Google ZMOT and Tier Integration

It’s a never-ending challenge which we seem to face almost monthly in the car business.  No, I’m not talking CSI scores, gross averages or inventory management.  I’m referring to the cosmic duel happening between automotive manufacturer advertisements and that of your local dealer.

We’ve been trained better than Pavlov’s dog to push for the 30th or 31st and think about next month when next month gets here.  Moreover, incentive changes don’t allow us to be ahead of our game.  How can we possibly make this better?

I offer two solutions, and what I feel is one HUGE missing point in the process.  If you’ve been to an automotive marketing seminar or around the dealership summit speaking loop you’ve certainly heard of Google’s ZMOT study.  If not – watch here:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIFBwIAdpu4]


This simple yet powerful study finds that our automotive shoppers are spending more time each day, month and year online prior to purchase. The ZMOT study also revealed the power of a dealer partnering stimulus, zero moment of truth, first moment of truth and second moment of truth.  I’d like to focus our thoughts on the stimulus and zero moment of truth – but specifically reference the manufacturer dealer relationship discussed above.

Elements of the car business are evolving at a rabbit’s pace.  Automotive marketing calendars are not.  That is our biggest opportunity.  Anyone who’s been in the car biz three years or more will be able to look at an annual calendar and tell you when things are going to get HOT, and also when they’re going to cool off.

Not surprisingly, when they get “hot,” budgets and investments from the manufacturer will reach their highest point of the year. This is where I feel there is an enormous opportunity to catch the opportunity the manufacturer is throwing toward dealers.

Budgets during these events, or “stimulus,” are most oftentimes increased by the dealer and the manufacturer, but the difference in the amount invested is gigantic.  However, that’s okay. This is how tier integration is supposed to work .

What exactly is tier integration?

Tier 1 – We’ve got a great product.  Check out the new features, and buy it from your local dealer

Tier 2 – We’ve got 20 dealers in your area to buy our great product from.  Buy from our brand at an affordable price

Tier 3 – I sell the exact product you’re looking for, buy from me today!

The challenge lies within the “integration” of this strategy during stimulus.  This is where our dealers can make the biggest gains in 2013.  As a dealer, you must integrate and infiltrate their marketing with the right stimulus to catch what the manufacturer is pushing into online search.  Data is extremely crucial in this process as previous successes and failures will lead you in the right direction to ensure you’ve got your baskets ready to catch the right customers and searches.

RAM 1500 Truck Month
Conversion Page for the RAM Truck Month Event

As an example of this, I offer you the following opportunity which the TargetClick team has provided solutions for: RAM Truck Month.

Below are assets we’ll use with our dealers that will be integrated to catch the stimulus of the manufacturer event.  Below you’ll see:

  • Paid Search Keyword lists (based on truck month historical searches)
  • Conversion Page (Event) – complete with manufacturer event and dealer incentive to drive leads/phone calls + Event Video to conquer more SERPs
  • Conversion Page (Model) – complete with model specific information about the RAM 1500 and dealer incentive  + Model specific video to conquer more SERPs
  • Display – coincides with manufacturer event and dealer
  • Blog content – be sure to keep your blog updated with relevant and authoritative information about upcoming events and incentives.  Communicate these via your social channels to ensure all your messaging is 100% focused on integration.

Think your strategy needs some help?  Please don’t hesitate to contact us and we can discuss a solution fitting of your dealership and market area.

Zac Keeney is the Director of Business Development at TargetClick Powered by Mudd Advertising. Contact him at ZacK@mudd.com to learn more about automotive digital marketing opportunities.


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