To some of you the title might sound like an obvious statement, we all know data can drive your marketing efforts forward, but please read further to uncover how this can help you market to Auto Dealers or how to market your Auto Dealership through data driven market segmentation.
Data Driven Marketing Segmentation for Automobile Dealerships
I believe many of you have probably seen a car ad or two in your day, correct? Some appeal to us and some don’t. A lot of it depends on which car market you belong to. Some of us are sports car people, we like our car to be FAST (personally this is me). For those that work in construction or farming may need heavy-duty work trucks. There are family vans for those that need to transport their kids to and from school and soccer practice. Some may be concerned about the environment and/or fuel efficiency and require a car that is either a hybrid or fully electric. For those individuals that like sporting or off-roading may require a small truck or SUV. And finally there are luxury brands for those that have made it in life and want to enjoy the pleasures of a high end luxury model. Regardless of which position you are in you will find that
As a Ford Mustang owner myself I will stick with Ford Automobiles brand for the purposes of this post. When it comes to sports cars like the Mustang we find many people that want one, however contrary to their advertisement here not everyone has an inner Mustang.
While there are different types of Mustangs for different people such as: different engine sizes (ultimately speed), colors, accessories; not everyone wants a Mustang. Why? Because it they likely don’t need a Mustang. Maybe you have a family of 4 or 5 who cannot all spaciously fit inside one where an Explorer or a Taurus might better suit you; or maybe you want to conserve your gas and have a fuel efficient Ford Escape. But the question is how do you find those people? How do you know who to market to and how do you do it?
Finally, there is a viable option here. It is called variable data digital printing. Variable Data Digital Printing is the printing process that allows for text, graphics and images to change from one piece to the next without stopping, or changing plates like traditional printing processes have. A common example of this is credit card statements. Each statement usually is printed with a common background template and the text changes based upon the individual’s purchasing decisions made over that month. However, Variable data printing can go much further than this.
In the Auto Dealership industry this concept can be adapted to your prospective clients buying habits. We can take your database of previous client’s buying decisions and use that to predict how they will buy in the future.
What we need:
- Data of automobile purchases from your facility made between a number years in which you feel they are due for a new car, it could be by mileage as well if you have that data available. I recommend 4-7 years from last purchase.
- Segments the types of purchases into a commonality featuring the types of automobiles you have the ability to cater to such as: SUV Line, Sports Car Line, Luxury Line, Pick-up Trucks, and more. Sometimes you may have a particularly hot selling car like the Mustang you might want to segment by itself. This process can be as customized as you would like. The data should have a key-code listing the type in which you believe that previous purchase was from.
- Then designs are made with copy and imagery customized to feature each of the segments you so desire. An example of this might be the SUV Line feature on the Front of the postcard tagline “Our 2014 Sports Utility Vehicles,” the back side with the addressing panel can read “Michael, your new SUV can be yours.” And then we can explain all the features and benefits of owning a brand new SUV.
- Content for each category. As a dealership you are ultimately the industry expert and can provide much better insight than I can about why they should buy that type of automobile once more.
Why do people watch certain types of news or publications they already like and agree with and like? The answer is the same reason they say news is slanted, the confirmation bias of the reader. Everyone wants to hear they are right, that their thoughts and suspicions are correct! This is why when we are marketing to them we need to focus on what they love and already like. As fantastic as your whole product line may be, not all of it is fantastic or exciting to all of the readers. Likely they are only interested a particular car or type of car and its features and benefits unique to it.
It is so much easier to sell to previous clients that know and like you than to try to find new ones who don’t know you; because if they like you and trust you the sales process is shortened because of that trust and confidence they have in you and your product. That is why you benefit from using this method you will have two possible outcomes: reinforcing the benefits of their recent purchase making them feel good about buying from you, or you will have provided them with a reason to buy again and from you because you already know what kind of car they want in their driveway. If you attain the latter you have potentially made a sale by a previously qualified and targeted buyer of your product. If you want to get fancy have them bring the card in or have it linked to an ID code so your sales representatives can access the buying patterns to focus which automobiles they attempt to sell to the client. Clients will love this by feeling a sense of wow they really know me!
As this video about the Ford Escape says, we have to “Go Further” and re-invent the way we do printing to match the direct mail piece to the potential and certified buyer.
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