Auto Sales: Why Personalized Marketing Is More Important Than Ever

May 29, 2020 John Kehm

In our previous blog on personalized marketing , we discussed the basics of what personalized marketing is, what types of personalized marketing capabilities are available for dealerships and how we use big data at Mastermind to help dealers understand and target consumers. We also provided a case study of how this all works in a real-world dealership.

This post serves as a “part two” of that narrative, diving deeper into the complex topic of personalized marketing and why it’s more important than ever for auto sales after COVID-19 disruptions. In this post, we’ll discuss: 

  • The importance of personalization in the increasingly digital automotive customer experience
  • How to effectively personalize your entire car sales process
  • How personalization helps your dealership’s bottom line

The Importance of Personalization in Dealership Marketing

Fact: By the time today’s auto buyers get to the dealership, much of their shopping is already over and done with. 

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers were increasingly doing their auto shopping online. In 2019, according to Cox Automotive, consumers spent 61 percent of their time online while auto shopping, compared to just 20 percent of their time at the purchase dealer and 14 percent at other dealers.

As consumers increasingly opt for shopping online over in-person, personalized customer experiences delivered by brands like Amazon have become the norm. The more shopping someone does online, the more touchpoints and data points they create to help you identify and understand their wants and needs – if you have access to that data and the tools to turn data into actionable insights. 

Effective personalization in digital marketing is dependent on high quality data. Ensure your dealership’s customer insights can be collected and analyzed in a single environment, integrating data from your CMS and DMS to identify customers in the early stages of their car buying journey so you can tailor your outreach.

Not all marketing is digital. That’s the point of personalized marketing – some consumers are digital-first, and others are not. Your job as a marketer and salesperson is to ensure you’re connecting with them through the most effective channels for that specific car buyer at the right time to maximize engagement. 

This becomes even more critical as dealerships compete for few higher quality auto sales leads in the post-pandemic market. Your marketing efforts need to account for the myriad facts impacting consumer buying behaviors to create a cadence that is sensitive to concerns and entices consumer engagements. At its core, personalized marketing is customer-driven marketing. 

Personalizing Your Entire Auto Sales Process

Effective personalized marketing becomes personal selling if you manage the interaction between marketing and sales functions effectively. Today’s car buyers don’t want just a great deal – they want a great dealership experience and want to feel comfortable during a post-pandemic time where they may not feel comfortable with other things happening in their lives.

This is where dealership marketing support and an automotive marketing platform such as Market EyeQ makes a huge difference by creating a seamless transition between marketing and sales, arming the salesperson with the same insights that powered the personalized marketing campaign that turned the consumer into a prospect in the first place. 

By utilizing predictive analytics to offer personalized customer recommendations, dealers can create a car sales experience that is centered around their customer’s individual wants, building off that first touch point.

This approach goes beyond the sales department. The most effective personalized marketing campaigns have a strong F&I component, with a targeted and actionable offer based on household financial data and other factors. With affordability continuing to play a huge role in auto shoppers’ decisions, personalized F&I needs to be an integral part of your dealership’s marketing and sales process.

Benefiting Your Bottom Line

In our interactions with auto dealers all over the country and in every kind of market, we see a consistent competitive advantage for dealers who have meaningfully integrated personalized marketing into their dealership as part of an overall customer experience-focused strategy and culture.

Dealers who have embraced this business model have more and better auto sales leads, spend less money on ineffective marketing campaigns, generate more leads with their personalized marketing touchpoints and are more effective at closing both new and used car sales. 

They also increase loyalty retention rates, capture market share through service-not-sold conquest and are even increasing service drive revenues.

 

When you reduce your auto lead generation costs, decrease your marketing spend, increase your marketing campaign’s effectiveness and improve your sales closure rate, the results will show up in your bottom line. That’s why the average spend-per-car-sale with Mastermind is $115, versus $624 for the auto industry as a whole. 

Interested in what personalized marketing can do to improve your dealership’s bottom line? Contact us for a free consultation.

Explore additional resources related to auto sales in the post-pandemic market.

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