MARKET | Dec 15, 2016

Internet Motors: data help Marketing in the Automotive Sector

Interview with Marco Marlia on the importance of data in the automotive sector


“Galileo said: measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so. Only what is measurable can be managed and, consequently, improved”.

This is the philosophy of Metodo DealerK explained in his book by Marco Marlia, co-founder and CEO of Gruppo MotorK, the leading Italian company in the automotive sector of the Lead Generation industry, with more than 150 dedicated staff and 6 offices in Europe.

Every day, 37.6 million active users spend an average of four hours online; 70% of the time spent searching a car is spent online; the customer “wants to know more”, queries search engines, looks for opinions from those who have already tested the product, and reads community news. This is how the landscape of the automotive sector has changed, which is why, according to the DealerK method, we cannot limit ourselves to just one web channel, but change must be radical and cover all the user’s behaviour. This is one of the advantages of digital: it makes measurable what was, until recently, not measurable.

Marlia’s book has become the real operating manual for digital dealerships and the experiences recounted were the starting point in 2012 for the first Internet Motors event which now, after twelve editions in five years, counts more than 6,000 participants and dozens of speakers and partners at international level, sharing international best practices in online marketing of automotive products.

How do you explain the growing success of Internet Motors?

The use of internet has now entered forcibly in all information and decision-making phases related to the purchase of cars: in Italy alone, more than 80% of those who buy a car today start and end their research on Internet.
6 out of 10 people decide the model they will purchase and the dealer they will go to online.
For all players in the automotive industry, e-training is the key to being able to compete in a constantly changing scenario.

This year, the “classic” appointments of Milan and Rome have been joined by dates in Madrid and Paris, capitals of countries where the spread of a lead management approach strongly oriented towards data control is revolutionising the way in which cars are sold.
The appointment at the Motor Show is also a tribute to the passion of the many sector players who could not say no.

Internet Motors sees sector experts taking the stage, but space is also being given to dealers, with their successful case histories. Do the concrete results achieved by dealers validate the DealerK method?

The Internet Motors event is the tip of the iceberg, the peak of a daily training path. Only through constant application of working methods that have proven to be effective, and careful monitoring of the related KPIs, can the most be made of digitisation of one’s company.
For this reason, our training proposal is continuous and takes place at various levels: from the itinerant courses of the Master Program, for reaching dealers from all over Italy, up to training sessions for managers at car manufacturers. A path that never ends, not even after Automotive Digital Manager certification.

I’m convinced that those who lead change should be supported and stimulated constantly, with new ideas and proposals.

What are the characteristics necessary for leading the Lead Generation process?

It’s no longer enough for a dealer to have an effective website, or for a parent company that can relate to traditional referents within official dealerships: what is needed are qualified people, able to handle ad hoc projects for the web and guide sales staff, for best conducting the Lead Generation.
Not super-managers, but people capable of applying a method and basing their strategy on the monitoring of results.

Measuring the effectiveness of the web and social channels in terms of attractiveness and ability to convert visitors into leads, monitoring response times by Brands or dealer, calculating the conversion rate for appointments, test drives or sales and having the perception of rates of fall in the sales funnel, are some examples of the importance of the measurability of data.

Internet Motors is an opportunity for interaction, both for those who want to start this process of digital evolution and for those who are already leaders and want confirmation of their progress.