• Thanks to rapidly progressing technology, cars are becoming more and more advanced each year—and so are the ways that those cars are being bought and sold.

    Car buyers today begin their journey doing extensive research online, 80 percent of which is done on multiple devices. Everything from reviews and ratings to virtual test drives and even “building” or as they call it, “price and equipping,” your vehicle can be done before ever setting foot onto the lot.

    Just as customers have access to more information than ever before, today’s automotive brands have access to more data as well. Using this data effectively allows marketers to reach highly specific audiences at pivotal moments in their customer journey. But doing so can be challenging, given that there are often six or more different data sources that must be combined. When disparate data sets are integrated, marketers are better able to reach consumers with personalized messages and experiences that are far more likely to lead to a conversion, which is why breaking down these data silos should be priority number one.

    Understanding data silos in automotive

    The wealth of data available to automotive marketers can be broken down into the following categories:

    1. CRM: vehicle owners and prospects in an original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM’s) database.
    2. OEM-branded credit card data: cardholder and prospect data through a dealer management system or in a CRM or held by an issuing finance partner.
    3. Recall: Owners or preowned owners who have to be notified about a vehicle recall. This data is often split across multiple sources, including the OEM’s database, third-party databases, and others.
    4. Service: Car owners who come into the dealership for servicing; this data often lives completely separate from other information about these drivers.
    5. Telematics: Subscribers or users to in-vehicle and other connected vehicle services and applications via the connected vehicle or connected consumer appliance, such as cell phones, tablets, or other items which can carry communications such as satellite radio, GPS systems, or recent in-vehicle promotions through couponing.
    6. Financing: First- or third-party data identifying prequalified customers for lease and those owners coming up for lease renewal.

    Any of these data sources can provide worthwhile prospects individually. But when marketers break down the data silos between the first-, second-, and third-party data sets and across tier-one, -two, and -three companies (keeping in mind privacy and data security concerns), they unlock the ability to create automotive marketing campaigns that deliver a consistent, personalized brand experience wherever the consumer is.

    Breaking down data silos

    As mentioned in a previous blog post, breaking down data silos begins with seeking like-minded colleagues who see the value in sharing data and are willing to advocate for integration. Here are just three people-based marketing ideas that become actionable once you find stakeholder advocates in uniting your data and engage an identity resolution provider that will help you approach the job in a more data-rich and data-driven manner:

    1. Target fans across channels: Onboard first-party data to segment long-time users for campaigns on social, display, and addressable TV channels with personalized creative for “insider deals,” and remind owners why they love the brand. This can be tied with real-time targeting if those same users visited an automotive company’s web properties anonymously.
    2. Follow the money: Identify better prospects for leases, refinancing, or preapprovals by combining your CRM data with third-party finance data.
    3. Find people just like your best customers: Build lookalike models using ideal customers from an audience in your data management platform (a seed audience of drivers who own multiple cars from your brand, for example) and run an addressable TV campaign with personalized creative for conquesting.

    These types of data integrations afford automotive marketers an almost endless array of potential targets. What’s more, it also provides them with the ammunition to craft highly personalized messages to each of those targets and in turn, measure the revenue impact of their efforts — what every marketer dreams of being able to do.

    For more on how to measure the impact of people-based marketing, read this blog on understanding people-based measurement.

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