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How to identify the best data collection partner for your dealership

Data collection is a challenging task for car dealers despite being a crucial component in modern automotive retail. Companies must be careful in how they record and use customer information, but with laws and technology in constant flux, it is nearly impossible to do this alone. Working with an experienced provider is more important than ever, but how do dealers choose the right data partner in a sea of options?

In this second episode of a three-part series on Driving Solutions, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by Kyle Hollaway, senior vice president and global identity leader at Acxiom, and Amber Daniel, director of product strategy at S&P Polk. Acxiom is an industry-leading provider of data collection and identity solution services. Throughout its lifespan, the company has gained deep insights into the retail automotive sector and the nuances of marketing to car buyers. As part of S&P Global, S&P Polk is a crucial source of information for dealers. Through careful analysis of the latest trends, the company has helped many retailers form successful strategies and stay ahead of the curve. Now, Hollaway and Daniel discuss the process of collecting customer information and choosing the right data partner.

Key Takeaways

1. Zero-party data is information that a consumer elects to share with a brand. First-party data is data collection performed by a business through observation and analysis. Second-party data is information shared by a collaborator, such as a business partner. Third-party data refers to information provided by an aggregator, typically sourced from a variety of businesses, platforms and websites.

2. Collecting data from all parties is necessary to identify the needs and preferences of individual customers so that businesses can leverage targeted marketing campaigns.

3. Google is ending its use of third-party cookies (code placed on an individual’s device to help companies track users across websites). This means that businesses will soon need to adopt new data collection methods and be more selective in the partners they choose.

4. The right partner is one that can offer accurate or “clean” data, understands the business’s industry and helps their clients avoid targeting the wrong consumers.

5. Dealers who leverage customer information correctly often find that the car-buying journey becomes more efficient. This is because proper data collection avoids redundancies and provides more context on a consumer’s preferences and needs when they walk into a store. These factors also improve loyalty and retention.

6. Good data collection requires ethical sourcing and usage. Businesses that overstep a customer’s privacy boundaries not only risk losing clients but also risk facing legal consequences.

"We have all these audiences that we've built regardless of the source, and we're not necessarily spending the time or the energy in suppressing households from those audiences for targeting...The strategy overall in the space today is around first-party data, and understanding in my first-party data that audience, who should I be targeting, who shouldn't I be targeting, understanding more about those customers, and utilizing technology like identity graphs to understand how or give yourself a better opportunity to reach those customers on an end platform." — Amber Daniel, S&P Polk

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Colin Velez
Colin Velez
Colin Velez is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. After obtaining his bachelor’s in Communication from Kennesaw State University in 2018, he kicked off his writing career by developing marketing and public relations material for various industries, including travel and fashion. Throughout the next four years, he developed a love for working with journalists and other content creators, and his passion eventually led him to his current position. Today, Colin writes news content and coordinates stories with auto-industry insiders and entrepreneurs throughout the U.S.

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