Community

Share your automotive expertise

2 Write a Blog Post

Filed in: None

Can Great Data + Great Buying Experience = Great Sales?

By Keith Shetterly on Feb 28, 2012

I've been involved in the TrueCar discussions for months now, sometimes prominently.  And the idea of protecting the dealers'--nay the industry's--data has become very, very important to me.  Thank you, Jim Ziegler, for goading us to pay attention to these issues.

However, lately I've taken to also looking at these points:  Is the "Data Horse" already out of the barn?  Data genie out of the bottle?  Data under the bridge?  Maybe, maybe not.  

And even if we can still just lock all vendors out of the dealers' data . . . well, what ramifications does that have for our business?  Should we just pull that plug with possibly as much ignorance in stopping the practice as we have had during it's birth and growth (when we, admittedly, weren't paying any attention)?  Are there strong and business-REQUIRED positives which we don't even know about that will die without that information?  And hurt dealers' business?  It is very hard to tell just where the data goes in all this, how much is sourced back at the dealer, how much is sourced downstream, and how much is sourced in ways we just don't know about at all.  That's our fault, being taken advantage of by vendors because we weren't paying attention.

Thinking it through, then, it seems to me that dealer data used only to provide buyers--and not giving those buyers a better buying experience!--is doomed to fail.  Call that model what we've seen from TrueCar.  So, forgetting all the emotional errata on that for few moments, I think that "better buying" experience is just what TC left out.  They focused on the "negotiation" but not the sale and used stereotypes to position themselves with consumers as their advocate--I have pointed out many times  that I believe that Painter's anti-dealer position blinded him to who TC's real customers are (dealers!!), so those stereotypes are Cheap & EZ Marketing 101 for those who make that mistake from their own prejudices.

However, these negative car-buying stereotypes exist today, and people are still experiencing them.  Or saying they are.  Cases in point are a couple of articles I read this week about the horrible buying experience some women still have with dealerships, and also sometimes men (one is by Becky Quick at Fortune, and see another in Forbes). Whether this is really still a rampant problem or not, it's a rampant STEREOTYPE.  I've compared the need for Painter's ouster from TC as the same issue that Nixon had--no matter what you thought of the president, politically he Had To Go.

Well, WE are our own "Nixon" here on the buying experience issue, and we can't remove ourselves from the seat in the middle.  We CAN, however, pursue a modern buying method that serves the dealer's bottom line, modernizes the sales staff and processes, and delivers a great experience for the buyers.  Make any bad sales process "resign like Nixon", and right NOW.

On top of that, we have controversies over Google's March 1, 2012 privacy changes, the Whitehouse wanting data privacy standards, and the EPIC/FTC fight about privacy and Google.  We need to know how our own data in our own industry can be protected and put to use for the dealers.

We don't need to focus on the past ("When you let your past go, just make sure it doesn't run ahead into your future." - Keith Shetterly) or we just drag along our own stereotypes.  

IF the data aggregators information could be turned into a positive for the dealers, providing great buyers, and then the dealers can provide a great buying experience, THAT is modernization.  Great Dealer Evolution, not Painter's Dealer Cataclysm.

Is there a vendor out there to do this?  I perceive that Criss Castle, Ralph Paglia, and myself have recently made the point in Jim Ziegler's TrueCar Blog that data use on BEHALF of the dealers for dealer success is certainly a possibility.  A great pro-dealer cause, if you will, especially if the "data horse is really out of the barn."

Who is that vendor that will rise up and make great and fair money for themselves and dealers while promoting--and helping to provide--that great modern buying experience for both men and women shoppers?  Is there one?  Can there be one?

I don't know.  But I know we need one.

 

by Keith Shetterly, Copyright 2012
All Rights Reserved www.keithshetterly.com
keithshetterly@gmail.com

Comments

Well put Keith. After all the wsrehousing of Data IS important but the utilization of it is wisdom (O.K. slight rip-off on a great quote re: knowledge vs. wisdom).

Feb 29, 2012

Comments 1 - 1 of 0

You must be logged in to comment

Login Create an account

Add your comments:

   

Keith Shetterly's Recent Posts

Related Posts

  • Certified Pre-Owned Used Vehicle Programs vs. Extended Warranties. And How to Find These Cars on Craiglist.

    The extended warranty your dealership offers is not considered a true automotive warranty. Extended warranties cover things like auto repairs and maintenance for a certain period of time. A Dealerships true warranty includes the cost of the vehicle and service contract – as they cost extra and are sold separately. With the right CPO program you can easily convert car shoppers that are considering an extended warranty on their current vehicle.Read post

  • Who Are The Millennials, and Just What Is Going On?

    We can look at this as scary, or exciting and lifestyle changing. If in fact these projections are true, then we had better make every effort we can to understand this group, or we may be left behind.Read post

  • Vast® Closes $14 Million Investment from Capital One Growth Ventures

    Austin, TX - February 09, 2016 -Vast, the data-as-a-service platform for autos and real estate, today announced a $14 million investment from Capital One Growth Ventures. Vast connects buyers and sellers of cars and homes through data-driven discovery experiences. CarStory.com, Vast’s consumer marketplace, utilizes the Vast data platform to understand consumer intent and match each shopper with the right vehicle. The investment by Capital One Growth Ventures will enable Vast to grow its CarStory® product footprint while bringing its big data platform to other industries such as real estate. As part of the investment, Jaidev Shergill, Managing Partner of Capital One Growth Ventures will join the Vast board of directors. “What Vast is delivering to consumers with its CarStory product is very intriguing to us at Capital One,” said Shergill. “Consumers expect more information at their fingertips and for that data to be personalized and customized. Big data technologies enable thi...Read post

  • What Do Consumers Want in Exchange for Their Loyalty?

    It’s getting more difficult to earn and keep loyal customers. Consumers these days have so many choices for their shopping needs that it only takes that deep discount, or shiny bauble, to lure them to your competition.   As businesses scramble to create positive customer experiences by ensuring superior customer service, consumers increasingly realize they are in control of that shopping experience. And, they aren’t afraid to flex that decision making control and take their business elsewhere.   So, what then do consumers want from businesses in exchange for their loyalty?   A recent article on Business2Community shed some light on that subject with a list of the 8 things that greatly influence what consumers want in exchange for their loyalty, based on a compilation of results from several studies. They are:   77% of customers want a great product. 73% of customers want kind customer support. 69% of customers want to be recognized by brands. 69% of customers would...Read post

  • The Long Arm of Loyalty

    In the decades I’ve been in the automotive industry, I’ve rarely seen a dealerships compete on anything other than price.  After all, it’s pretty easy to compare pricing, especially with the advent of the internet.  Today, more than ever, the consumer has the ability to shop faster, further and with all the tools that strip leverage away from the dealership.  Frankly, we’ve done this to ourselves and, at the same time, failed to address the other differentiators, namely the product.   Really?  The product?  Sure, we’re all pulling from the same OEM lineup, but dealerships are selling more than cars and trucks – we’re selling relationships.  And these relationships aren’t limited to “Year-End Clearances” or other seasonal promotions.  The relationships with customers extend beyond selling a car.  They’re about multiple cars over many years to one or more members of their friends and family.  Sell a car, service that vehicle, sell them another car.  W...Read post

  • AutoLoop Teams Up with 700Credit to Present Paramount Prescreening Solutions for Auto Dealers

    AutoLoop, LLC, a leading provider of auto industry marketing and customer relationship management solutions, announced today a strategic partnership with 700Credit for prescreening services that will provide auto dealers with more leads and better qualified buyers. AutoLoop provides one of the industry’s most powerful equity mining tools, Quote, a dynamic platform which enables auto dealers to automatically pinpoint and target customers in positive equity positions and uses automated direct mail and email marketing channels to communicate relevant offers to those customers in a position to upgrade to a newer vehicle. The integration with 700Credit increases the speed and accuracy of custom quoting, providing immediate insight into what customers are paying – including interest rate, payment terms and even equity position – using only a name and address. With this progressive soft-pull process, Quote and other AutoLoop solutions can now bypass the need for a Social Security number or date of birth and will have no negative impact on the consumer’s credit. Read post

  • Two Skills To Keep With You Throughout Your Automotive Career

    The strong appointment builds a solid rapport with the consumer before they even come in. You know their name, they know yours (sometimes even have written it down), you have already validated that the vehicle they are calling in about is an excellent selection, you know about their trade-in, you have given them a couple of options on your availability to come into the dealership, and have given them directions to your store.Read post

  • 15 Tips to Make Blogging Easy

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Blogging is one of the most powerful things you can do for inbound and content marketing. Effective blogging can increase organic traffic to your website, but can also generate high-quality leads for your dealership. That's because people are going online every day (multiple times per day) to find information that will enrich and empower them. Whether they are looking for answers to questions or trying to decide on a place to eat, the whole idea behind the internet is to gain access to information. But despite its importance, many businesses find it to be a daunting task. If you're one of them, I understand the struggle. It's real. I've spent countless hours watching the cursor blink on my word processor hoping that a spark of inspiration would help me pound out two thousand words of genius. While those strokes of genius didn't happen very often, I've learned some tips about blogging along the way that have streamlined the process for ...Read post