Marketing, like technology, is constantly evolving. In fact, the two are so closely connected that when one changes, the other usually follows suit. This can be exciting; new technology leads to new, innovative ways to deliver marketing messages to customers. But it can also be intimidating and difficult to keep pace with changing trends. If your marketing efforts and your ability to communicate with customers sometimes feel like a moving target, you’re not alone. And we’re here to help. Here are four marketing trends dealers need to know.
1. Data Mining
Even though it can often feel there is a surplus of data all around us, data is the most important resource for today’s retailers, including dealerships. And data is only going to become increasingly more important, in the automotive retail industry and others, as business practices and customer preferences evolve with technology.
Given that there is so much data in the world today though, leveraging it successfully isn’t just about having it. Yes, collecting good, clean data is critical, but to translate data into improved business results you have to actually do something with it. That’s where data mining comes in. When you make a purchase, there’s a good chance the retailer is paying attention to your buying habits and keeping notes in a database. That retailer can then use technology to delve into that data to find patterns that can be used to tailor marketing messages that are more likely to catch your attention.
Think of data mining as the process by which businesses turn raw data into real customer insights. As a car dealer, you already collect information about your customers. And with the right technology tools, like VinSolutions TargetPro+, you can analyze your data to find relevant customer trends and deliver more meaningful marketing messages.
2. Audience Segmentation
A type of data mining, audience segmentation involves separating your customer data into subgroups with similar characteristics. These subgroups may include interests, demographics and behaviors. By grouping customers together based on similar characteristics, you can tailor marketing messages that match their individual interests. The research speaks for itself. Segmented marketing emails get better open and click rates because targeted messages are more relevant and interesting to recipients.
Using information about your customers already stored in your dealership’s CRM, you can identify shared customer attributes and behaviors and group your audiences. Then, depending on the capabilities of your CRM, you can build email marketing campaigns that appeal to each subgroup.
3. Managed Marketing Services
Marketing is much more complicated than it used to be. As we mentioned above, valuable data is abundant, but only if you have the tools and expertise to mine it. Additionally, consumers are inundated with messages from just about everywhere. And they’ve been conditioned to tune out companies whose messages don’t meet their preferences. If a particular business overloads their customers’ inboxes with emails, customers delete messages without giving them a second thought. In these cases, the business does more harm than good with their marketing.
The world of auto retail is filled with these types of examples—well-meaning dealerships trying their best to bring customers in the door, but ultimately pushing them away with ineffective marketing. For many dealerships struggling with email marketing, it makes sense to hire marketing experts to develop an effective strategy.
Managed marketing services, or outsourcing your dealership’s marketing efforts to professional design and marketing experts, is one particularly scalable solution. Because everyday dealership staff usually lacks the data mining and creative background and skills necessary to run an effective marketing campaign, working with trained professionals can help you avoid mistakes and offer your customers a more personalized buying experience. This approach can save costs, and it ensures that you deliver top quality marketing messages to improve your customers’ perception of your dealership.
4. Personalized Messaging
All three of the previous marketing trends lead to one central, all-important aspect of marketing: Personalized marketing engages your customers and delivers better results. Data mining, audience segmentation, managed marketing services (and the technology tools that make these trends possible) all help you to speak directly to your individual customers.
Yes, the benefits of personalized marketing help bring customers to your dealership. And yes, they can improve your campaign and business performance. But personalized marketing is also about the customer experience. When technology is used in ways that benefit the customer, such as providing personalized product recommendations, customers take notice and appreciate the effort. In fact, when an email is not personalized, 52% of customers say they’ll find somewhere else to go. It’s part of the reason why companies like Netflix and Amazon are so well respected. They help their customers find what they were already looking for through the power of personalized marketing.
If your customers’ interests sometimes feel like a moving target, and your marketing efforts are off the mark, TargetPro+ can help. By taking advantage of the latest technology, a team of experts and the latest marketing trends, TargetPro+ can help your dealership make the right offer to the right customer at the right time.