On the last episode of Auto Marketing Now, automotive marketing expert and founder of BPE Enterprises, Brian Pasch discussed the three levels of functionality in hybrid customer data platforms (CDP). In the conclusion to our series on digital retail, marketing automation, CDPs and hybrids, Pasch wraps up the discussion by advising car dealers on who they should involve in the process of selecting and integrating a CDP.
Pasch notes that technology decisions, both inside and outside the automotive industry, are often made without considering every aspect of the business. “The big money is going to be in using unified customer data to transform the customer experience at all touchpoints of the dealership shopping, purchasing and servicing experience,” he explains. CDPs are more than automotive marketing tools; they can impact all steps in the car buying journey, meaning the discussion goes beyond storeowners or, on a dealership group scale, c-suite executives. To ensure they get the most from a CDP, car dealers must include the input of their marketing managers, technology advisers, service directors, BDC directors, general managers and so on. Because each of these individuals covers a specific touchpoint and knows exactly how a digital retailing platform could benefit their operations, they can accurately guide the selection process and brainstorm excellent ideas for integration. Pasch recommends asking each of these department leaders for ways unified data can help them improve their customer experience before interviewing a potential CDP partner.
Once car dealers have obtained input from all of their directors and managers, the next step involves prioritizing the different ideas into a list based on their impact on the customer experience and the company’s finances. This list of use cases is essential to informing the overall automotive marketing strategy, as it guides the process of selecting and interviewing CDP providers. Having this in hand, business owners can proceed to interview their prospective data service partners.
Finding and selecting a CDP partner should be done with the goal of achieving the best results, given the list of ideas. Pasch notes that picking the right provider requires asking thorough questions: can they actually implement the strategies pitched by the different department leaders, what will their timeframe be, what kind of budget is needed, etc. However, he cautions against taking a CDP representative at their word, since salespeople may not always accurately describe their organization’s capabilities. To double-check a potential service partner’s answers and to oversee the implementation of unified data into their automotive marketing, Pasch recommends dealers hire a consultant specializing in digital retail and customer data.
Customer data platforms are indispensable tools for growing a car dealer’s business and improving the customer experience. By understanding the principles, concepts and guidelines discussed in this series, retailers can confidently find the right business partners and create successful automotive marketing campaigns. To continue the CDP conversation and to learn even more about unified data, check out Pasch’s report “The Rise of CDPs in Automotive Retailing.”