Every week, it seems as if there is a new buzzword related to technology and innovation regarding the automotive industry. It can be overwhelming to keep up with another concept that seems overwhelming and daunting to talk about, but “big data” is worth the conversation.

At its core, big data is a large set of information that can be analyzed to reveal patterns and trends, both of which are critical to putting together strategies to win over your target audience.

Today, companies across all sectors are collecting more data than they ever have before. From demographic information to emails, this new digital world makes the harnessing of data much easier and straightforward. However, how can you structure it to meet your goals?

Many are having a hard time organizing this data to help their further marketing and logistic strategies. According to Forbes, 95 percent of businesses face some kind of need to manage their unstructured data.

So, how can you make big data work for you, and how can you introduce these solutions to your dealership? Read on for our steps to harness the power of big data.

Utilizing Social Mediabig data

Many times, when it comes to big data, leadership may feel that collecting demographic and location-based information may be complicated and expensive. Fortunately, it doesn’t always have to be that way. Dealers can capitalize on the free platforms of social media. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram can provide a treasure trove of data for dealership staff. Posting simple surveys that ask questions about consumer preferences can give your dealership the information it needs to create exceptional customer experiences.

Collecting Purchasing Data

How much are customers spending, and why? Big data can give you critical insights into these questions. Every transaction can provide valuable data that you should be keeping an eye on. For example, looking at the coupons and discounts that contributed to an uptick in sales, and the season of when these incentives went into effect can help dealers put together sharper promotional campaigns for the upcoming year.

Monitoring Web Analytics

Save your money on expensive web analytics software solutions, and use a platform like Google Analytics to collect critical web information. Google Analytics allows you to get a feel for metrics related to how many people are visiting your dealership site, how these visitors are finding you, and if your marketing campaigns are leading to conversions (email-sign ups, test drive scheduling, and sales). You can even connect incentives to your Google Analytics platform with the use of specialized tracking codes to see if your promotions are spurring purchasing activity.

Third-Party Platforms Can Deliver Financial Data

What cars should you recommend to specific customer data sets? Well, the right third-party tool can take the guesswork out of car recommendations. Many third-party data collection platforms can track and house information related to consumer purchasing behavior, credit data, and buying history.  This data allows you to market to the right person at the right time while also assessing their readiness to buy. Through the use of resources like market research and social media, third-party platforms can help your staff focus on prospects that are ready to make the final purchasing decision.

Integration is Key

While you may have a variety of different data sources that bring in varying forms of information (ex. web analytics, buying history, and VIN-specific digital marketing), the goal is to make the collection of this information as smooth as possible. There are a variety of services that allow you to streamline all of this information into one place while automating the process of collecting it which mean there is little to no work on your team’s end to gather and assess this data.

The Importance of Introducing Big Data to Your Staff 

The goal of any big data strategy should be to make the objective of getting work done, servicing customers, and meeting purchasing goals much more straightforward. Time is saved if you have a data collection platform that gathers automotive-specific information from a variety of sources and combines it into one report that drives the initiatives of all functional departments.

Big data should be introduced as an asset and not a hindrance. For example, salespeople can better recommend specific vehicles to potential customers because they already have an idea of their spending potential, while the marketing team can create targeted ads that are effective, which optimizes ad spending. Ultimately, big data allows you to save time on figuring out what your customers want, so you can put more resources into creating experiences and interactions that encourage them to make their next vehicle purchase from you.

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