Across the automotive industry, buyers are demanding different things from their marketing. They want to be better connected with their dealerships and salespeople. They enjoy the convenience of online shopping but still want to test drive coupe cars before purchasing them. And they desire personalized information about financing offers tailored to their credit scores.
The silver lining is that data will help automakers (OEMs) address all three key buyer demands for this future state of marketing:
- Improved omnichannel engagement
- Seamless integrations between digital platforms and internal silos
- Tailored information based on real-time insights into customer preferences
This future state requires an entirely new approach because any system built upon data can’t function like traditional, siloed tools that lack a solid foundation.
Data Enhanced Systems
Building a strong data foundation starts with setting clear objectives for the business, identifying key performance indicators (KPIs), and establishing an evolving program to change business culture through data-driven decision-making.
The automotive industry has been slow to adopt the use of big data. Only a few automakers have a fully functional CRM platform or even a text messaging system. In addition, many of these systems are used for individual LOBs rather than being shared across different platforms, limiting their ability to engage consumers effectively at all touchpoints throughout the shopping process. Given that buyers research vehicles on multiple devices before purchasing one, brands must provide consistent experiences everywhere they engage on branded sites and apps and dealers’ websites, dealer tools, and even social channels.
There is an excellent need for automotive brands to evolve how they leverage data to meet these demands head-on. To do so, automakers must integrate their CRM systems with digital marketing programs across all stages of the customer journey from lead generation through post-sale follow-ups and within each stage:
Given that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to building an integrated marketing stack, automakers should start with what’s most important: setting clear objectives for the business and identifying key performance indicators (KPIs) according to those goals. It’s equally important to establish a program that will change the business culture to data-driven. Automakers can start by focusing on a few key capabilities:
- Developing a master marketing record for each existing and new customer
- Mapping existing processes to fit the goals of the marketing stack
- Updating technology with customers’ preferences in mind
To achieve these goals, automakers must have access to platform infrastructure and have enough engineering resources to build integrations between different systems. This way, they can ensure their data is captured correctly from the beginning so brands don’t have to go back and correct problematic data points after going live, which creates additional costs and difficulties that could’ve been avoided with better planning during the development process.
The Bottom Line
Automakers don’t have to sit on the sidelines and wait for their competitors to take advantage of the future state of automotive marketing. Instead, they can embrace this new way by prioritizing data as a critical business objective and establishing clear KPIs according to those goals. This will help them gain a competitive edge, but it will also allow them to address better tomorrow’s evolving demands from consumers, which is nothing short of essential to success in today’s marketplace.