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Instead of spending this year wondering how many people will be buying cars, we need to invest our mindshare in competing for those that WILL!
We do not know the full impact tariffs, rising interest rates, autonomous vehicles, ridesharing and digital retailing will have on our dealerships. We do know that even if the number of people shopping for a car holds steady in 2019, the competition to turn those shoppers into buyers is ratcheting up every day. So how do we win?
Winning shoppers starts with marketing and carries through the entire customer experience. And that means, you must be continually evaluating your marketing strategy to engage with shoppers effectively and efficiently.
To do that, we need to start thinking like a consumer.
These stats tell us what we should already know. We MUST rethink our marketing if we are to meet these expectations and win consumers.
Here are four ways you can rethink your marketing in 2019 to engage today’s consumer:
In the world of mass media, we’re not just referring to traditional forms. Media designed to deliver one message to the masses -- radio, television, newspaper, display or video -- does not help us meet shopper expectations at scale.
To win with consumers, you must run towards 1 to 1 or People Marketing. Instead of thinking about what medium or publisher you should be investing in, start thinking about connecting the right message to an actual person throughout their individual journey. People marketing leverages personalized data to find and market to an individual through identity, location, and cross-device omni-channel solutions.
Application: Take an inventory of your marketing spend. Ask yourself how much you are spending on marketing to masses. If you are investing more than 25% of your marketing engaging the many – it is time to start cutting and reallocating to engage actual people!
According to IBM Marketing Cloud, 90% of the world’s data has been generated in the past two years.3 At Client Command, we are seeing 31 Billion data updates per day online. Think about the amount of information being generated by consumers and the power it holds for 1:1 marketing. It is possible to KNOW when someone is shopping for a car, why they are buying it and the intensity of shopping AND to act with responsive messaging that matches what consumers want.
It is widely accepted that processing this level of data at scale requires technology, specifically a data management platform (DMP.) In 2018, 55% of marketers were using a DMP and this year, projections say it’ll jump to 91%!4 A DMP provides access to the critical data you need to fuel sales – and without it you lack the fundamental infrastructure to compete in today’s shopper centric marketplace.
Application: Make decisions today to be among the 91% of marketers using a DMP in 2019. If you are not purchasing or building your own, find a partner built to process data at today’s scale.
Speed matters in the competition for shoppers. We must be in front of shoppers as soon as they enter the market. Today, that means long before they step onto a dealership lot or even visit your dealership website. According to Deloitte, nearly 7 out of 10 car shoppers will be in market less than 90 days.5 Meanwhile, most companies are using online shopping data that is 45-90 days old. My question is, is the industry too comfortable with data that misses more than half of a shopper’s journey?
To get to shoppers first, you must invest in the most advanced shopper identification tools available. At Client Command, we believe you need to know as much as possible about a shopper, within 24 hours of that person entering the market and be ready with content that responds to his or her phase, purchase intensity and interests. Two years ago, 90-day old data was bad, today it is worthless.
Application: Evaluate your data and shopper identification tools and vendors... and ask yourself:
Personalization is the expectation of consumers. It also has proven benefit to your bottom line. According to McKinsey, personalization can reduce acquisition costs by as much as 50%, increase revenues by 5-15% and the efficiency of marketing spend by 10-30%.6 With that much upside, why aren’t we doing more of it?
The easiest answer is, it is difficult. Personalization means delivering real-time responsive messaging and offers that are contextual to where the shopper is in their journey on their preferred device and in their preferred media.
And it is impossible to do for all the shoppers in your market without technology. I am talking about a marketing automation platform. Most marketers have adopted the DMP, but the truth is, you need both. Marketing automation tools take that data and leverage it to personalize messages.
Application: Prepare to open your budget and start vetting partners now who offer marketing automation platforms ready to harness data to deliver omni-channel solutions.
Wrapping it up
Customer loyalty has a new currency – personalization. If you look at your own life, you know it is true. You expect companies, no matter what they sell or service, to know what you want and be ready to respond with immediacy. In the past, we have been able to make changes gradually. In today’s market, tomorrow is too late. And although change cannot happen all at once, we can all take one step this week to win today’s consumer.