Automotive Retail Attribution: Fundamentals and Future

Measuring the impact of your marketing investment

sponsored contentPrior to online marketing, facts about where vehicle sales came from, and how advertising campaigns performed were hard to come by. From a practical viewpoint you couldn’t really tie back sales to your TV, print, and mail spend. Effectively, you had to go with your gut.

In the early 2000’s, there was the Internet boom and with it came the promise of attributing those “online shoppers” to buying cars. Reality is that there is often a gaping disconnect between the “lead” and the showroom visitor and the purchase itself. Even the most savvy dealer or manufacturer with an advanced tracking process has struggled with matching the path.

So the old adage still applied, “Half of my advertising spend works, I just don’t know which half.”

With more advertising channels comes more ways to reach potential consumers, but also more complicated analysis to determine if your investment is working. Effectively, your ability to attribute sales to specific marketing initiatives has evolved, but so too have the intricacies.

So where should savvy marketers start?

Marketing Attribution – Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

In marketing, attribution means the tracking of your marketing investment through each stage of path-to-purchase from creating awareness to driving traffic to close. Attribution allows you to understand which elements of your marketing mix were involved in the purchase decision process, and ideally, which were the most effective.

The role that attribution plays today and in the future is evolving rapidly as more sophisticated data becomes available and able to be interpreted and acted on more intelligently.

As an example, consumers now expect and respond better to messaging that is better customized to them personally, thus customization has become a key measurable characteristic with marketing attribution, an idea unimagined only a few years ago.

As explained in this post on DealerRefresh, Solving Your Dealer’s Attribution Confusion, Marketing Customization is one of the four recommendations for overcoming the hurdles of attribution.

Others include…

  • Implementing a streamlined form-fill process on all devices in conjunction with responsive design
  • Consumer experience plays a significant role in the attribution process
  • Attribution is more accurately measured when conversion is streamlined via e-mail or text message delivery

In the white paper by AutoHook that is made available to you below free for download, the idea of attribution is discussed in three succinct phases:

Part 1) Attribution in the Past
Part 2) Attribution Today
Part 3) Attribution in the Future

Within each section of the white paper, the capabilities marketers have, had, or will have at their fingertips when it comes to attribution, and their limitations, are identified and addressed, particularly with where attribution is today and where it’s headed.

With attribution today, what has been missing is the ability to measure the impact of something driving awareness and consideration all the way down to the purchase.

Attribution of Customization is the other aspect that is the future. Consumers now expect and respond better to messaging that is customized to them.

The better you’re able to understand your consumers and address their needs and wants (both from an information and product perspective), the more you’ll earn their trust. Download the AutoHook white paper today to explore more around this rapidly evolving subject.

Free eBook to Auto Sales Attribution

Automotive Attribution White Paper by AutoHook

Click to Download

The Internet has already made massive changes to our industry and more are coming, so quickly that it sometimes feels that in the time it takes you to get up to speed, you’ve already fallen behind.

This eBook Contains

  • Attribution in the Past
  • Attribution Today
  • Attribution in the Future
  • How to Ensure Proper Attribution at the Dealership Level

About the Author

AutoHook powered by Urban Science provides targeted incentives that convert at every touchpoint. Their solutions integrate across all three automotive tiers to drive more incremental sales, more new to brand buyers, more showroom visits, and optimum conversion rates across channels. For more information please visit
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