Is Your Database Ready for New Business?

This year’s NADA has come and gone. One thing that remains, however, are the clear signs that the automotive industry has roared back to pre-crisis levels. Car sales are up and dealers are looking for more ways to acquire new customers. Many times, a new customer is one who has previously purchased from the dealer and is ready to do it again. Dealerships often turn to their own DMS database to drive those campaigns. While this can be a great source to power such a campaign, often the information stored there has become dated and inaccurate. Beyond the obvious result of the right consumer not getting the right message, there is also the negative impact that an incorrect message sends to your previous customer — you haven’t taken the time to know who they are today.

Targeted messaging is not a new thing. It has been around for many years, but it requires the data set you are using is relevant and accurate to be most effective. In addition to the impact of inaccurate consumer messaging, it can be costly to launch campaigns that
are not reaching the right people. This is why many savvy dealerships have begun to do their own data hygiene. There are many highly effective easy-to-use ways to clean and enhance a dealership’s customer database. Many marketing companies offer these services pre-campaign, but if the dealership takes this task on themselves, they are insuring that their database is in a ready state, regardless of what vendor they choose to work with.

While many of the steps are simple and not very expensive, things like NCOA, phone append, reverse phone append, and email append can really empower a customer database and raise marketing ROIs. 

Finally, to truly understand the impact of how a campaign performs, a dealership should use some form of ROI reporting. There are a few ways to accomplish this and it provides a dealer some great insight into understanding into the results that the campaign produced. ROI reporting can be done by pre- and post-campaign manifest matching or even using a commercially available sales match report like the one that POLK offers. In the case of the POLK report, it can be run about 60 days after the campaign and gives the dealership great information on how many cars were purchased, whether that car was new or used and the percentage of vehicles sold by make and model. 

The dealership database can be a very powerful tool, but careful planning on enhancement and reporting can provide an even greater impact for the dealership.

Written by Steve Cottrell, CEO & President of Authenticom

Published in AutoSuccess in 2015

Michelle PhelpsComment