Artificial Intelligence. It’s the buzzword of the year in automotive! It’s used on multiple ends of automotive journey. It’s the technology that allows autonomous vehicle their autonomy, and it’s growing as a tool in marketing to create super specific targeted ads.
It seems dealers have no problem adapting to AI in cars, but it’s another story when talking about its use in marketing.
DrivingSales News spoke with LotLinx’s VP of Product Management, Eric Turner on this new confusing technology. He says AI in marketing isn’t being used as frequently in automotive as it is in other industries. But why?
“I think that the biggest challenge is awareness… and legitimacy,” He said. “AI has some buzz that comes with it. But just the word artificial intelligence has some confusion around it because there is no clear definition of what it actually means.”
The lack of awareness and understanding gives dealership a hard time really jumping on board, according to Turner.
LotLinx claims to use cutting edge technology and machine learning to put specific cars in front of specific buyers. You can describe generic AI marketing in a similar way. AI takes away the massive task of creating targeted messaging for individuals because the machine does all the learning and finding for you.
“When you’re thinking about the automotive industry and every single car as a unique commodity, and then to create a unique message that is specific to one customer it becomes overwhelming very quickly,” Turner said. “Social media has kind of found our customers for us, but AI will become necessary in creating very specific messages.”
New technology isn’t only worry some for dealerships, the Brookings Institute out of Washington found that after polling 1,500 Americans, half were worried about AI taking away their right to privacy.
Turner doesn’t believe this will actually be the case when AI becomes more prominent. In fact, he said he welcomes AI targeted ads!
“From my perspective I guess I rather like the idea of getting messages that are specifically tailored to my needs and wants,” He said. “It would be nice not having to worry about all these different messages which come my direction that aren’t relevant at all.”
Artificial Intelligence may be somewhat new to automotive, but if you look at other industries, it’s already being implemented. That means, according to Turner, if your dealership hasn’t jumped on the AI bandwagon, you’re not only behind in automotive, you’re behind everyone.
“Dealerships have to get on board. If not dealers will be behind the curve relative to the economy as a whole,” He warns. “I think some industries are more receptive to new tech. My experience with some dealers is that there is some resistance in trying something new and different. But that resistance is quickly diminishing as they realize the future of the industry is very different than it is right now.”
He says in less than five years, this tech will be everywhere.
“From a marketing perspective AI is the future. This is how we break the cycle of generic messages, and start creating targeted messages to one person,” he said. “AI allows us to reach into the haystack and grab the needle out without any guesswork. With AI’s growing capability you will see this be the defining feature of digital marketing.”