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The operational and advertising aspects of running a car dealership can make it challenging to keep everything together. For dealer groups, it's often more challenging because some decisions must be made in the interest of individual stores while other decisions must be made for the group.
Information is the key. Gathering the right bits of information, bringing them together in a meaningful way, and discerning what the information is telling you in order to yield actionable data can be the difference between success and failure, particularly as it pertains to advertising. This is often very difficult because the tools are usually either focused on individual stores or spread out across the whole group. Breaking it down appropriately is a necessity for savvy dealer groups.
In many ways, groups have advantages. They usually have access to more inventory, larger advertising budgets, and broader name recognition. There are advantages that single rooftops have as well, including mobility in decision making, focused of budgets, and the small business or family-run perception that appeals to many consumers.
Data analysis and business intelligence are the equalizers. For single rooftops, data allows them to be as smart with their budgets as possible, enabling them to go against bigger organizations by letting their advertising work smarter. For groups, having the right information and keeping it consolidated to a single attribution platform allows them to see the big picture while maintaining the granular benefits that single rooftops enjoy.
We've discussed how proper dealership intelligence can help individual stores in the past, so we're going to focus on the groups for now.
The OEMs and Tier 2 organizations have been using business intelligence for years. They've utilized the value of breaking down information into decision-driving action plans because it allows them to see the effectiveness of individual advertising components while maintaining an understanding of how full-blown campaigns are working as a whole.
This has remained in their realm for a while. Only recently have the tools been available to make it affordable enough for dealer groups to truly embrace. Once does not need the budget of an OEM to enjoy the "secret knowledge" associated with data analysis, Today, even small groups have access and can make better decisions both for the individual stores as well as the company itself.
With the proper merging, parsing, and analysis of the data that's available to us today, dealer groups can see clearly which advertising endeavors are working for each store without relying on anecdotal opinions or generalized decrees. For some stores within a group, one advertising campaign may be driving significant sales increases while it proves to be a waste of money for others in the same group.
Dealership intelligence as we define it solves the macro versus micro dilemma. You can see the effects of different campaigns, advertising venues, demographic targets, and messages across the group while having the ability to break it down in any way you see fit: by brand, by location, by model, or any other way that you can imagine.
We could write a book on this topic, especially when it comes to proper data analysis and dealership intelligence at the group level, but we'll keep this article short and leave you with this: there are no advertising decisions that you make, whether traditional or digital, that cannot be improved through dealership intelligence. In many cases, you're probably making excellent decisions, in which case the dealership intelligence reports will simply act as verification and (in some cases) vindication. In other cases, we're certain that you'll find holes that need to be plugged, budgets that need to be adjusted, targeting that needs to be reworked, or messages that need to be changed when you look closely at the data available.