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'Prepare to employ a data scientist' dealers told

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Data and analytics will be key business drivers for successful dealers who will eventually employ their own data scientists, according to Nick Gill, senior vice president and Automotive Council chairman at Capgemini.

Providing insights into consumer thinking including a willingness to embrace connected vehicles, Gill draws on Capgemini’s report Cars Online 2015 when he speaks at AM’s Digital Marketing Conference which takes place at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry on February 3.

But with much of Capgemini’s work in 2015 focusing on analytics and data, Gill will also provide a window into the insights they have gathered over the past year in order to provide dealers with a framework to act on return to their businesses.

“Data which is mined and applied properly and intelligently enables dealers to understand the finer detail such as which of their customers and prospects will be buying a car in the next three to six months, the price they want to pay and the type of vehicle they are considering,” said Gill.

“Having an accurate picture of who is likely to remain loyal and who will churn is invaluable as it will determine the action taken and the messages communicated.

"If you know one of your customers is switching from one brand to another, as a group with both brands in your portfolio, you can communicate with the customer to introduce them to the sister dealership and keep their custom in-group.

“This is already being put into practice in the large dealerships in the US.

"It also makes sense to follow the changing lifestyle of the customer, such as from the first supermini to family car to premium brand and keep them in the same group rather than attempting and often failing to keep individuals in just in one brand at one dealership for a lifetime."

To maximise the potential of the data, dealerships will eventually employ their own data scientist, a new but fast becoming a well established and recognised profession.

However, initially, Gill predicts dealer groups will commission data science services from specialist providers.

"Data scientists always start with a hypothesis, such as people living in a certain area and of a particular demographic are more likely to buy an electric car, they will then mine data from a wide range of sources to substantiate the theory and if it stands up, they identify the people to target with that particular message.

"Results will be achieved in just a few months, it's a very quick process and return on investment is tangible.

"Dealers, though, need to change their view of data; its not just a mailing list, it is genuinely a valid scientific approach to communicating with car buyers and in five years' time I think dealers will be employing their own data scientist. In the meantime, dealers and manufacturers need to work together for the benefit of the individual dealer, the brand and the customer rather than worrying about who owns the data when in fact the customer owns their own data.

"Dealers and manufacturers need to strike a balance between respecting the customer's privacy and ensuring they provide the right information at the right time in the right way."



Tickets are available to dealers and manufacturers, with a limited number of supplier tickets on sale. To book, please contact Emma-Louise Kinnaird on 01733 395133, email or visit


Ricoh Arena, Coventry



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