Better Analysis can Help Dealers Target the Right Car Shoppers
If 2014 is the year of big data, 2015 will hopefully be the year of better analysis. For car dealers, this means turning their growing digital advertising spends into more focused targeting investments.
One of the things we get to see every day in our exploration of the automotive industry is the difference in perspectives between the three major parties – OEMs, dealers, and car shoppers. In other industries, the goals seem to be more aligned, but in the car business, it’s almost like a fight. The manufacturers say one thing about how to advertise. The dealers see another direction with their advertising. Consumer cry out for more relevance in how they’re targeted. Throw in the automotive vendors and you have a bunch of people with the same end goal (transacting over a vehicle) but with different perspectives on how to accomplish it.
The consumers have the control, and this is great news for dealers. They are giving dealers all of the information they need to make decisions about their advertising based upon their actions. These actions are recorded by parties like Google, Facebook, Polk, Experian, Dataium… the list of companies with deep understanding of car shopper trends is continuing to grow.
Where the gap occurs is in the analysis of the data. Many dealers have access to the data itself but there are very few tools and even fewer services that can combine the information about the consumers and present it in ways that can compel actions by the dealership. We have looked at several companies doing this very thing. One that stood out was String Automotive. Their style of collecting the data from multiple providers and combining it into a workable format is strong, but the real benefit they bring to dealers comes in the recommendations they make to dealers during monthly calls. It’s refreshing to see good old consultation instead of simply presenting fancy dashboards and reports to dealers.
We will continue to explore new ways for dealers and consumers to better understand each other. In the meantime, look towards 2015 emerging as a year where the data actually becomes actionable. “Big data” can only take you so far if there’s no way to decipher it properly.