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Dana Fornasar, Sr. Product Marketing Manager
by Dana Fornasar, Sr. Product Marketing Manager


We've been talking a lot lately about "audience" and "Audience Management"...but what do these terms really mean and why should you care? Before we dive in, let's just say should care because the payoff is simple.

In fact, our data shows that although managed traffic only accounts for 40% of a dealer’s web traffic, it actually drives 60% of vehicle sales. A managed experience is a more seamless experience, from the ads that initially peaked their attention, to the landing page that provides more information on the offer, all the way to the reviews you serve them on your site.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s first define ‘audience.’

What is Audience?

My teammate, Rob Campbell, recently proposed a new definition of audience in his recent webinar, The New Keys to Closing Your Most Profitable Customers. You should definitely check out what he has to say on the subject. Simply put, your audience is the collection of people that you want to reach with your dealership's message. The tricky thing here is that "audience" can be fluid can change depending on a dealership's business goals, their "why buy," or even depending upon their monthly specials. With the sheer number of shoppers and the cost of advertising today, it’s not good enough or cost effective enough to just target based on a zip code or DMA, or target "car shoppers" and call it good. You have to think about the particular shopper that you are trying to reach with your message and whether or not that specific shopper is worth your time and dollars.

For instance, if your dealership is known for focusing on consumers with bad credit or shoppers looking for distressed inventory, you are going to send your message to a different group of people than a dealership that is focused on moving luxury inventory. That's simple enough, right?

But what about if your dealership is promoting two lease offers this month on your top selling models? One model may be more of a family vehicle that’s attracting shoppers focused on safety ratings. While the other model is more of a performance vehicle attracting in-market thrill seekers.

The consumers looking at these vastly different vehicles may have many things in common – they're looking to purchase a new car, they may live in the same zip code, and they could even be the same age and have a similar household income. However, no one would argue that their interests and vehicle needs couldn't be more different.

How can you speak to each shopper and treat her as if she's an Audience of One? That's where Audience Management comes into play.

Be Selective. Be Profitable.

Audience Management uses technology to identify the shoppers who are perfectly suited to the message at hand, allowing you to choose the customers that will be most profitable. At the end of the day, not all customers are equal. Some aren’t even worth your time.

You need to be able to target and engage the right audience – the one that fits your business goals – so you’re dealing with more of the right customers from the get-go. Highly sophisticated real-time targeting is really the key here, and it can't be done by just anyone. You need a partner with deep data pockets to accomplish this. A partner who touches millions of car shoppers, who understands the differences between car buyers’ underlying motivations and who in turn is able to provide a personalized experience and message which speaks to each shopper uniquely.

Ideally, this is what happens on your floor with great salespeople. They cater their pitch, their stories, their approach to each consumer as they learn more about what makes them tick. Audience Management solutions do this on a grand scale, online, in real-time, before your customer even walks through your doors.

About the Author

Dana Fornasar is a Senior Product Marketing Manager for CDK's Digital Advertising solutions. Her first car was a royal blue 1974 Volkswagen Super Beetle. Dana’s VW sadly met its demise during a sorority caravan en route to a Pearl Jam concert in Atlanta, where it fell victim to what was later confirmed to be the first and only rear-end collision caused by a flighty sorority girl. Blaring from her blown-out speakers at the time of the collision was ironically Pearl Jam’s newly released song Rearviewmirror. True story. 

She brings 10 years of digital marketing experience to CDK. Before joining CDK, Dana worked with advertising & marketing teams at Expedia, Microsoft, and Paramount Pictures. Feel Free to reach out to Dana anytime at

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Tags: audience, choice, digital, internet, management, marketing, personalization, process, profitibility, sales


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