Google Dealer Playbook: A Strategy to Start From

By: Jonah Cole, Product Manager

In late August, Dominion Dealer Solutions had the privilege of discussing the then-unreleased Google Dealer Playbook with representatives from Google and Automotive News. Google has since released the playbook to the automotive industry at large, with largely positive reviews.

We examined what Google put together with a critical eye and a focus on what it would mean for our dealership partners, as well as what it meant for us as Google Premier Partner. Our initial thoughts were “We have a responsibility to utilize the information we get from Google as a valued partner, implement and adjust it for our dealer partners, and report back on what is working and what isn’t.”

Many items mirrored what we had already adopted as a strategy for our dealers.

In the end, we really liked what we saw. Many items mirrored what we had already adopted as best practice strategies for our dealers. Some items in the Google Playbook left us wanting to learn more about how they will benefit our dealers.

A playbook is defined as a “book containing a sports team’s strategies and plays.” So, basically a structure and resource for creating a winning strategy, much like Bill Walsh’s revolutionary “West Coast Offense”. What we see from the Google version is essentially a framework for success based on macro data that they aggregated; a “West Coast Offense” straight from Mountain View! Your vendor partner’s job is to take those strategies and apply them to your team- matching them to your dealership’s unique strengths and weaknesses, and using them to rise above your opponents. Our job, as a vendor partner, is to apply the playbook to your local market. Using the playbook in addition to our hands-on, custom approach to digital advertising allows us to Implement, Inspect, Interpret and Improve upon current strategies.

Implementation is the first step in evaluating what will work for an automotive dealer’s digital advertising strategy. It includes testing and taking the extra time to build campaigns around shopping moments and buyer intent. If you aren’t constantly testing and adjusting, you end up with bland data and, as we know, data is the lifeblood of any digital advertising strategy.

Gone are the days when a ‘set it and forget it’ strategy suffices.

Next, Inspection is key. Gone are the days when a “set it and forget it” strategy suffices. It’s irresponsible in today’s automotive digital landscape. Implementing new strategies and features unlocks more and more data that needs qualified inspection and evaluation. Just using strategies and “plays” from Google is not enough.

Interpreting what the new data is telling us and then putting in the time and effort to Improve performance is essential. It is important to realize that the Playbook is meant as a launch point to a healthier digital advertising strategy. As Digital Marketing Specialists, we are here to make sure that as our dealers move from fundamentals, to basics, to differentiators and even to future, cutting-edge strategies, their efforts are effective and clearly reflect their specific needs and local market behaviors.

Google’s Dealer Playbook gives automotive dealers a strategy to implement once they have built a solid foundation that’s effective both from a performance standpoint and a cost standpoint. As we do with every solution we provide, our team at Dominion Dealer Solutions will continue to evaluate the success of our dealers based on automotive industry best practices and what works best in local markets.

If you’d like to learn more about the Google Dealer Playbook and our approach to Digital Advertising, contact us at 877.421.1040.

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