Fords of Winsford group marketing manager Nathan Quayle will reveal how data analytics helped drive the business’ online strategy when he takes to the stage at Automotive Management Live.
Quayle, group marketing manager at the Cheshire-based car supermarket group, will describe how dealers need to combine sophisticated data analytics and a wide spread of marketing channels to drive car buyers to their websites along with consistent brand presentation and emotive, eye-catching ads.
Drawing on Fords of Winsford’s own digital journey, Quayle takes to the stage as part of Automotive Management Live’s used car insight theatre.
Free for dealer delegates, Automotive Management Live is a one-day expo incorporating expert speakers who will tackle some of the major issues facing the sector today and takes place at Birmingham NEC on 9th November.
Former Auto Trader digital account manager Quayle returned to his independent dealer roots a year ago when he took up his post at Fords of Winsford.
The used car supermarket, which stocks more than 1,800 cars at any one time, is due to set its new website live in November after a year of data analysis, consumer research and replacing legacy systems.
Quayle said: “You can change all your systems but if you don’t change your culture, it won’t make much difference in terms of the customer experience. It can be too easy to give customers certain expectations from your web presence and if that’s not delivered when they visit you on site, you’re at risk of damaging your brand.
“When I first started this journey, I read all the data and industry standards available. Big data tells us that most people search online and visit one or two dealers before buying yet it wasn’t until we undertook our own research that we found a significant portion of our customers use our forecourt as part of their vehicle research process.
“We found car buyers would also use their smartphones to compare prices whilst on site as well as returning home to carry on their research online.
“Once we had undertaken the groundwork and had a good idea of our customer base and buyer behaviour we began building our new website. We profiled our customers and were able to segment them according to how they undertake the car buying process and we are now matching our website and our marketing to our findings.
“So many dealers are still putting their money into portals like Auto Trader with no real idea about who their customers are and how they go about purchasing their cars.
“We do use Auto Trader and a number of other classified websites, having a mix of channels is vitally important but you need to know your customer and how each channel performs. It’s no good sinking money into a classified site without monitoring, measuring and acting on the insights.
“We undertook a huge learning curve and it’s taken us a year to reach the point where we are about to launch our brand new website.”
Quayle added: “I do base decisions on data and I crunch a lot of numbers, but you I don’t believe you can run a successful used car operation relying on data alone.
“A car is an emotional purchase so data will never tell you the full story. Sometimes consumers will be swayed by something as simple as the car’s colour or the experience they have on site which makes everything alongside your marketing such as your customer service and your brand all influential to the final outcome.”
Automotive Management Live includes a range of best practice sessions and insight theatre sessions which focus on new data protection laws GDPR and F&I as well as used cars take place throughout the day.
In addition, more than 100 industry suppliers are on hand in the main exhibition hall enabling delegates to compare a host of products and services on the market today.