Automotive Marketing Automation – Myth and Facts

As a dealership, you’ve probably heard of marketing automation. I am going to bet though, that 90 percent of you have no clue what the term means. But don’t blame you — ‘marketing automation’ is a mouthful to say, and there probably should be a better way to describe the concept from an automotive industry perspective.

As a dealer grows it’s impossible to maintain 1 to 1 relationships with everybody. At this point, it’s time to hire a marketing director who can build performance-driven, conversion-centric programs at scale.

Eventually, the dealership marketing program will get so big that you can’t manage all electroinc marketing via Outlook, Word, and Excel spreadsheets. You could always hire a team of marketing, but eventually, you’re going to start wasting cash on redundant tasks like emailing new leads and customers, setting up social media-to-email programs, and emailing your users every time you post dealership blog content on a specific model or service offering.

twitter_cover_shawnMarketing automation is the use of software to automate marketing processes such as customer segmentation, customer data integration, and campaign management. The use of marketing automation makes processes that would have otherwise been performed manually much more efficient, and makes new processes possible. Marketing automation is an integral component of customer relationship management.

Automated Communication combines customer acquisition and retention channels to conform to conform to your dealerhsip’s conversion funnel.

It’s common for dealership internet managers to talk about marketing automation and email marketing interchangeably. The fact is that email marketing is a component of marketing automation, but the two are far from the same thing – communication also includes text, voice and social channels.

Dealership conversion paths are unique. Imagine trying to chase down hundreds of them – it’s impossible. That’s where marketing automation comes in.

Marketing automation connects multiple touch points and marketing channels including social media, email marketing, and content marketing. One of the core goals of automotive marketing automation is to nurture prospects for the long-term, which mean focusing on goals beyond direct sales.

Marketing automation is cold, inhuman, and impersonal. “Automation” is just another way of saying that we’re spamming customers.

Marketing automation makes it easier to send personalized, 1:1 targeted messages. In other words, marketing automation makes communication stronger. When you automate your marketing, you can focus more heavily on the quality of your campaigns and messaging. Marketing automation gives your team the ability to add more personal touches to your campaign – by collecting data on a prospect’s interests and goals, you can custom-tailor future offers so that they are more relative.

In fact, marketing automation will empower your organization to do the following:

  • Add dynamic content based on an individual’s specific user profile. For instance, you can send targeted offers based on website patterns or email open interaction.
  • Categorize customers and prospects by common behaviors, interests, and demographic details. These will be great for segmenting your customers.
  • Develop optimal marketing patterns. Marketing automation can help your dealership test different variables like email send times, subject headings, and ideas for specific personalization.
  • Integrate marketing channels to deliver a comprehensive, cross-platform user experience. Make sure that every touch point is carefully planned for optimal conversion and unified messages.

Marketing automation is spam.

Marketing automation is one of the most user-friendly marketing channels out there because it’s tailored around personalized automotive customer experiences. You’re not blasting audiences with a general advertising message. Imagine instead that you’re nurturing leads and guiding prospects through the vehicle and service sales conversion funnel on a personalized basis.

A vehicle sale isn’t the end of a dealership / consumer relationship. Marketing automation, social media, and service driven calls to action are crucial to this stage of customer retention.

Make sure that you’re maintaining your relationships with all customers for the long haul. Focus on more than just acquisition – embrace the art of service loyalty. It’s always easy to feel like vehicle sales is the low hanging-fruit. Keep in mind that growth from within is just as — perhaps even more — important to your marketing process.