Google UTM Guide

Google Analytics is the “showroom log” for a dealership’s virtual showroom: their website. As dealers increase their digital marketing and experiment with new marketing automation tools, standards must be established to track marketing outcomes.

There are no widely accepted standards for Google Analytics goals, events, or UTM tags in the U.S. automotive industry. Recognizing this lack of standardization and the problems it creates, PCG has developed  recommended goals and events for dealers and the vendor community to embrace.

The PCG Engagement Project has received broad support from auto dealers and the vendor community. Initial results from data analysis based on standardized Google Analytics events and goals are extremely promising. Dealers are finding it much easier to identify marketing investments that are producing positive outcomes as well as those investments that are wasteful and should be eliminated.

Creating standards for Google Analytics events and goals is our first challenge and that will provide a more transparent reporting platform for marketing analysis. However, a second challenge is to unite dealers, vendors, and marketing agencies in using Google UTM tags on all referral and paid traffic to a dealer’s website.

This research report summarizes Google’s recommendation for labeling website traffic as well as our suggestions for improving the dealer’s marketing analysis. When dealers properly label traffic sources, using UTM tags, they can more quickly inspect campaign conversions, engagement, and outcomes in Google Analytics and VistaDash.

All members of the automotive retail community and the marketing partners are encouraged to read and share this document to move our industry closer to standardized reporting and accurate measurement of marketing investments.