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The car dealer's 21st-century marketing toolkit

More than three-quarters of senior marketers believe marketing will “undergo fundamental changes” over the next five years, according to a recent survey, with analytics, digital and mobile highlighted as the key drivers of this change.

The recent Accenture report  surveyed more than 580 senior marketers globally, one in three of whom suggested digital will account for 75% of their marketing budgets by 2019, as marketing directors already see an increase in the effectiveness of digital formats, including email, online display and search compared with two years ago.

As franchised dealers embrace new ways of engaging with consumers, we look at the tools required in a 21st-century marketing toolkit.


Database management

Digital is all about data. It’s now possible to collect, store, analyse and manipulate an unprecedented volume of data. Bigger and better data can help dealers save time and money, improve their reporting, increase productivity, identify and manage risk, and monitor performance more effectively.

The next step is turning that knowledge into actionable insight and a genuine competitive differentiator.

“The key here is that the digital revolution isn’t just about the quantity of data available, but the quality, richness and diversity of that data,” said Tom Lewis, a partner at PwC.

“Companies can now monitor what people look at on their websites, where they go in their stores and what they say about both experiences on social media – all in real time. The sheer volume of data is what makes personalisation possible and that’s an idea whose time has very definitely come.”

Jemca Car Group takes a proactive approach to data and each contact with the customer includes a check on the data held, said Gary Bixley, its customer services and marketing director. About 280 people in the group have access to the data, which can potentially corrupt it, so Jemca appointed one manager to specifically look after it, run quality reports, cleanse and maintain the data and examine the effectiveness of marketing campaigns through SMS, email and direct marketing.

“Without the data we have no basis for CRM,” Bixley said.

Next: Outbound service reminders

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