A new online feature from ADP Dealer Service’s Cobalt division allows dealers to better understand customers and track online marketing effectiveness.

Cobalt says extensive dealer input guided the development of its Dealer Command Center, a digital-marketing platform enhancement that is free to Cobalt customers.

The aim is to increase dealer control and flexibility. Features include:

  • An analytics engine that goes beyond standard Web reporting to give insights into a dealership’s customers, vehicle interest levels, and how they respond to different marketing programs. Successful programs can be stepped up, less successful ones amended or scratched.
  • A “What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get” editing tool for easy self-service website changes by the dealership. Cobalt, with a 500-member customer-service department, also offers a “do-it-for-me” service for dealers’ digital marketing.
  • The ability to update inventory specials in real time.
  • An integrated dealer portal with one login for all digital marketing management tools and reporting.

“It is great to see such relevant information that is honed in, rather than just seeing the overall numbers,” says Ben Ruenger, Internet Manager at Gordon Chevrolet in Tampa, FL.

Russell Blackstone, e-Commerce Director of Hewlett Volkswagen in Georgetown, TX, particularly likes the enhanced analytics features.

“A lead source map shows the location of where our leads are coming from,” he says. “Now, we know instantly where our marketing efforts are working.”

Blackstone anticipates posting more specials, more often and in real time, “because the system is very user friendly.”

It is sometime hard for dealerships to know which digital marketing channels are most effective at driving sales, says John Holt, Senior Vice President of ADP Digital Solutions.

The Dealer Command Center’s goal is to take out “the guesswork,” he says.

sfinlay@wardsauto.com