Did you know that there were 54 million consumer vehicle sales in 2017? With this amount of volume, it can be easy to get lost in the details of how to target such a large audience, so we’ve made it easy for you. There are some simple data-driven techniques that can vastly improve your marketing to acquire new customers and retain loyalty from your current customers. 

1. Monitor your current customers for important life cycle opportunities

 This may seem obvious, but last year, over 41 million non-dealer loyal sales were made. This means that 3/4 return buyers did not return to their previous dealer. Knowing precisely where your customers are at in their car’s life cycle is essential to making you the obvious choice for their next purchase: whether it be the end of their lease approaching, the age of their vehicle, the end of their loan approaching, and even targeting current customers who have children approaching the driving age. Staying in front of your customers at these valuable decision-making moments can provide a huge ROI on marketing. Direct mail has been shown to be the most effective method of maintaining your visibility and providing your customers with an obvious go-to dealer at the perfect time. 

2. Decide who your ideal prospect is

This should not be a random estimation of who you want your customers to be. Instead, use data driven analysis of your current most profitable and loyal clients to learn who your best customers actually are: what their income is, what their credit score looks like, the average age, number of children, etc. Once you know this about your top-performing customers, then you can apply it to your acquisition strategies. Who in your target area fits your ideal customer profile, but isn’t your customer yet? This enables you to target prospects who are the most likely to provide the most value over time. 

3. Where is your best trade area? 

You may think that a 10 or 20 mile radius around your dealership is the best area for you to target, or even that you know the best zip codes; but again, this should be data-driven knowledge, not a guess. Data-based area analysis can provide you with a bird’s eye view, and let you know that your best market area may actually be further away, as it can take natural boundaries and real drive-times into account, instead of relying solely on a perfect-circle radius. It can also tell you the hot spots not only of where you have the most customers, but also can identify where you have pockets of the “ideal prospects” as detailed in above, that you should be targeting. After all, when it comes to acquisition, you want to be reaching a new audience, not one that you’re already targeting with retention strategies. 

Quick tip: New homeowners are 90% more likely to buy a new car in the first year after their move. Make sure you’re monitoring and welcoming new movers to the neighborhood with offers on auto services in order to win new customers quickly and easily. 

4. Use fresh data to acquire new customers

Using auto triggers in your marketing strategies can help boost your sales tremendously, due to the simple fact that you’ll be the first one to get in front of your ideal audience with a great offer at the perfect time. Just like you should monitor your current customers for critical decision-making stages, you should also be monitoring your target audience as a whole for the same things — recently closed loans, expired leases, and looking for those with vehicle equity who may want to re-finance or trade in for a new vehicle. Getting this information updated every day allows you to be the first to get in front of your target audience with the perfect offer – right when they need it!

Data is an important and necessary tool for getting a clear picture of your ideal prospects, improving retention strategies, and creating loyalty and trust in your dealership through targeted offers and staying in front of your customers in order to increase visibility. Using data-driven strategies is going to increase your marketing results and even provide you with a better understanding of what creative messaging will be most effective for retention and acquisition. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can implement these strategies to boost your sales, get in touch with us here at Altair today, and we can walk you through the best strategies and solutions to help you reach your goals.