Selling Your Next Car With Customer Data Platforms

Customer Data Platforms can integrate data and create user profiles so you can engage with high-value, high-intention buyers and target them cross-channel to purchase their next car.

Mike Greer

August 25, 2022

4 Min Read
personal data graphic (Getty) screenshot
Customer Data Platforms can help car retailers tailor message to individual customers.Getty Images

Cars are not selling like they used because buyers want online transactions so they can take advantage of on-demand models.

Combine this digital migration with industry pressures such as chip shortages, supply chain disruption and fluctuating gas prices., and it’s easy to see why understanding buyer preferences and reaching consumers via the right channel has never been more critical.

Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) can integrate data and create user profiles so you can engage with high-value, high-intention buyers and target them cross-channel to purchase their next car.

Using a CDP not only improves the customer experience but also saves dealers media dollars and cost per acquisition. The U.S. automotive market is projected to spend $17 billion on digital ads in 2022. Those media dollars include spending by OEMs and dealers whose media dollars often compete for the same buyer.

Automotive companies are historically risk-averse but with customers pledging loyalty to their wallets above all else, it will take a measured approach to continue moving buyers through the purchasing funnel, all while increasing their lifetime value and getting the most out of your marketing technology.

Consider these  four effective marketing solutions to revolutionize your auto sales:

  1. Meet your buyer where they are in the ownership lifecycle.

Younger generations are among the most active buyers in the market; essentially, younger people drive the volume. They’re mobility-centric, not vehicle-centric, and they want to spend the least amount of money out of pocket to get around, with as little salesperson interaction as possible. 

On the other end of the spectrum are loyal brand buyers whose lives may change dramatically between purchases, resulting in a new and different set of needs. In just a few years, they might earn more money, buy second homes and have families. That could result in them needing larger vehicles, four-wheel drive capabilities and fuel efficiency.

With a CDP, both automaker and dealership can capitalize on these specific cases without mixed messaging. By unifying data in a governed way through key sources – including web, mobile, apps and email – this technology allows businesses to deliver a personalized experience in real-time, with vehicle options that better match buyer preferences.

  1. Create an experience at every step of a buyer’s journey (even the anonymous ones).

Following buyers through the purchasing funnel of Awareness, Interest, Decision and Action, Tealium researchers have found that the vehicle search process can begin up to 18 months before date of purchase. A whopping 98% of site visitors are anonymous during this time.

When a buyer enters the lower funnel (Decision and Action), they’re about a month out from purchase and ready to request a quote. This is when most marketing technology kicks in, stitching together customer IDs and readying activations.

A CDP, however, uses real-time behavioral data from the outset of a search to analyze even anonymous site visits and customize the shopping experience accordingly, retargeting those buyers on any digital channel or touchpoint as they move along their customer journey.

Use machine learning to spot behavioral patterns and lookalike audiences.

A CDP takes a strategic and proactive approach to understanding the buyer. Using real-time data, a CDP can monitor engagement behaviors, spot patterns of platform interactivity and paint a picture of the buyer’s decision-making process at any moment.

In a notoriously fragmented industry such as automotive, a CDP provides game-changing connectivity. This technology unites the work of staff from multiple departments so that everyone in your company is using the same consistent dataset.

This data only becomes more valuable and dynamic with time as teams capture more people, actions and insights. A CDP can use machine learning to build profiles of potential new customers and identify untapped lookalike audiences.

Continue collecting customer data to maintain relationships and build loyalty.

Data is king when it comes to conversion. But the endpoint of any customer journey is not just the sale; it’s about realizing the lifetime value of your customer.

Mike Greer (002).jpg

Mike Greer (002)_0

Brand loyalty today rests on many factors, including meeting expectations of customer privacy and landing the right cadence of pre- and post-sale communication.

Automotive brands that prioritize customer privacy and data governance will reinforce the idea they are worthy of trust. A great CDP goes beyond regulatory compliance to centralize customer consent management. You’ll be demonstrating just how carefully you handle your customers’ data – setting you up to be a trustworthy partner not just for the duration of a sale, but for life.

Mike Greer (pictured, above left) is Strategic Advisor for Tealium, which connects customer data across web, mobile, offline and IoT for businesses.


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