Personalization is at the core of the way we shop for and purchase everything these days. From groceries to cars, consumers want a fast, easy, and uniquely satisfying experience that is seamlessly woven into their everyday lives. They also expect the option to shop while on the go or from their couch, with a scroll and a click. Like other businesses, car dealers face the same imperative to meet the customer wherever they are in their buying journey with relevance and personalization.

A shopper exposed to personalized content during their online visit views more VDPs, submits more lead forms, and is more likely to start a deal online — the game has changed in terms of how dealers acquire customers. Dealers must ensure that engagement is backed by rich data and tailored insights, powered by the right partnership with the right marketing experts to attract and retain the right customer. What results is a dynamic digital presence that strives to exceed consumer expectations. Personalization, intuitive search, aggregated research, and buyer reviews are all part of this new wave of digital marketing for the modern dealer-buyer experience.

Working with specialized, integrated marketing partners (especially under one roof) is a key driver to converting early-stage shoppers to loyal customers. These partners understand how to balance dealers’ needs to meet challenging, competitive sales goals with consumers’ needs for an intuitive, high-quality experience at every touchpoint. A strong partnership between a dealership and their marketing partner should do three things — elevate a dealer’s performance through cohesive activity across channels, eliminate the burden of juggling multiple vendors (and a barrage of viewpoints) and maximize their time spent on targeted digital campaigns delivered to the right consumer.

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Curated online experiences are integral to helping buyers feel safe and understood, and both dealers and marketing partners have an equal share of the responsibility in bolstering this trust. As the only complete digital marketing provider for the auto industry, has more than 20 years of understanding and shaping strategies around consumer sentiment amidst shifting market dynamics, shopping behaviors, and industry standards. I’ve seen that the most successful dealers are choosing partners that have the right combination of people and technology across core expertise: automotive digital marketing, data analytics, and customer experience.

With vast amounts of data available around car-buying trends and shopper behavior, it’s imperative to look at customers not just quantitatively but also qualitatively. In each moment there is the right next step to take, and this is where the power of Cox Automotive data comes into play — to provide the intelligence to know exactly at what moment to deliver the right message or action to the consumer. In fact, Cox Automotive data touches two out of every three car buyers in the U.S., which gives dealers the enormous potential to reach high-quality, in-market shoppers.

In the automotive space, nowhere is personalization more important than when it comes to the car shopping, buying, and ownership journey. That experience should be immersive, valuable, memorable, and relevant to a consumer. Working with a dedicated partner that sees and affects the total process —and that shares the goal of delivering a premium consumer experience — differentiates between dealers barely catching up to those trying to catch their breath.

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