Where is your ASC data going?
Automotive dealerships invest a significant portion of their marketing budgets and efforts in maintaining their websites, serving as the primary destination for organic and paid traffic. Digital marketers need to monitor their website’s performance and data closely. To assist in this endeavour, the Automotive Standards Council has created a set of standards to track web form leads and various other actions on your site. They are identifiable by the ‘ASC’ prefix in their Google Analytics 4 properties.
However, it appears that many dealerships utilizing ASC website providers are not receiving any ASC events. Furthermore, when these events are tracked, the dealerships often don’t have direct ownership of their ASC-enabled Google Analytics accounts, typically owned by the website providers. In our latest blog post, we’ll explain why direct ownership is crucial and guide you on conducting these checks independently.
The Importance of Direct Data Ownership
Historical Data and Zero Interruption
Similar to any other data-dependent platform you’re using, such as your CRM, you wouldn’t want those to be kept by another 3rd party. While we hope you have a long-lasting relationship with your partners, turnovers do happen. If your relationship with a website provider or third-party vendor ends, owning your accounts ensures you retain all historical data, crucial for trend analysis and long-term planning.
Complete Customization of Settings
For your Google Analytics 4 properties, you’ll want the most visibility into how things are being tracked, especially defining your conversions and custom dimensions/metrics/events yourself. Doing so gives you a more tailored approach to your reporting, allowing you to truly know what a ‘conversion’ is and understand the inner workings of how metrics are calculated.
Ease of Integration
To operate a successful marketing program, you will likely work with other vendors to connect your data, offering new ways to interpret or use your data. This flexibility is reduced in case there are permission or privilege settings that you can’t adjust. For example, if you want to link anything to your GA4 property to unify data from both ends, such as your Google Ads account, you need to be an administrator.
Here’s how you can perform these quick checks
As a best practice, we recommend building a spreadsheet containing all of your Google Analytics 4 properties and their respective property IDs, which can be found underneath your GA4 property name. Once you have these listed, perform the following checks and depending on your findings, you may need to follow up with your website provider.
Check #1: Checking if you have ASC events
Visit your GA4 property and click on Reports → Engagement → Events. And within the search bar, type “asc” as the prefix. You should see a sizable list of events of a minimum of 10+ events. In this example, we only see 2 ASC events, which is abnormally low. In this case, or where you do not see any ASC events at all, we recommend you review this with your website provider.
Check #2: Administrative Rights or Ownership
In most cases, your website provider may already have a GA4 property created for you with ASC events loaded, except it is owned by them. While it’s convenient that it’s already been created, it’s important to request administrative access to ensure that you receive all three benefits from owning your account.
To check if you have admin rights, go to the Gear icon (bottom left) of the GA4 interface and click on Account Access Management. If you see the following as seen in the screenshot, then you’re not an admin and would need to request it.
Work with your website provider.
Adopting ASC events is assisting the transition to GA4 across the industry. However, we’ve noticed a need for increased clarity between website providers and dealers regarding analytics tracking and ownership. In the ever-evolving digital landscape, it’s increasingly vital for dealers to own and manage their data. Ideally, every dealer should have:
- Autograph, ASC, or other forms of event tracking
- Full ownership of their GA4 property
Every dealer should have some form of event tracking with their GA4 account to measure digital performance. While ASC offers ease of use, its one-size-fits-all approach might not be the optimal solution for your unique business needs. At Autograph, we provide custom event tracking tailored to your group, and you can click here to learn more about how we can help.