impact on current and future workers is very hard to weigh. Staff productivity is challenging to measure, and you never know about the perfect candidate that decided not to apply.


Given the lifetime value of a client, it doesn't take too much incremental business to justify taking an "investment" approach instead of a "checkbox" approach. That said, measuring the true return on your web marketing investment is as challenging as weighing the financial impact of my trips to the gym. Unlike going to the gym, you can outsource your web marketing to industry experts!

Given the potential and actual impact of web marketing on your prospects, clients, and employees, measuring your web marketing investment by looking only at web-generated leads is just the tip of the iceberg.

Businesses that invest in web marketing also realize the same thing that I realize with a regular workout routine: It just feels good!

Are you investing in web marketing to help your business, or are you checking the box?

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Website