Under the Hood: Automotive Dealer Marketing and Localization at Scale

Under the Hood: Automotive Dealer Marketing and Localization at Scale

With the recent launch of Salesforce Automotive Cloud, the automotive industry now has a solution to deliver a unified 360-degree customer experience by consolidating vehicle, retail, and finance data. But for many local automotive dealers that are connected to a national brand, national marketing communications can sometimes come across as too general to customers, even with a best-in-class solution like Auto Cloud. To address this challenge, the Performance Marketing Group (PMG) at Concentrix has created a data-driven approach to Automotive Dealer Marketing, integrating the local brand in each communication using what we call “localization at scale.” This allows local franchises to deliver highly relevant communications to their customers in ways they couldn’t on their own.

We discussed some of the benefits of localization at scale with Patrick Smith, Senior Director of Product Strategy and Marketing at Concentrix, including how to structure localized campaigns, how localization at scale nurtures relationships with customers, and more.

What does localization at scale mean?

Localization at scale refers to our ability within the marketing space to deliver email, digital advertising, direct mail, and social advertising campaigns on behalf of a local dealership. We do it on a regional or national basis, and the individual business gains the sophistication of a large complex campaign that’s designed to deliver those highly relevant communications. They receive the benefits of economies of scale—the efficiency and price of our professional services—except localized, so they get the best of both worlds.

Can you give an example of what this looks like?

We integrate both the national and local dealer brand into all communications. Marketing representatives at the dealer can participate and see what our recommended campaigns look like, and opt into, or opt out of, different parts. They can infuse dimensions into those campaigns, like how they position themselves in the marketplace. So, local dealers participate by really taking ownership of the campaign that’s going out in their area. They can participate at all levels.

We provide automotive dealer marketing consultancy support on a local level as well. In most cases, we do most of the work for them, including making recommendations, setting up the localization of campaigns on behalf of dealers, and running the campaigns.

Why should businesses consider this type of localized communication?

In recent proprietary research, we tested if customers see more value in communications that are localized to the business that they solicit or in national advertisements. What we found consistently is that customers across all age groups preferred localized messages. The messages could be about the broader services that are offered or about specific offers available, but customers preferred localized messages over national messages by a large margin.

How does localization at scale benefit the auto dealers you work with?

We’re helping dealers retain their customers’ business within the brand’s dealership network. Our goal is to motivate vehicle owners to follow their maintenance schedule, because it’s good for the vehicle when it’s maintained properly. It’s also good for the relationship between the dealer and the owner of that vehicle, because they have the opportunity to connect, and the owner receives quality service.

How do you use data to structure a localized campaign?

We work with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to design campaigns that are event-based— looking for information about the vehicle owner’s driving habits. We understand when they come into a dealership how many miles they’ve driven, what kinds of services they’ve been provided, and what offers they’ve responded to. Those behavioral cues indicate when we want to communicate with the customers and with what service offers.

We want to motivate customers to come into the dealership to have their service performed, and we don’t want them to just come in without any engagement in between. Then, from a campaign perspective, we monitor on an individual level and an aggregate level. We optimize the channels used as well as the timing and the offers, and we make those recommended changes back to the national program.

How does a localized campaign nurture relationships between a customer and dealer?

As a customer, if my vehicle is due for service, I’ll likely receive an email in my inbox. It’s also likely that when I’m browsing the web, I’ll see a display ad with my dealer’s logo on it, highlighting the benefits of servicing my vehicle at the dealership. I’ll also likely see the same or similar ads in my social feeds that are tailored to my specific needs. The communications I’m receiving through multiple channels from my dealer motivate me and remind me about the importance of that relationship, and the importance of maintaining my vehicle.

I also give the dealership some new information about how many miles are now on my vehicle and what services I need. All that data is used to refine and create relevant touch points for when there’s another opportunity for engagement.

If a dealer didn’t use this service, how would the experience differ?

We’ve found that if the value of the dealer relationship isn’t reinforced through communications during the ownership lifecycle, it’s less likely, by a significant margin, that the vehicle owner will continue to receive service at a dealership. They’ll go to independent repair facilities that are not associated with a dealer or a vehicle brand name. That creates all sorts of defection opportunities from the brand.

Contact us to learn more about how Concentrix can help you deliver automotive dealer marketing and local communication at scale for your business.

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