Growing auto sales requires a meaningful improvement in a dealership’s ability to conquest new customers.
That’s because out of the three kinds of car buyers -- first-time shoppers, loyalty customers and conquest customers – only conquest has the potential for meaningful growth. Loyalty sales only protect the market share you already have, and first-time shoppers are becoming rarer in almost every market as the car-buying population ages.
This keeps conquest in its long-time role as the primary driver of car dealership sales growth. But what’s new today is conquest is no longer just a function of bigger advertising spends or word-of-mouth. Today’s most effective dealership conquest campaigns are driven by big data, not big dollars, and the results are undeniable.
In this post, we dive into how predictive analytics can revolutionize automotive conquest sales, including:
– Identifying and targeting the best auto sales prospects before they start shopping
– Improving dealership marketing effectiveness and ROI
– Powering conquest opportunities through the service drive
Improving Both Quality & Quantity of Car Sales Leads
Predictive analytics redefine the historic “quality versus quantity” question for car sales leads by automating parts of the lead qualification process that had previously been the limiting factors for dealers.
Rather than manually qualifying incoming leads on a one-by-one basis, dealers using predictive analytics marketing tools can effectively consider every prospect within their geographical market a lead. By utilizing automated predictive marketing tools powered by data sources that range from public, to proprietary, to the dealer’s own DMS and CMS, dealers can efficiently rank prospects based on their likelihood to convert.
Instead of a monthly stack of leads of uncertain value, our dealer partners work from a list of prospects ranked according to a 0-100 Behavior Prediction Score®. This empowers their team to focus on the highest-quality, most-actionable car sales leads first – increasing the time salespeople spend actually closing sales.
Of course, this sort of approach is only possible with high-quality, accurate automotive consumer data. For instance, any analysis of a household’s readiness and ability to purchase a new vehicle needs to include social demographic information like household composition, existing vehicle makes and models in the family garage and household financial information.
That’s why Market EyeQ’s predictive analytics insights incorporate high-quality data sources from IHS Markit, CARFAX, TransUnion and OEMs, and integrates with dealer DMS and CMS systems to offer our dealer partners a 360-degree view of their entire market.
The Predictive Marketing Revolution
Even with the growth in online advertising, the total marketing cost-per-sale and ROI have barely budged over the past decade: In 2010, dealers had spent $635 per sale, at 7.9% of total gross costs. In 2019, the average dealer spent $640 per new vehicle sale, accounting for 7.9% of total gross costs.
However, personalized automotive marketing campaigns powered by predictive analytics are proving their worth when it comes to improving dealership marketing ROI. Rather than giant and expensive monthly blasts with broad standardized messaging, analytics-driven marketing creates customized marketing campaigns for each conquest prospect that walk them through an individual journey of the right offer at the right time through the right channel to maximize their likelihood of turning into an activated, high-quality prospect.
Mastermind dealer partner Lexus of Towson is experiencing the power of predictive marketing first hand. In its first month, a direct mail campaign based on our platform’s analysis of thousands of data points empowered the dealer to close 20 deals. At a 63% close rate, it was up from the store’s typical 35-40%.
Their success using our behavior prediction technology isn’t unique. Dealers using Mastermind’s data-driven predictive marketing campaigns gain up to 15 additional conquest sales per month. Further, dealers using Mastermind’s personalized dealership marketing solutions report an average $115 per-sale advertising cost – an 82% ROI improvement from the industry average that goes straight to the dealership’s bottom line.
Powering Service Conquest
While the most cost-effective dealership sale is to an existing loyalty customer, the next-best option is conquesting a customer with whom you have a pre-existing service-not-sold relationship.
Predictive analytics are especially powerful for improving your dealership’s service-to-sales process as your dealership has unique access to critical data about the customer’s existing vehicle that informs how likely they are to start shopping for a replacement vehicle.
Dealers that have embraced predictive analytics as a tool for driving service conquest auto sales regularly have a dedicated salesperson or even team devoted to reviewing the analytics-driven insights on each and every scheduled service appointment and proactively engaging with service drive visitors who have been identified as high-quality car sales leads by their sales platform’s predictive analytics tools.
Mastermind’s dealer partners who have embraced this model report converting service customers into new car auto sales at 4x the activation rate than the competition. On average, Market EyeQ helps dealers activate 55% of their service drive into in-market customers. That kind of increased sales volume from high-ROI customers is a powerful addition to any auto dealership’s profitability.