Unless you have an internal marketing team, you NEED some kind of marketing plan to make your online parts website successful. Most dealerships choose to hire a marketing agency, which come with a cost, but should always be worth the investment. Their job is to help you make money, after all.
Once you find a good agency to work with, here are some tips for building that relationship and getting the most out of it.
1. Set an ad spend budget of at least $1000
The ad spend budget isn’t profit for the agency. It’s the amount they’re allowed to invest in your ads.
With a higher budget, the agency can run more ads, more often, for more parts. In short, you can reach more shoppers and sell more parts and accessories.
Budget lets the agency run more ads
A higher budget lets your agency set up multiple ad campaigns, run them more often, run them in more places, and promote them to more people.
This, in turn, leads to more shoppers seeing your ad and clicking through to buy.
A small budget can be very restrictive. If your ad spend is too low, the digital marketing specialist might have to run your ads in the same place. This means your ads might only be on Google search, instead of also tapping into Google Shopping, Bing ads, and others.
Budget lets the agency test and optimize your ad campaigns
Maybe you’re asking yourself, “Why is my budget used for testing? Shouldn’t the pros already know what to do?”
If you’re working with a good agency that specializes in advertising auto parts, they’ll already know some best practices and tricks for creating good ads for your parts. It certainly helps to work with someone who has experience!
But ad performance can vary so much based on brand, part, wording, price, and a million other things. Digital marketing experts are always looking for ways to improve your ads and increase your profits. Testing is an important part of that process.
Most marketing agencies have a minimum ad spend budget for a reason. When the budget too low, it’s difficult to see worthwhile results.
The RevolutionParts Agency has a minimum ad spend of $500, but we always encourage dealers to start at $750 or $1000. After that, you can gradually increase the budget as you see results.
2. Communicate with your agency
It goes without saying that communication is important in a relationship. Clear and quick communication helps you avoid misunderstandings and slowdowns in your marketing plan.
For starters, this means you should read and respond back to agency emails as soon as possible. And if you set a meeting time with your agency contact, then be on time to the meeting!
Sometimes an agency can’t move forward without your approval, so ignoring an email can slow down ad performance. This is especially true when you first start with an agency. They can’t work until everything is set up, so you need to listen to their instructions and complete those setup tasks quickly! This will hurry along the process so they can set up ads and start getting you some sales.
It helps to know the basics
Another way to improve communication is to make sure you’re speaking the same language.
We’re not talking about speaking English, but rather knowing your way around some basic marketing terms so you and your agency contact can have a smooth conversation.
You don’t have to be a marketing expert – that’s why you hired the agency. But knowing a few marketing terms will make it easier to communicate. Likewise, the individual running your ads should have some base knowledge about auto parts.
Here are some terms you should know:
- PPC ads (Pay Per Click)
- Impressions vs Clicks vs Conversions
- Google Shopping ads vs Google search ads
- SEO (search engine optimization)
A good agency will remember you’re not a marketing expert, so they won’t go off speaking gibberish you can’t understand. That said, they can only break down simple marketing terms so far. If you do get lost, don’t hesitate to ask questions.
3. Talk about goals and expectations
In order to build a strong partnership, it helps to have everyone on the same page.
You can’t just hire a marketing agency and say “I want a 100X increase in sales!” It’s important to have realistic expectations, especially when the agency is first ramping up your accounts.
To start, you can ask the agency what their other clients typically see in terms of ROAS (Return on Ad Spend).
Although it does vary between clients, this will give you a vague idea of what to expect. Instead of demanding 100X ROAS, you’ll know to expect between 4x and 7x ROAS. At RevolutionParts, for example, our dealers typically average a ROAS of 6.9x.
If your agency isn’t meeting expected numbers, talk with them to understand why. Sometimes a slight tweak in your part pricing matrix can affect ad performance, so you may be able to work with your agency to get better numbers in the future.
Agencies should always send you regular transparent reporting so you can see the numbers for yourself. Again, ask questions if there are parts of reporting that you don’t understand.
On a similar note, make sure you understand what services your agency has agreed to do for you. Are they just doing PPC advertising? Or will they do some email marketing too?
It’s okay if your agency isn’t doing everything, but you need to know about it so you can outsource the rest of the work as necessary. It’s not productive if you assume your agency is doing social media promotion for you, only to find out later that you and your agency never agreed to that.
The right marketing agency will feel more like a partnership. And like any good partnership, both sides need to contribute in order to reach maximum success.
Solid communication and mutual understanding will build that relationship and help your agency perform, meaning more success from that advertising. At the end of the day, that means more sales for you! So the time you put into helping your agency is worth it in the end.