How AI is revolutionizing automotive sales and marketing

As the technology continues to evolve, dealerships, marketers, and OEMs must seize the opportunities presented by AI to drive innovation

The auto industry has always been a trailblazer in adopting cutting-edge technology in manufacturing, marketing, and in vehicles. Artificial intelligence (AI) is now driving the sector to even more unprecedented heights. With AI’s integration into auto sales and marketing, dealerships and OEMs alike are discovering new opportunities to engage customers and drive growth. Here’s a closer look at how AI is changing the game.

Chatbots – Enhancing Customer Interaction

Like it or not, we’re currently in a world where instant communication is prized. Chatbots provide real-time support to potential buyers. While we may not be on board with only using ChatGPT, with the correct algorithm and data, these AI-powered conversational agents can answer inquiries, provide product information, and even guide customers through the purchase process, all at the click of a button.

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Many dealers are already benefiting from AI. In a survey by CDK Global, 76% of dealers said they believe AI has positively impacted their business.Large language models, AI to offer dealers opportunities to increase their operational efficiencies

No longer limited to simple Q&A, today’s chatbots that offer interactive and personalized experiences are becoming an essential tool for auto dealers to engage prospects 24/7.

But is there data that they work? Research shown from IBM would say yes. On IBM’s Watson Assistant site, they say, “Consumers are 40% more likely to spend more than they originally planned (link resides outside IBM) when their retail experience is highly personalized to their needs.”

The truth is that personalization ALWAYS works. And right now, a Google search shows many highly proficient businesses and agencies willing to guide you on chatbots. Test them out to see what works for you.

Predictive Analytics – Forecasting Success

Your dealership most likely has more than enough data. If you have your sales, marketing, service, and F&I using a CDP, it’s most likely that you’re swimming, or rather, drowning in data.

Predictive analytics has been taking the guesswork out of sales and marketing strategies. By analyzing historical data and identifying trends, AI algorithms can forecast future sales, optimize inventory, and even predict which customers and zip codes are most likely to purchase a particular vehicle.

This ability to anticipate market shifts enables dealers and OEMs to make more informed decisions, reduce costs, and tailor their approach to meet the needs of specific customer segments.

Personalized Marketing – Connecting with Customers

Personalized marketing isn’t just a buzzword – it’s a reality, thanks to AI. Auto dealers leverage AI-driven analytics to create highly targeted marketing campaigns that resonate with individual consumers. And better yet, there is enormous potential to lower CPA.

By analyzing customer preferences, behaviors, and online interactions, AI helps dealerships craft messages that appeal to customers’ unique interests and needs. Whether offering special discounts on a preferred model or suggesting related accessories, personalized marketing fosters a deeper connection between dealerships and buyers. To learn more about AI’s effect on customized marketing, check out companies like INVOCA.

Customer Behavior Forecasting – Understanding Tomorrow’s Buyers

Understanding customer behavior is paramount in any business, but AI is taking this understanding to new levels in the auto industry. By mining vast amounts of data and employing sophisticated algorithms, AI provides insights into customer motivations, desires, and future actions. Such forecasting allows dealerships and OEMs to adapt their sales strategies and products, ensuring they remain ahead of consumer trends.

OEM AI Marketing – Driving Innovation

The innovation doesn’t stop at the dealership level. OEMs are also employing AI to enhance their marketing efforts. Whether utilizing supervised machine learning models to optimize advertising campaigns or using AI-powered design tools to create more appealing vehicles, OEMs are embracing the possibilities of AI. The collaboration between dealerships and OEMs in leveraging AI tools can create a cohesive and powerful marketing strategy with aligned goals and shared insights.

The Road Ahead

The integration of AI into auto sales and marketing is not a distant future but a present reality. From chatbots engaging potential buyers to predictive analytics shaping business strategies, AI is opening new avenues for growth and connection within the industry.

As the technology continues to evolve, dealerships, marketers, and OEMs must seize the opportunities presented by AI to drive innovation, enhance customer relationships, and lead the way in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

The automotive industry’s adoption of AI is truly a revolution with implications that reach far and wide. If it’s done well, the fusion of technology and marketing can create a new era of connectivity, efficiency, and innovation. It’s an exciting time to be in auto sales and marketing, and the journey has just begun.

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Steve Mitchell
Steve Mitchell
Steve Mitchell is a contributing writer and reporter for CBT News. He earned bachelor's degrees in Marketing and Television from the University of Texas in Austin and a Masters of Theology study from Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas. His passion for automobiles lead him to become a creative director for automotive marketing ad agency. Most recently, he was the manager of interactive marketing for Mitsubishi Motors, NA.

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