EPISODE 45: Nick Brunotte, a director in DHG's Digital Solutions practice, provides an overview of vendor mapping and how this best practice can help dealerships and other organizations make better, more informed decisions regarding their digital marketing strategies, including cost and time efficiency.
[00:00:09] JL: Welcome to today's edition of DHG’s GrowthCast. I'm your host, John Locke. At DHG, our strength lies in our technical knowledge, our industry intelligence, and our future focus. We understand business needs and are laser-focused on company goals. In this ever-changing world, DHG's GrowthCast provides insights and thought-provoking conversations on topics and trends that address growth opportunities and challenges in the current and future marketplace. Thanks for joining us as we discuss tomorrow's needs today.
[00:00:42] ANNOUNCER: The views and concepts expressed by today's panelists are their own and not those of Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP. Always consult the advice of your legal and financial professional before taking any action.
[0:00:58] JL: Today, I will be speaking with Nick Brunotte, Director of Digital Solutions for the DHG Dealerships Practice. We’ll be discussing some considerations regarding vendor mapping and digital marketing strategies for dealerships. Nick, thanks for being with us today.
[00:01:13] NB: Thank you, John. I’m happy to be here again. Thank you.
[00:01:17] JL: Nick, to start, can you tell our listeners a little bit more about what vendor mapping actually is?
[00:01:24] NB: Absolutely, John. So vendor mapping or vendor management is a phrase we used to describe the process of compiling data on external vendors that our clients outsourced to. This can include cost of service, turnaround time, responsiveness, success rates, return on investments, points of contact, and more. So what we are hoping for when we use vendor mapping is to use that information we compiled to help inform future decision-making. You want to be able to identify which specific vendors or even specific individuals within a vendor that are contributing to your company’s success. It also assists in maintaining continuity when there is a change of marketing leadership.
[00:02:09] JL: Yeah. I can see why that would be critically important and I'm sure it goes without saying that this helps in digital marketing efforts for dealerships since they look to hire vendors to help with advertising expenses, right?
[00:02:23] NB: Yeah. That’s right, John. I mean, for car dealers in particular but also for many types of organizations, advertising is a major expense. Many organizations don’t hire just one advertising vendor. They might hire someone for radio ads, another for Facebook marketing, another for search engine marketing, another for other elements of social media. By mapping each of these vendors, you can save yourself time and money. When you understand where you're spending your money and see how far that spending goes or doesn't go, you can make more informed decisions going forward to cut costs.
[00:02:59] JL: So let's talk practically about what vendor mapping actually looks like. Can you speak to that?
[00:03:05] NB: Yeah, absolutely. Well, I can tell you exactly what it should look like, which is an index card on your desk with a contact name and number scrawled on it. An organization should have a dedicated provider or system that allows them to easily assess the consistency and efficiency of the vendor lineup at any given time.
[00:03:25] JL: So there’s no question that there's cost savings associated with vendor mapping. But, Nick, can you just share with our listeners other benefits of implementing a system like this?
[00:03:36] NB: Yeah, of course. Imagine like I said earlier that you have six different vendors all working on different aspects of your marketing outreach or at least you think they are working on different elements. Mapping will help you visualize what facets of a marketing strategy are included in their efforts. Many times, this will bring to light some duplications and inefficiencies and spend. Additionally, are all of these vendors aware of the strategy and budget? Are their efforts coordinated to best achieve the client’s goals? What happens if we need to shift funds from one vendor to another? Mapping helps answer all these questions. It simplifies the process and fits all the puzzle pieces together.
[00:04:19] JL: So it sounds like it's complex puzzle at times, Nick, and I'm just kind of curious in hearing you talk about this. Can you just share with the listeners maybe some of the common mistakes that people make in assessing their current vendor profile?
[00:04:39] NB: Yeah. I would say the most common mistake we see is by not mapping things, we’re just kind of trusting the vendors, and your awareness wanes. What you understand to be happening isn’t actually what is happening. Some vendors might be doing search engine optimization as part of their package, and the same one who you think is just doing paid search is also handling SELs. When that happens, obviously there's a there's a duplication and spend for the same task. But also, there might be some break down as far as the strategy within the same element of your digital campaigns. So I would say that's the biggest problem or a common issue that we find when they’re not mapping. They’re not aware of their strategy altogether. Some holes become prevalent and also some duplications.
[00:05:31] JL: Yeah. Before we wrap up our discussion, are there any key takeaways that you'd like to leave with our listeners?
[00:05:38] NB: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you. Like most things, digital marketing is worth doing right, and I need to invest some time into it. Overtime, accountability for vendors can dwindle, simply due to the fast-paced nature of our industry. Not properly managing vendors can be costly in the long run, so take the time now. Invest in a vendor mapping program or a provider, and save yourself time and money. DHG, ourselves, we have a vendor mapping service within our dealership practice, and we would love to answer any questions the listeners might have.
[00:06:13] JL: Well, that's great, Nick. For our listeners out there today, remember if you are interested in how the digital solutions team can assist your dealership with vendor mapping or digital marketing services, you can reach out at our email@example.com email address or read more in our linked knowledge share in the GrowthCast description. So, Nick, thanks again for being with us today, and we really appreciate your insights and helping our listeners understand this really opportunity to get a little bit more knowledgeable and implement a vendor mapping program.
[00:06:48] NB: Thank you, John. I’m glad to share with you and our listeners. I appreciate the opportunity. Thank you.
End of Interview
[00:06:53] JL: And thank you for joining us today on this episode of DHG GrowthCast with Nick Brunotte, Director of Digital Solutions in DHG’s Dealership Industry Practice. We hope that you have a better understanding of what vendor mapping is and how it can play a critical role in your digital marketing strategy. I'm your host, John Lock, and I look forward to reconnecting with you soon on another episode of DHG GrowthCast.