Hybrid CDP and Journey Builder

3 Things to Stop and 3 Things to Start Doing for Your Automotive Marketing

The automotive industry is constantly evolving, and marketers need to stay ahead of the curve. One thing that is evident is that the industry is working towards defining what a Customer Data Platform (CDP) should be today for car dealers. CDPs can connect all of the 1st and 3rd party data sources a dealership has, such as the DMS, website, and social media, to allow dealers to have a single view of their customers and their data for marketing. One of the biggest trends in automotive marketing is the use of hybrid CDPs and Multichannel Journey Builders. Let's delve into three critical things automotive marketers should stop doing and three strategic initiatives they should start implementing to thrive in this evolving landscape.

3 Things to Stop Doing:

1. Stop the Grunt Work: 

In the age of data-driven decision-making, accurate customer information must be at the forefront of dealership marketing. Forrester states that 25% of marketing campaigns have been negatively impacted by poor data management. 37% wasted spend because of poor data quality and 35% due to inaccurate targeting, resulting in a 30% loss of customers. Accurate data allows dealerships to understand and personalize their marketing efforts based on the customer. Manual data correction is a time-consuming and error-prone task that diverts resources and provides misinformation about your customers.

Instead of investing precious hours in correcting bad or incomplete customer data, it's time for automotive marketers to leverage advanced Customer Data Platforms (CDPs). These platforms seamlessly connect various data sources, including the 1st-party and third-party data sources, creating a unified view of customer information. By automating data correction processes, marketers can redirect their efforts toward more impactful activities, such as personalized marketing campaigns and customer engagement strategies.

2. Stop the Scattergun Approach: 

Stop sending dealership  marketing via multiple disconnected marketing vendors. Sending marketing communications through multiple disconnected vendors can lead to a fragmented and inconsistent brand message. In today's world, using an unfocused scattergun approach can dilute the impact of marketing efforts and undermine a customer's experience. According to a survey by Salesforce, 72% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations.  Automotive marketers should stop relying on disjointed marketing vendors and instead opt for a centralized approach.

Choosing a vendor that offers a comprehensive, integrated multichannel solution can streamline marketing efforts, ensuring a cohesive and synchronized brand message across various channels. A study by Google found that 95% of car buyers use digital channels to research vehicles, with 41% using multiple devices during the process.  Integrating multichannel marketing journeys with a CDP can deliver personalized, cohesive messages through email, text, direct mail, and 1-to-1 communication. A unified marketing strategy not only enhances brand consistency but also provides a more seamless experience for customers, fostering brand loyalty.

3. Stop Targeting Misfires: 

Stop marketing to customers who no longer own the vehicle, and stop sending service offers to people who just got their vehicle serviced yesterday. Targeting customers who no longer own a vehicle or bombarding individuals with service offers immediately after a recent service can be counterproductive. It not only wastes resources but also risks alienating customers due to irrelevant communications, which leads to increased opt-outs. To optimize marketing efforts, automotive marketers need to stop casting a wide net and adopt a more targeted approach. 

Utilizing advanced analytics and data segmentation, marketers can identify and focus on the most promising customer segments. This involves understanding customer lifecycles, predicting purchasing behavior, and tailoring marketing messages accordingly. By avoiding generic marketing to inactive or recently serviced customers, marketers can enhance the effectiveness of their campaigns and improve overall customer satisfaction. 

For example, according to Activator's sample of 300 customers, on average, 20+% of customers no longer own their vehicles within a dealer's DMS. They also found that duplicates account for 15-33% of the customer records in a dealer's DMS. You can convert your data into actionable insights by utilizing Activator's turnkey, Hybrid CDP, and Multichannel Marketing Journey Builder. This data can now be used to send new and used car marketing, ensuring a positive experience for returning customers, and send service-based marketing to the new vehicle owner, adding to your new customer base. In fact, Activator's Top 20 dealers see an average of 48 handraisers a month. That's 48 customers who are marketing qualified leads prepared to upgrade, sell, renew, or pre-order a vehicle.


3 Things to Start Doing:

1. Start with Seamless Connectivity: 

Start by seamlessly connecting your data sources into one solution. Dealers can achieve validated, corrected, and unified data that can serve as a foundation for streamlined sales, enhanced after-sales care, and targeted customer offers by harnessing the power of CDPs. A CDP, as defined in the broad Business-to-business (B2B) or Business-to-consumer (B2C) world by leading CDP companies such as Treasure Data, Klaviyo, BloomReach, and Salesforce, is a specialized software designed to gather and unify 1st-party customer data from various sources, creating a unified, comprehensive profile for each customer. 

For car dealers to effectively use a CDP, they should establish seamless connectivity with their DMS. The DMS holds a treasure trove of valuable customer data, and integrating it with a CDP creates a centralized hub for customer insights. Choosing a vendor that can swiftly implement the data management layer is crucial. This ensures that marketers can quickly access and leverage the primary customer records needed for targeted and personalized marketing campaigns. By initiating this connectivity, marketers pave the way for a more data-driven and efficient approach to customer engagement.

2. Start with Turnkey Multichannel Activation:  

In a dynamic and competitive landscape, speed is of the essence. Marketers should start partnering with turnkey vendors capable of promptly initiating multichannel marketing activation. A turnkey solution eliminates the need for complex and time-consuming setup processes, allowing marketers to hit the ground running. This agility is essential in responding to market trends, launching timely campaigns, and staying ahead of the competition. According to a report by Capgemini, 71% of car buyers say that they would prefer to buy a car from a dealer that offers an end-to-end digital experience. By engaging with turnkey solutions vendors, automotive marketers can unlock the full potential of automated multichannel marketing, reaching customers across various touchpoints with a cohesive and impactful message.

3. Start Collaborating for Success:

Start impacting churn, drive equity conversations, and retain customers with a partner that understands each dealer’s unique campaign needs. To truly impact customer retention, automotive marketers should start collaborating with partners who understand and cater to each dealer's unique campaign needs. A one-size-fits-all approach is no longer sufficient in the personalized and dynamic landscape of automotive marketing. By partnering with campaign-centric vendors, marketers gain access to tailored strategies that address specific challenges individual dealerships face. This collaboration can help reduce churn, stimulate equity conversations, and ultimately contribute to the retention of valuable customers. A study by the Harvard Business Review found that customers who had the best past experiences spend 140% more than those who had the poorest past experience. A personalized and targeted approach ensures that marketing efforts align with the unique characteristics and objectives of each dealership. 


Improving Data Quality and Creating Tailored Customer Experiences using a hybrid CDP and Multichannel Journey Builder powered by Salesforce

Activator's turnkey solution is seamlessly integrated with Salesforce CDP and Multichannel Journey Builder (Marketing Cloud), giving birth to a hybrid CDP and Multichannel Marketing Journey Builder. With this foundational framework in place, Activator can now incorporate additional data, both 1st party and 3rd party data sources, creating a comprehensive customer profile of each customer. This interconnected solution facilitates the creation of personalized customer journeys that engage with individuals based on their interactions and preferences. Over time, the data collected during these interactions is channeled back into the CDP, creating a picture of the customer's preferences and ensuring continuous refinement and personalization of marketing outreach.

Activator is also optimizing its CDP solution to include additional data sources by integrating 1st-party, Spending Power data, 1st-party Website Data, and Digital + Social Advertising Channels. These efforts aim to enhance data quality and offer custom campaigns demonstrating a strong commitment to staying at the forefront of automotive marketing. Multiple dealerships are set to beta test these features, with plans to launch them for NADA Show 2024.

By automatically marketing to customers across multiple channels with personalized messaging, dealerships can achieve higher ROI, better customer retention, and increased efficiency. Our dealers see an overall +20% reach, a 13% increase in sales volume, and a 14% increase in service-drive revenue year-over-year

In conclusion, the evolving landscape of automotive marketing demands a proactive and strategic approach. By ceasing outdated practices and embracing innovative strategies, marketers can position themselves for success in an industry where customer data and personalized engagement are paramount. Initiating data connectivity, adopting turnkey solutions, and collaborating with campaign-centric partners are pivotal steps toward creating a future-ready automotive marketing strategy. As the industry continues to evolve, staying ahead requires a commitment to continuous improvement and a willingness to embrace the transformative power of technology.

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NADA 2024


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