String's Automotive Marketing Blog

Why Now is the Time for Data to Shine for Your Dealership

Posted by Ken Kolodziej

Feb 9, 2015 10:09:47 AM


We're in an amazing era for the car business. Vehicle technology is advancing in leaps and bounds. This is generating a greater need for people to upgrade as safety, connectivity, comfort, and performance are all making huge strides compared to just a couple of years ago.

Couple this with an improving economy and increased stability for automobile manufacturers and you have a trend through which most dealers are seeing increases in sales. There's another reason that this is such a special time. Now more than ever, dealers have the ability to truly utilize data in a meaningful way. The days of guessing who to market to, how to market to them, and where to invest in advertising are behind us. All a dealer needs is to know where to look and how to apply the data in a way that forms a cohesive plan of action.

We are passionate about accomplishing this for dealers. It's not just about the tangible gains that data-driven decisions can have on a dealership. For us, it's about knowing that every dollar we guide for a dealer is being spent better than dollars spent through guesswork or intuition. There's simply no need for any dealership to be in the dark about whether or not their advertising budgets are being used effectively.

As one automotive vendor put it, "What makes String work so well for some of our clients is that it takes the data and presents it in a meaningful way that allows dealers to draw conclusions about the actions they should take."

While many dealers are starting to take advantage of the information available to them, there are still plenty out there who are not utilizing this invaluable tool. Our Dealer Positioning System does more than just pull in data and spit out reports. It looks at the options and directs the dealership on how to target their advertising budgets down to the individual zip code level. All too often dealers are following their vendors' lead by using a radius strategy or targeting a specific city, but the data shows that this is not an effective methodology.

In every metro in the country, there are areas where people are more likely to buy a used compact car and there are areas where people are more likely to buy a new luxury SUV. Sometimes, these areas are separated by a couple of miles. Can a dealership realistically expect to achieve the best results by advertising the same message in both areas just because they fall into the same radius from the store or because they're in the same city?

The core of our passion for the data isn't because it's the easiest thing in the world to sell to dealers. Finding savvy dealers who understand the importance of hyper-targeting is not easy. The true core of our passion comes from the tangible effectiveness we're seeing for our clients. When we empower dealers with the ability to discern the right ways to spend their advertising, we're seeing one of three things happen: they can reduce their advertising spends, they can increase sales, or both at the same time.

All of the various bits of information about your potential customers combine to form a picture that drives actions. The data is there to tell you who is buying what, where they live, and which mediums are most likely to compel them to act. It's for this reason more than any other that now is the time to make data the guiding force for your advertising.

Data is the unfair advantage that most dealers are seeking. It's not something that any savvy, aggressive dealership should put off anymore.