On today’s show, we’re pleased to welcome Joe Kacala, Chief Product Officer at automotiveMastermind, a dealership data mining and marketing company. Joe is here to talk about key trends for 2020 when it comes to customer acquisition and targeted marketing, as well as the upcoming NADA show, where you can catch them at Central Hall Booth # 3315C.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Thank you so much for joining us on CBT News, Joe.
Joe Kacala: Awesome, I’m really excited to be here.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Sure. So, you guys are up to some dynamite things in retail automotive, helping dealers navigate through their marketing plans and such. Talk to us a little bit about what some of the highlights are for Mastermind since last year’s NADA, when we caught up with you last.
Joe Kacala: Yeah, so as you know, we launched our Market EyeQ sales platform last year, and that has been an incredible release for us, an amazing success for our dealer partners and their consumers. We really have been looking at how is that really helping the market? It’s pretty amazing, the quality of the leads compared to what dealerships are used to. So today they have very limited resources around how they get data and how that data translates into providing high quality leads. And because our platform, we’re built on data, right? Our whole idea behind automotiveMastermind is using data to drive consumer behaviors and understanding what the consumers are doing and what they’re ready to be in the market for a vehicle.
Joe Kacala: So not only are we generating really high quality leads, but we have the shortest amount of time, from the time we reach out to a consumer, engage with them, to the time that they buy. It’s been incredible, so we’re going to continue to build on that. We have, as part of the Mastermind lineage that we’re acquired by IHS Markit, which includes companies like [inaudible 00:02:21] and Carfax, where we’ll have really exciting data resources available to us that nobody else in the industry will have. It’s just going to lead to some really exciting stuff that we want to share at NADA this year as we go into 2020.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Oh, that’s great. That’s great. So how does Mastermind address all the these needs that dealers have right now with regard to customer acquisition?
Joe Kacala: Yeah, that’s not a small feat for sure. There’s a lot of companies out there that purport to do this, but we’re really around trying to work with our dealer partners to help them to understand all the sales opportunities they have. For example, on the service drive, there’s many customers that come across that haven’t purchased from that vehicle and they’re servicing at that dealership now, so they become a service conquest customer. There’s their entire market where a lot of dealers have no idea what consumers are in the market, not only what consumers are in the market, but what their vehicles are and what stage they are in their life cycle. As well as we have an extremely strong retention tool around our loyalty product and really keeping customers loyal. And so as we think about that, the days where just knowing what a consumer’s equity is, is just not enough anymore. Those data mining tools that have been around for a decade or so just aren’t driving the results that Mastermind is driving. It’s really phenomenal.
Jim Fitzpatrick: What are some of the key trends that you’re keeping an eye on for 2020?
Joe Kacala: Personalization and big data, those are really the two big ones. There’s a flattening marketplace. We’re seeing consolidation of dealer groups, continued consolidation within the market. So the more data that we have, the better, and big data is really where everybody is focused right now in the industry. But more importantly is the personalization side. We can have all this big data, but if we’re not able to properly communicate with consumers and engage with them in a meaningful way that is personalized to them, it becomes really invaluable. So we really are focusing on both personalization and big data in 2020 and beyond.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah, that’s great.
Joe Kacala: And one other area that is important around big data is because we are now part of the IHS Markit group, we have access to proprietary data sources that nobody else in the market will have access to that allows our big data to be even bigger.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Sure. That affiliation has got to be priceless to your customers, right? I mean, that’s a huge, huge factor.
Joe Kacala: Absolutely. So IHS Markit is really the premier leader in data and analytics and statistical analytics from the OEM level all the way down to the dealer, and the data assets and the ability to use those for personalization is priceless to us.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Right. So we’re closing in on a year now that you’ve had Market EyeQ out there in the market. What successes have you seen in the industry?
Joe Kacala: It’s been, specifically with Market EyeQ, it’s been a really awesome ride this year. It couldn’t have gone better. And we really credit our dealer partners that have provided us a lot of insight into how we can get better. But we’re seeing things, you know, cars being sold 15 incremental conquest sales per month over what their prior sales were. We’re seeing service drive activations since we’ve released our service drive part of the tool in last January, where we’re seeing three [inaudible 00:06:13] what higher sold vehicles through the service drive than any other competitors out there, as well as we’re driving an incredible amount of retention. Because of our loyalty tool, we’re seeing upwards of 15% increase in retention, and retention is key in this market. When consumers have a lot of choice, if we’re not able to help our dealer partners keep those consumers coming back to them, it doesn’t, it’s just an incredible way for us to provide tons of value to our customer.
Joe Kacala: And then most importantly is that the cost, because we’re so targeted and we’re so driven on data, we’re actually able to reduce the cost to acquire customers. We are averaging around $115 versus about $625 for the entire industry. So just an incredible, incredible product [crosstalk 00:07:05] great success with.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah, those numbers are unheard of. Kudos to you for bringing that down. Nowadays, as you know in the auto space, it’s all about how to run your dealership in the most efficient way, because you’re going to get just so much for that new car. And of course just so much for the used car. So it’s really about the efficiency. So if you can bring down the advertising costs by $500 a car you completely have rocked the auto world with that.
Joe Kacala: It’s incredible. And our dealer partners are beyond excited about that of course, because that [inaudible 00:07:42] for them, which is extremely important in this marketplace.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah, for sure. What impact has the sales platform had?
Joe Kacala: Yeah, I mean it’s, so I keep using the word incredible, because it truly is incredible. But you know, our dealer partners are using that word as well, and we’re seeing things that nobody else is providing, especially with the proprietary data sources that we have, but we’re really able to provide really actionable insights. So today the dealership will have their tools that they use, whether it be a DMS or CRM company or potentially a competitor, but that data is only limited to what the dealer has in their system, where we’re able to take that and really supplement that and enhance it dramatically to create incredible customer insights. And they’re all actionable, right? The idea behind our, what we call behavior drivers, is really about helping the dealership to have meaningful discussion points with a consumer that’s personalized.
Joe Kacala: It’s about that consumer, about their situation, and it’s more than just they have $500 equity in their vehicle. It’s really providing a lot of insight. It also, it really allows us to, because our Market EyeQ platform is really around reaching out and engaging with consumers that have the highest propensity to purchase a vehicle, it reduces the marketing spend that the dealers have, but it’s very proactive. It’s about nurturing the consumer through the sales cycle and allowing our dealership partners to use customer data and analytics to really create a marketing program that is, it’s not this shotgun style of the old days.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Right. You’ve taken the guesswork out of marketing for dealers. I mean, this is a very specific, very pinpointed approach, right, that you’ve been able to deliver to dealers?
Joe Kacala: This is dialed in to the point where we essentially are able to help our dealer partners understand where all their consumers are in the cycle, right? So the cycle is not just about selling cars, but there’s also the service cycle and making sure that we’re nurturing consumers through and around, so that when it’s time, then we spend the dollars to bring that consumer in and offer them the discounts or whatever it may be to provide an action item for the consumer.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Yeah. Fantastic. We’re going to be watching it closely, and I think we’re going to be talking to you out at NADA. For those that want to stop by and get a full demonstration as to what automotiveMastermind has to offer, it’s an amazing program. Take 30 minutes and do yourself a favor. They happen to be at booth 3315C, so in the central hall, that’s 3315C, we’ll show it on the screen, as well. And so Joe, I want to thank you so much for joining us on CBT News. We very much appreciate it, and as I said, let’s catch up when we’re out at NADA. I want to learn more and talk to you more about some trends in 2020.
Joe Kacala: Awesome. I look forward to it. Thank you.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Thank you so much.
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