How a CDP Helps Dealers Turn, Bad Data, into Great Relationships

Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) are building a presence in the automotive space. More vendors and dealers are educating themselves about the power of combined and actionable data, particularly when it comes to building lasting customer relationships. In order to achieve these winning relationships, dealers need to be able to trust the data they have as current, accurate, and holistic — a feat that’s easier to achieve when you harness complementary technologies like AI and automation.

What Is a CDP?

CPDs are a marketing technology designed to collect, unify, and expose customer data. Its primary purpose is to pull customer insights from various sources, allowing dealers to gain a more complete view of their customers. 

Unlike dealer management systems (DMS), which manage everything from inventory to sales data to repair orders), CDPs focus squarely on customer relationships.

Using CDPs in marketing isn’t a new concept, nor is it an uncommon one. Data also shows that the CDP industry is expected to grow by more than 32.4% by 2027. 

Gaining a more holistic view of customers allows dealers to better execute on their data. It allows dealers to identify and engage with high-intent customers on sales and service purchases, helping to personalize messaging while improving the overall customer experience.

Is Data DOA?

Every dealer faces challenges with disorganized and disconnected data. Disconnected data creates fragmented insights, resulting in disconnected messaging, timing, and relationships. 

And yet, for many dealers, this data is feeding to all of their connected systems. In turn, these systems send conflicting or outright incorrect messages to customers across equity marketing, service retention, and conquest, just to name a few. 

The bottom line is data at dealerships is, for lack of a better term, a hot mess. It often ignores the transient nature of customers — their location in a market, ever-changing contact information, and personal preferences indicated by interactions and behaviors with and beyond the dealer.

As a point of reference, on average, 20% of the customers in a dealer’s DMS no longer own their vehicle, while another 20-30% have either moved out of the market or have bad contact information attached to their record. 

How CDPs Transform Dealer Relations

A customer data platform levels the playing field against disparate systems. It’s designed to fix unreliable data from multiple sources and allows for additional data sources to be piped in and leveraged. 

It has the ability to collect data from the DMS and 3rd party sources to enrich customer profiles, including:

  • First-party data from companies like Polk and Equifax
  • Equity calculations
  • Owner verification
  • Service interval data
  • CRM interactions
  • Website traffic

It also adds in customer interaction data — the key ingredient to creating personalized experiences and identifying high-intent leads.

The CDP unifies all of this data, creating a more complete view of each customer. 

As a result, dealers have more accurate data to support a multi-faceted marketing strategy, including the ever-important elements of equity mining, lease-end marketing, and service-retention marketing.

In the past, marketing managers would have to run around and grab results and data from different sources and manually combine them to create an email or direct mail blast. The efforts were lengthy and complex, allowing plenty of room for error and enough time for that data to become stale prior to launching a campaign.

The CDP collects and organizes data automatically and efficiently. What’s more, it enables modern-day marketers to extract data to execute highly personalized multichannel campaigns taking into account each customer's position in the customer lifecycle journey and individual interactions with marketing. 

An AI layer allows CDPs to get smarter over time, learning from each customer’s interactions, transactions, demographics, and more. By gaining ongoing insights into how your customers’ preferences and behaviors change over time, dealers can meet customers where they are and create touchpoints that elevate the customer experience.

In turn, this equates to better customer experiences, more revenue, and higher CX and CSI scores for the dealership.

How to Use CDPs to Turn Bad Data into Great Relationships

Incomplete, stale, or otherwise inaccurate customer data cannot support strong customer relationships. These are gaps that AI-driven CDPs like Activator are designed to solve, allowing you to speak directly to the customer no matter where they are in the buying journey.

Activator’s journey-based campaigns include:

  • Sales pre-order campaigns
  • Lease-end campaigns
  • Buyback campaigns
  • Service and parts introductions for first-year retention
  • Service interval campaigns
  • Lost soul and defector campaigns
  • Conquest campaigns

Delivering the right message at the right times to the right people not only demonstrates you understand the customer’s needs, but also put you top of mind at the times when customers most need you. 

Activator eliminates friction for the dealer when designing and sending campaigns, allowing you to return that same favor to your customers. 

It’s time to think like a customer: no campaign can ever compare to feeling seen, heard, and understood. To learn more about how Activator turns bad data into great relationships, schedule a demo.

NADA 2023 - Activator

Win at NADA 2023 - Activator


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