Add ‘Human Touch’ to Digital Auto Retailing

Two marketing mistakes: over-communicating to the wrong automotive consumer and under-communicating to the right one.

Brian Epro

August 25, 2020

3 Min Read
customer journey finger
Send the right message at the right time. This creates meaningful engagements and likely turns prospects into customers.Getty Images

Nearly 80% of American consumers point to speed, knowledgeable help and friendly service as key factors for what makes a good dealership customer experience.

But how can we add the human touch in the new digital retailing space?

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We know there are a variety of tools to choose from—so many that it can feel like a waste of time cycling through to find the best. However, building a truly great customer experience starts with one fundamental input: behavioral data.

Tapping Consumer Preference

Of course, marketing today revolves around data. Marketers are leveraging multiple streams of data to help them both determine strategy and execute campaigns. 

However, much of the data and insights are often static, meaning they’re not current to what their consumers are doing today. They know what they have in their database on you: age, gender, what you are doing on the brand’s website, etc.

Using static data often results in ill-timed outreach, using generalized segments.

It can lead to what looks like batch-and-blast email campaigns, meaning sending one email to a wide range of consumers, whether they are in-market or not. They can even be reaching out to consumers based on outdated information.

So, this all means marketers are either over-communicating to the wrong consumer, or under-communicating to the right one. In both scenarios, if the timing isn’t right, the message is likely less relevant too.

Behavioral data provides information above and beyond what static data can provide. Automotive organizations need to ensure their marketing and sales communication include behavioral data to add a "human touch" in the new digital retailing space.

Behavioral data helps marketers understand consumer preferences so you can:

  • Adapt communications strategy to appeal to the current needs.

  • Create targeted offers to tap into latent consumer demand.

  • Accurately track the journeys of customers who are still buying.

Right Offer, Right Time

A recent economic impact study found that in-market monitoring and behavioral insights can significantly impact ROI, increase engagement and improve retention.

Marketers who have a view into behavioral data will have a distinct competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Know when and how frequently a shopper visited a certain category of websites and how long they spent researching. It is powerful knowledge.

Some other common behaviors to look at throughout the shopping journey include the device used (desktop or mobile), IP and location of activity, time of activity and the number of “events” a consumer has along their journey.

Data-as-a-service companies are enabling brands to engage with people exactly when they are shopping: to understand their behavior and their desires, then make the right offer at the right time in real time.

More Meaningful Engagements

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Identifying shifts in consumer preference and behavior can save time and resources, especially in the COVID-19 landscape. As we adapt to being even more thoughtful in outreach, timing is increasingly important.

In this new normal, it’s table stakes to understand the path of the consumer journey, then send the right message at the right time. This creates meaningful engagements and likely turns prospects into customers.

Brian Epro is vice president-automotive at Jornaya, a data-as-a-service company.

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2020
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