In February 2010 Google made a presentation to a select group of industry leaders about their foray into automotive lead generation.  I was not in attendance but I was briefed on the program at the show.  I never heard any more about the details until today’s post in Automotive News.

I am sure that Google has briefed the major automotive vendors that run Adwords campaign for thousands of dealers about this change. However the larger community needs to know about this major shift in new car lead generation strategies.

In my opinion, this is a major SHIFT for the Google Automotive team which has not gone into direct lead generation until now.  I look forward to interviewing and discussing this new program with the Google Automotive Team at the 2012 Digital Marketing Strategies Conference.

Lead Generation Is Not New For Google

Google has been running lead generation campaigns for other vertical markets, like mortgages.  If you look at the screen capture below, Google is running their own PPC ads to capture leads:

These ads are labeled “Comparison Ads” and these ads are competing with other PPC lead collectors.   When a consumer clicks on the PPC Comparison Ad for mortgages, a landing page for lead collection is displayed:

 Lead Generation For Dealers

According to the Automotive News article written by David Barkholz:

“Google will establish a Web page for vehicle shoppers. Dealers will bid, through a Google auction, to be one of about three dealers listed on the page when shoppers fill out a discounted price request for, say, a 2012 Toyota Camry with some specifications. The shoppers choose which of the listed dealers will receive the lead and provide the price…”

This will be a game changer for businesses that use PPC for lead generation.  Companies like Edmunds, Autotrader, and new comers like TrueCar that all use PPC as part of their lead generation strategy for new car buyers will be impacted.

Competition for new car leads just got more interesting, and for some, maybe more expensive.

This offering will need to be examined in greater detail when this official launches this in the Bay Area.  We will have more details on this new offering after we get a briefing from the automotive team at Google.

Google keeps me on my toes, with new changes each week.  I promise to keep you posted with the things that will impact you the most.  To get alerts sent to your mobile device when breaking new happens, please text “PCGTIPS” to 75674.

About the Author

Brian Pasch is the founder of PCG companies. PCG provides customized marketing and training solutions for businesses that are committed to dominate their local market.