The automotive industry is jam-packed with data that allows dealerships to continue on improving. However, there can be a number of situations when the data that is being collected is just sitting on the shelf gathering dust. Due to almost forgotten data, you’ll often find sales, leads, and customers could be missed or left behind.

Using all the data that is collected can be very helpful for dealerships. Commonly, dealerships focused more on reaching out to prospective customers by any means necessary, including magazine ads, radio advertising, TV commercials, and special sales event. Even though these might have been effective, they also end up being costly for the dealerships. It could almost cost five to eight times more compared to marketing to established clients.

The digital era has changed the way dealerships operate. More than 90% of individuals’ research vehicles online before ever even visiting the dealership. Prospective customers visit roughly 9.3 websites, including dealership, third party, and OEM websites. On top of that, more than half of your perspective, or even current, customers will use a mobile device to search for competitor prices online while standing in your dealership.

Real-time data can truly help you get ahead of your competitors, through a consistent sales and transparent process that is informed by real-time analytics and data. After all, Buyers are only getting smarter day by day, which means that convincing sales-people no longer will sway them.

How Can You Do That?

You know that you can receive and store data, but do you know what to actually do with that data? How can you find out what vehicles consumers are and want to purchase? Historical data can help you find out. You can look up previous models to see which models did the best and how those prices held up over time.

Real-time data can also impact the vehicles price point and simultaneously affect how you can compete with your competitors and the market average. To garner your consumer’s attention, vehicle prices need to be either near or at the market value. If you want leads, the pricing needs to be transparent and fair.

Cosmetics of a vehicle, which is when the photographs for the website are taken. Customers can see the car clearly with the accessories and key selling points being apparent. If customers look online at a specific car and see that the under the photographs it says ‘vehicle photos coming soon’, they might not come back.

There are three main ways for dealerships to use the collected data to maximize their profitability.

  1. Monitoring Customer Satisfaction
    From vehicle sale invoices to workshop system, customer data can be found everywhere in the Dealer Management System (DMS). After that data has been cleaned, checked, and categorized – the appropriate customers can be requested to partake in satisfaction surveys. The categorization allows dealerships to separate individual purchases from corporate customers. It can also allow dealerships to see whether the vehicle purchased was bought new or used. It can even be something as simple as what type of job they required, such as servicing, repairs, or MOT). All this data can then build a Customer Satisfaction Index, which enables the dealerships to monitor how they’re doing while setting KPIs for all the departments.
  1. Improve Efficiency
    Dealership data can be very useful to monitor stock levels. They can ensure that all the departments, especially the service departments, have the correct amounts of stock in place to meet consumer demands. All of this should be done without having to tie up cash in over-stocking. A dealership’s system should be able to predict sales, therefore allowing them to also see which parts are running low and need to be reordered.
  1. Predictive Marketing
    Predictive marketing allows dealerships to gain a clear perspective of what customers prefer to be contacted at a specific time. It can also give you an insight into what is the preferred marketing message that should be included with a specific individual or a set of individuals. All the data collected, such as customer details, vehicle data, and workshop records, can indicate customers that are due for an MOT check or a service. This helps in retaining customers and entices customers that have been dormant from your dealership for a while.

What Types Of Data Boost ROI

Before you can add or attract new customers, it’s important to know how you can manage and keep enticing your existing customer base. There are four marketing data types that are known to boost ROI for dealership customers.

  1. Firmographics and Demographics
    It might seem that marketing is about reaching to the masses, but the truth is, it’s more about reaching out to individuals. However, in order to even start doing so, it’s imperative to know your customers. This starts by learning information, such as their name, date of birth, gender, address, email, and telephone information. It’s likely that you already have this information stored in your database. It’s also important to keep this information up to date as data decays quite quickly.
  1. Psychographics
    This involves knowing the interests, activities, and opinions of your consumers. The demographics give you a basic understanding of the individual and where they are from. The psychographics, however, gives you a deeper understanding of their individual personalities and what they might like. This information is perfect to allow marketers to make basic assumptions regarding the individual’s buying behaviors.
  1. Behavioral Data
    Psychographics allow marketers to make assumptions regarding the buying behaviors; behavioral data allows marketers to actually see the consumer’s buying trends. This sort of data typically includes purchasing history, likes on social media, ratings, reviews, and channel preferences. In this digital age, personalization is key. Without a personalized message, it’s highly unlikely that your message will be taken seriously by anyone. It’s vital for dealerships to deliver messages that are relevant to the consumer based on their purchase history and/or digital actions.
  1. Life Event Triggers
    Sending out messages at the right time and to the right consumer can be a vital part of a marketing strategy. Life events can help you discover and recognize these trigger marketing events. A Data as a Service (DaaS) server can monitor data streams to discover any sort of life events that could prove to be helpful to you.

Data is all around us. The true and savvy marketers need to know how to find and use this data. With dealerships already having some, if not most, of this data – the foundation has already been laid. Finding out additional data, such as the psychographics and the behavior data, can put you ahead of the competition.

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