At The NADA Show 2019 in San Fransisco, CBT’s Jim Fitzpatrick spoke with Amy Hughes, Senior Director of Dealer Intelligence at Experian to discuss how to build successful and confident automotive marketing campaigns that will continue strongly into 2020.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Thank you so much for joining us.
Amy Hughes: Hey. Thank you for having me, Jim.
Jim Fitzpatrick: We just had you in the studio and we got such great response. And the things that you guys are doing in Experian with data and helping dealers to drive more sales in marketing is so cool. And that’s pretty much, to sum it up, the response that we got from a lot of people that saw you.
Amy Hughes: Fantastic.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Let’s pick up on that.
Amy Hughes: It’s great to have the intelligence and to make more confident decisions based on … And we’re walking into a moderate amount of uncertainty about 2020, and to be able to see, how is the market shaping up and how can we reinforce what we predict that we’re going to be able to do at a local level, dealers just need that confidence. They need to understand how much is out there, how much opportunity, and what can I learn about those customers that puts him in that in-market position. How can I build a relationship and start communicating with them earlier, whether they’re coming off lease, whether they’re coming to the end of their loan, whether they may have an equity position in a dealership.
Jim Fitzpatrick: It would seem to me that if you don’t have a program like Experian offers than you can be sure that one of the other dealers is tapping into that market as well, Right? So it’s almost a question of playing a good defense as well as offense. Right?
Amy Hughes: I think so. I think just taking the time to really try and build a more meaningful relationship with a customer rather than just looking for that next up that’s walking through the door. If you have a solid understanding of what’s happening in your market, you can arm your sales team, you can optimize your marketing towards that messaging, you can reach customers in different ways through different mediums. And we have all the intel around that.
Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s right. That’s right. And also it allows, obviously the big key phrase now is efficiency, how well you can run your dealership because you’re not making it on the sale of new cars anymore because of margin compression. So now everybody will say, “You’re kind of locked in now.” It’s all a question now, “How can you save money each day running your dealership?” And it would seem to be a program like Experian … “I’m just putting my car hat on right now,” … saves a whole lot of time and trouble and money when looking for that next car shopper. Is that correct?
Amy Hughes: Right. It is, and dealers don’t have to cast the net quite so widely which can cost them more money if they understand the opportunity closer to their store with those more profitable customers.
Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s right. That’s right.
Amy Hughes: We average about 14,000 dealership study on average, the new car sell through is about 41%. So it’s a sales effective number of average of 41% in the zip codes that touch their store. When you look at this type of intelligence you can take that number up 10 percentage points. So it’s simply looking at your market differently and keeping things very efficient. To your point, really understanding how to speak to them differently rather than casting that wide net.
Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s right. That’s right. Because you guys don’t just have the in-market shopper now, but you got a qualified in-market shopper. You know whether or not that person’s going to be able to afford a car or they’re going to be able to get sign on a lease which is the next credit level up. And then to know how to market to that individual because there’s nothing worse than telling somebody, come on a lease, and in reality they can’t qualify for a lease. Right?
Amy Hughes: Right. And so that would be the various intelligence. The power of all those data sets coming together for sure.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Right. That’s right. Talk to us a little bit about fixed stops. If I’m a dealer and we’re going to go to those in-market shoppers right now, what do you have for me in fixed stops?
Amy Hughes: On the fixed stop side of course, Experian obviously understands all vehicles in operation, but we’re also understanding the vehicle incidents that are occurring with those vehicles. So being able to layer in intelligence on top of the dealer’s own database and trigger them. Let’s say there’s a vehicle incident, and you can have that triggered to your sales team. Your customer was recently in a vehicle incident. You can actually begin marketing to them to prepare for that coming in.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Wow, that’s very strong.
Amy Hughes: It is. It’s just bringing the power of data down to a local, relevant and actionable place for a dealer, where it’s very accessible. It doesn’t have to be big words like algorithms and predictive analytics. It can simply be here’s what we understand about your market.
Jim Fitzpatrick: That’s right because most dealers they get glassy eyed and they’re like, “Okay, I just want to sell a car. I want to service a car.”
Amy Hughes: Exactly. Right.
Jim Fitzpatrick: And so many times you’ll have marketing people come into dealers and just blow them away, and they’ll be like, “I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what you just said.”
Amy Hughes: Let me give you 15 acronyms, Jim, so that you understand how smart I am. Yeah, we’re really trying to keep it very simple and understand that there are customers looking to do business with your store that currently are actively looking in the market or we know will be. And then there are customers within your own database that we can layer in intelligence that will help you sell them more quickly and retain that loyalty.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Which is what it’s all about.
Amy Hughes: It doesn’t have to be super complicated. You’re right.
Jim Fitzpatrick: No. No. And then you’ve got a team that will work with dealers as well, right? They’ll come out and work with a dealer. I know you have field reps that can hold the dealer’s hand if they need it through this process.
Amy Hughes: We do in every state in the nation you have a person at Experian who’s looking to help you, and when you partner with us with your dealer marketing solutions you have a Performance Manager who is actually checking in with you throughout the month. Not to justify exactly how great our reports say we’re doing, but to help you along your goals towards that new car sales effective number or more used car sales in the zip codes surrounding your store.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Right. Right. The last time we talked, the fee for this service wasn’t a whole lot of money if I remember.
Amy Hughes: No.
Jim Fitzpatrick: I remember saying, “Wow, that really, truly is a no brainer.” Right?
Amy Hughes: Yeah, just starting that conversation earlier is the key. Understanding how to communicate and build that more meaningful relationship with them. It’s what we’re all about at Experian.
Jim Fitzpatrick: Amy Hughes, Senior Director of Dealer Intelligence at Experian, I want to thank you so much for doing this.
Amy Hughes: You don’t have to worry about titles. Thanks man. Appreciate it.