Effective dealership marketing in today’s increasingly competitive and rapidly evolving market means more than putting your name on a billboard or blanketing your market with spray-and-pray offers. To stay ahead of both local competitors and online-only retailers in the consumer-first era, dealers need to leverage a data-driven approach to engage prospective sales leads.
However, many dealerships overly spend on broad or ineffective marketing strategies rather than spending time leveraging and optimizing their greatest asset: their own dealership data.
Instead of sending mass emails to every name in their CRM, forward-thinking dealerships are taking a data-driven approach, reaching prospective customers who are actually interested in hearing from them with messaging that reflects their exact needs.
In this blog post, we outline the principles of data-driven dealership marketing process, including the three P’s of high performing dealership marketing:
First and foremost, effective dealership marketing begins with ensuring you’re reaching prospective customers who want to hear from you – and you have permission to contact them. Amid new data privacy laws and the growing threat of cybercrimes, protecting your dealership and customers from potential loss needs to be every dealership’s number one priority when handling any sort of customer data.
Outside of ensuring your dealership is meeting federal or state regulations, ensure your team is following best practices when it comes to handling and maintaining your first-party data, such as the information in your dealership CRM and DMS.
This commitment to security and privacy needs to extend to any of your dealership’s outside partners, as well. When vetting software vendors or third-party data providers and technology, only look for partners who demonstrate a clear commitment to data privacy and maintain strict security standards.
The best way to capture sales before your competition is to reorganize your team into a proactive sales powerhouse capable of identifying and engaging customers before they return to market.
To analyze the full spectrum of factors influencing a prospect’s decision to buy, dealers need to look beyond standalone equity mining tools in exchange for comprehensive dealership data mining technology. These tools layer the data saved in your dealership’s CRM and DMS with additional insights like financial records and household demographic information to paint a clearer picture of your audience and potential sales opportunities.
When powered by predictive analytics, these tools go one step further, automatically sifting through your dealership’s databases to identify your best possible sales leads and the unique factors driving their decision. This empowers your dealership’s sales team to maximize the efficiency and efficacy of their efforts – and stay a step ahead of the competition – by automatically scoring and prioritizing your best prospects preparing to return to market.
For example, taking a similar approach with automotiveMastermind, our dealer partners report generating up to 15 incremental sales each month.
Finally, after identifying which sales prospects to nurture and when to engage them, the last principle of dealership marketing dealers must follow is ensuring their marketing messages inspire prospects to act by tailoring and personalizing their approach.
Ultimately, this data-driven approach to dealership marketing benefits both your staff and your customers by empowering your team to confidently speak to the needs of your audience. According to a recent study, brands who offered a personalized customer experience increased customer satisfaction rates by 20%, sales conversion rates by 10-15% and employee engagement by 20-30%.
However, true personalization means more than pasting their first and last name at the top of your email templates. High-performing dealership marketing campaigns typically include targeted, actionable offers and strong F&I components that account for household financial data, estimate trade values and more.
This focus on personalization needs to extend beyond that first customer touchpoint. Ensure each marketing message builds on the last, meeting prospective customers where they are in their buyer journey and keeping them engaged throughout the entire purchasing process. Finally, build trust with buyers. In a recent industry study, 91% of car buyers said “trust” was important to them when deciding which dealership to purchase from. Look for opportunities to build trust with buyers based on their needs, such as marketing F&I products like extended warranties and wrap coverage, or even assistance raising their credit score
Faced with fewer opportunities to engage prospective buyers, increased competition from both local and online-only retailers and diminished customer loyalty, it’s critical dealers engage the right prospects with the right messaging. This comes down to maintaining three key principles. ensuring every marketing message is permissible, proactive and personalized.