When it comes to data, marketers across all industries are becoming technically savvier. They seek better ways to use data to improve customer experiences. They are collecting more on-line data to power digital marketing strategies. Big Data, social media data, and real-time data are part of everyday strategy discussions. And new technologies to reach these goals are on everyone’s radar.
When companies put data at the center of their marketing decisions they improve their ROI by 20% (McKinsey). And the opportunity is ripe for car dealers to take advantage of their customer data to build brand loyalty, get more referrals, attract new customers, and ultimately, sell MORE.
Your customers are interacting with you through a variety of channels, such as email, customer service departments, call centers, social media, and visits to your dealership. Each of these touch points is an opportunity to understand your customers and prospects better and to ultimately increase profitability.
Using a data management and integration solution, information from each of these channels can be collected, cleansed and integrated into a central marketing data mart or warehouse to create a 360-degree customer view. Additional data should also be added from a third-party to get to know your customers on an even deeper level. Examples include:
In order to successfully target consumers with the most relevant offers, be sure to segment them into groups. Customer segmentation refers to dividing customers into groups who share similar characteristics, such as age, gender, lifestyle, and so on.
For example, use life stages to segment different groups of consumers. Life stage segmentation requires looking at a combination of demographics, lifestyle and real-time data to determine where consumers are in their life cycle. Different marketing techniques will appeal to different segments. Targeting a graduating college student will be much different than targeting a family with children or a two-career family with more discretionary income.
Several types of segments to consider include:
1. Family Needs: A family with children may use their vehicle for kids sporting events, carpooling, family vacations, road trips, and more. They will be looking for a larger, dependable family vehicle to meet their needs.
2. Social Status: Take the example of an executive who recently received a raise or large promotion. It’s now time to celebrate the social status benefits with a luxury or high status car that communicates their career and business success.
3. Environmentally Conscious: A growing number of consumers take into consideration environmental factors, and hybrid or electric cars with lower fuel consumption may be more appealing than the large gas-guzzling SUV. By appending demographics to your customer database, such as lifestyle, involvement with environmental organizations, education, and so on, these consumers can be identified and targeted with the right offers.
4. Just Need to Get Around: A consumer who is only looking to get from point A to point B certainly doesn’t need all the bells and whistles of a more expensive luxury car. Consumers in this group may just need transportation for neighborhood errands or getting to work and back. They tend to not be interesting in paying for anything extra, they just want a dependable vehicle for transportation. To send them a message on a high-end vehicle may just get them running to the competition.
While these are just a few example of segmentation, the only way to achieve this intelligence is by getting your data together to create a 360-degree customer view and applying analytics to determine distinct customer purchase segments.
The digital revolution has caused an explosion in marketing channels and the way your prospects and customers want to be targeted. You have collected the data and created your customer segments, but if you aren’t reaching your potential customers through the channels they use, all your efforts will be in vain.
According to an AutoTrader.com study, three of the top five ad formats which prompted research into a potential car purchase are digital.
Of course, the ideal channels will vary depending on the profile of your prospects. For example, are they a younger demographic who flock to social media and mobile? Or do they respond best to advertising or direct mail?
Personalized messages and campaigns are also key components of customer acquisition. Remember, you are marketing to people, and you’ll get more favorable responses when you hone in on their interests or provide personalized recommendations.
Here’s a great quote by Hubspot:
“The goal of personalization isn’t to engage with one audience of many, but to engage with infinite audiences of one.”
Also consider these great statistics:
Consider offering targeted discounts to potential new customers or sending personalized emails to stay top of mind to your prospects, making them more likely to convert. Digital strategies and remarketing also offer an ideal way to re-engage website visitors with personalized offers and recommendations.
Successful customer acquisition requires having the right marketing data to develop your own unique mix of audiences, channels, and messaging. And with the right mix, you can power your dealership’s growth with masses of loyal customers.