The automotive business is a dog-eat-dog world, with dealers constantly striving to stay ahead of the competition. Advertising often plays a crucial role in their success, but what if the very metrics they rely on are shrouded in deception? In this comprehensive analysis, we’ll reveal the shocking truth behind a dubious metric called Offline Conversions, how Facebook marketers prey on unsuspecting dealers, and provide statistics that further illuminate these manipulative tactics.
The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: Offline Conversions
Offline Conversions is a metric used by some automotive Facebook marketers to pull the wool over the eyes of car dealers. They boast about the effectiveness of their ads, claiming to have sold a significant number of cars through their campaigns. But there’s a dark secret behind these seemingly impressive numbers.
The Twisted Reality of the Metrics:
These cunning marketers obtain a dealership’s sold customer list and upload it to Facebook. Facebook then labels anyone who merely saw the ad as a conversion, regardless of whether the ad influenced their purchase decision. The deception deepens when marketers pixel a dealer’s website, allowing them to display Facebook ads to the dealership’s website visitors and artificially inflate the conversion numbers. Here is an example of a report being used as a case study for a dealership’s results.
This report alleges that the dealership successfully sold 66 cars as a direct result of these Facebook campaigns. Unfortunately, this claim is far from accurate. While the report has the potential to provide valuable insights, the way it is currently presented to dealership decision-makers is misleading, especially considering that many of them may lack the expertise to discern the truth.
According to a study by Nielsen, only 2.6% of users who saw an ad on Facebook actually made a purchase as a result of the ad . This means that the vast majority of these so-called conversions are likely to be false positives, greatly exaggerating the impact of the advertising campaigns.
The Snake Oil Salesmen of Dealerships:
Unaware of these manipulative tactics, many dealerships fall for the illusion. They’re dazzled by fancy reports with promising numbers. What they don’t realize is that these numbers are a distorted representation of the true impact of the advertising campaigns. Based on the Nielson average, only 2.6% of the 66 customers bought a vehicle because of the Facbeook ad they saw.
Unveiling the True Heroes of Dealership Success:
The reality is that advertising is just one of many factors contributing to a car dealership’s success. Aspects like location, time in business, repeat and referral business, reputation, and the sales team hold far greater weight in the grand scheme of things. In fact, a study conducted by McKinsey & Company found that dealerships with strong referral networks and good reputations experienced 60% higher customer retention than those that relied heavily on advertising .In fact, if a dealership stopped advertising completely for six months, they would likely still sell around 80% of their current volume, based on my experience in the industry.
Vendors have mastered the art of claiming credit for sales they had no hand in. It’s not unusual to find several vendors attributing the same customer to their respective marketing strategies. Dealerships must remain vigilant against these deceptive practices, focusing on the genuine factors that contribute to their success, rather than falling prey to deceitful metrics like Offline Conversions.
Dealerships need to take a stand against the misleading tactics employed by some Facebook marketers. By understanding the real contributors to success and refusing to fall for distorted metrics, they can safeguard their businesses from those who seek to exploit their vulnerabilities. It’s time to expose the great deception and hold marketers accountable for the true impact of their campaigns.
Below is an example of our reporting that is tied directly into the dealership’s DMS. We have full conversation history with these customers and we know for a fact they came from the Facebook advertising. We are not guessing.
If you want me to take a look at your current Facebook advertising, no strings attached. Please don’t hesitate to email me. email@example.com
 Nielsen. (2018). The Nielsen Total Audience Report: Q1 2018. Retrieved from https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/report/2018/q1-2018-total-audience-report/
 McKinsey & Company. (2015). Innovating Automotive Retail: A Customer-Centric Approach to Reshaping the Industry. Retrieved from https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/automotive-and-assembly/our-insights/innovating-automotive-retail