How the Auto Industry Can Reach Vehicle Shoppers With Data-Driven Strategies

Now so more than ever, the auto industry is in a state of constant flux. With concerns over the economy and the Covid crisis, consumer preferences are rapidly changing. Some consumers are holding off on purchases, others are looking for older cars, and those who are in-market for a new vehicle are conducting research and transactions on an increasing percentage of online channels.

Although change is inevitable, there is no shortage of opportunities for dealers to acquire new customers and sell more cars. By getting more strategic and using data-driven techniques and insights, dealers can soon see more cars driving off their lots.

The Data-Driven Approach to Car Sales

1. Know Customers and Prospects

First and foremost, you need to know who your customers and prospects are. With a data-driven understanding of who you are targeting, experiences can be personalized based on where they are at in the purchase journey.

Customer Data

91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that provide relevant offers and recommendations and 80% of customers are more likely to purchase a product or service from a brand that provides personalized experiences (source).  

Consumers are also increasingly choosing dealerships that cater to their needs and preferences, often over dealerships that offer a lower price. To provide this level of personalization, you must have a thorough understanding of your customers and prospects—demographics, preferences, contact information, lifestyle, past interactions with your dealership, and so forth.

Most dealerships have pieces of this information sitting in multiple systems. For example, a prospect may have completed a form on your website, so you have the contact information in a CRM system. This same person may have also contacted your customer service department, so additional details are sitting in another system. Data is often stored in multiple systems such as billing systems, marketing programs, customer service departments, maintenance records, and other sources.

Each of these customer data sources must be integrated into a single database to achieve a 360-degree customer view. Marketing techniques such as a Customer Data Platform is increasingly becoming the go-to method for data integration. In the past, data management was a cumbersome process with labor-intensive processes. 

Today, customer data platforms build customer profiles by integrating data from numerous sources and channels.  This includes your CRM and DMP, transactional systems, web forms, email, and social media activity, website and ecommerce behavioral data, and more. Once integrated, a CDP can offer predictive analytics for engaging with customers and prospects.

By understanding what your customers want, who they are, their channel preferences, and other important details, dealerships can create truly tailored customer experiences based on individual preferences.

2. Append your Data

In addition to internal sources of customer data, third-party data should be appended for richer insights and more targeted offers. This includes adding or correcting missing or inaccurate contact details and demographical insights such as age, income, lifestyle, gender, and more. Porch Group Media’s VIN marketing database also provides additional insights into a consumer’s current vehicle including make, model, year, and more.

If using a Customer Data Platform, third-party data can be appended quickly and efficiently as part of the integration process.

3. In-Market Leads Data

Sourcing internet leads from third parties is nothing new for dealerships but it’s important to be aware that not all lead sources are created equally. Porch Group Media’s in-market Signals leads are based on consumers who have recently visited a dealership or who are browsing online for vehicles.

We utilize geolocation data to identify consumers actively shopping for cars. However, unlike traditional mobile marketing, which only identifies the device, Porch Group Media Signals identifies households and the individuals in them. Our solution provides household contact information complete with a wide variety of consumer attributes allowing you to create a highly targeted offer across multiple channels.

We also provide solutions to reach consumers browsing online. Porch Group Media collects online behavior data in real time, leveraging a broad network and innovative techniques to discover behavioral keywords, phrases, and terms. Using this intelligence, we use a cookie-less targeting solution to deliver campaigns.

4. Data-Driven Experiences

According to an Autotrader study, 54% of consumers would buy from a dealership that offers their preferred experience, even if it didn’t have the lowest price. Part of this experience may involve tactics such as online financing and paperwork options or online digital platforms that allow consumers to select vehicle options. Beyond this, consumers are also looking for personalization in their experiences.

This data-driven experience includes personalized offers and strategies designed to engage customers or prospects and drive them through the sales funnel to purchase. Consumers today expect highly personalized interactions with brands. By communicating with messaging that is relevant to their unique needs, you can show prospects they matter to you, which will go a long way in keeping your dealership top of mind throughout the purchase journey.

Download Porch Group Media’s Automotive Marketing Success Kit – full of articles, podcasts, webinars, and case studies to help you navigate today’s new economic landscape so your dealership can thrive and maintain growth.

Automotive Marketing Success Kit

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