Dealers and automotive agencies are constantly on the search for the best leads. But many of these leads continue to fall flat. Why? How do you generate high quality leads before paying Facebook, another social platform or your agency?
Every dealership needs high quality leads to build their business and customer base. But, not all leads are created equal. What needs to change?
Turning the Unknown into Known
Dealers and auto agencies work extensively to attract new customers through a multitude of outreach marketing. However, many dealerships aren’t as diligent as they could be at completing the partial information captured when a lead calls, emails or walks into the dealership.
Most sales teams only have information shoppers give them, such as basic contact info and the vehicle they’re interested in (9 Clouds State of Automotive Marketing Annual Report, 2017). Dealers must create a process to identify all inbound consumer touchpoints, even when presented with partial information such as a phone number or an email address. For instance, if a lead calls, a phone number is captured. What about the rest of the information?
Third party agencies and partners can supplement the remaining identity information in real-time, to provide all additional identity data associated with each consumer including full name, address, phone numbers and email addresses. The result: multiple outbound touchpoints to engage these leads. Even when they only receive a single piece of information, such as a phone or email address, dealers have access to a wealth of identity information and can provide relevant offers through email campaigns, online retargeting, and direct mail offers, resulting in higher conversion rates.
Paint a Complete Picture of Your Leads for Personalized Engagement
Now that you have complete consumer information, what other relevant information can help you drive conversions? Today’s top performing dealerships understand that consumers want personalized buying experiences—before stepping into a dealership. Dealers neglecting to shift their businesses toward customer experience are missing out on potential business from up to 72% of consumers (Jazel Automotive Solutions, 2018).
Complete consumer information is the baseline for all marketing engagement, but other key information can also drive customer conversions. Attribute and lifestyle data, such as age, income, marriage, presence of children and current and past automobile ownership provides significant value in consumer targeting and inbound engagement. Why? Needs change. Households change. Children who were 15 are now 21, and these consumers become higher propensity buyers. Consumers in the household with older vehicles may now be ideal targets for trade-in offers.
Working with an agency or third party partner, dealers can leverage key attribute and lifestyle data to engage with consumers leading up to and during key life changes to improve sales conversions. Consumer attribute data also provides the foundation for marketing segmentation and personalization. More than ever, consumers are looking for the information they need, when they need it, in an experience that is customized for their needs. Top-performing dealers and agencies are able to successfully leverage consumer attribute information to clearly define and understand their audience to improve marketing engagement and sales conversions.
Data Quality is King
Dealers need to maintain up-to-date and complete consumer identity data long after the sale has closed or the lead has gone cold. This includes continually updating all possible information for their consumers: address, phone numbers, email addresses, and attribute data. At any given time, 30% or more of DMS data is inaccurate or incomplete. Annually, 11.5% of Americans move (U.S Census Bureau) and 40% change email addresses (Accenture). Additionally, 4 million marry (CDC) and another 4 million families have children each year (Accenture). Consumer data changes rapidly, and dealers need to keep pace with these changes to maintain effective consumer engagement and effective outbound marketing campaigns.
Conquest Targeting: High-Propensity Buyers
60% of car buyers research the market for about six months before making their purchases (Heritus, 2018). The good news is that most car buyers are undecided at the start of the shopping process. When they first begin to shop, 6 out of 10 consumers are open to considering multiple vehicle options (Autotrader, 2016). This opens up the door for effective conquest targeting campaigns.
Dealerships and agencies need to engage with consumers at the moment they begin their buyer journey with relevant, personalized offers. With advances in data analytics and high-propensity modeling, dealers can leverage advanced data models to reach consumers at the moment they begin their research. Targeting consumers based on in-market timing models can improve conversions as much as 4 times greater than traditional marketing campaigns. These models go far beyond utilizing traditional browser data and leverage known automotive purchase history along with many other predictive indicators to identify in-market consumers. By leveraging targeted, high-propensity campaigns, dealers can target fewer, more engaged consumers to improve conversions and reduce overall marketing cost.
The Bottom Line: Dealers Need to be Data-driven Marketers
While many dealerships have been passed down through many generations, the move toward data-driven and online marketing has only just begun to mold the industry. With advances in data and technology, dealers need to fully identify and target auto consumers the moment they are in-market to survive in an increasingly competitive buying environment.
Learn more how to unlock the true value of your leads by joining Eric Gastevich for his session at the Digital Dealer 24 Conference & Expo this April 10-12th in Orlando, FL!
About the Author
Eric Gastevich is well-versed in digital product development with experience leading product teams at companies of all sizes. Eric is a product manager at Infutor Data Solutions, an industry leader in Consumer Identity Management. He has previously built digital products and completed in-depth analytics projects at Cars.com, delivering value to thousands of franchise and independent dealers and millions of car shoppers and sellers. Eric received a B.A. in Economics from Denison University and an MBA from DePaul Kellstadt School of Business while working full-time at a Chicago startup. EMAIL: email@example.com.