Personalized Marketing at Every Touchpoint for the Win-Win

Use What You Have: The Social Media Marketing Tools to Help You Discover Your Market

June 21, 2018

Ever been talking to a friend about something you want to buy, and then ads for it start showing up online?

‘I must have googled it!’, you think to yourself.

Yes, it can freak us out a little, but…it works. We probably make the purchase sooner. And then there are the product recommendations we get when shopping for something else entirely. We hadn’t looked into or talked about this product, but it’s pretty much right on.

We’ve all made a purchase (or two) from such recommendations.

Studies show that most consumers appreciate this kind of personalized marketing, when done right. That goes for car shoppers too.

Worldwide management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. ran a study recently asking consumers to keep a mobile diary of their personalized interactions with various brands over the course of two weeks. Guess what the number-one thing that the participants valued was when it came to communications?

“Relevant recommendations I wouldn’t have thought of myself.”

Let’s break this response down into its two main components: 1) “relevant recommendations” and 2) “I wouldn’t have thought of myself.”

  • “Relevant recommendations”: These shoppers weren’t out looking for golf clubs and then were happy to be sent links to deals on Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. The recommendations were relevant to their wants and needs. (OK, it is possible they were happy about the cereal recommendation if the data supported it!)
    Car dealerships across the nation are experiencing success with this type of marketing using behavior-predicting, customer-centric software like AutoAlert’s CXM (Customer Experience Management) platform. It takes myriad sources of customer data and creates personalized deals delivered right on time. These no-pressure offers drive consumers to the store. It also provides ways of connecting customers (both native and conquest) with relevant recommendations when they’re already in the service lane or in the showroom.
  • 2. The second part of what study participants valued (“I wouldn’t have thought of myself”) is equally important. Consumers want companies to make their shopping experiences easier, and they aren’t turned off by suggestions (as long as they’re relevant).
    “To provide something a customer might be interested in, companies need to use more sophisticated recommendation algorithms to offer complementary products or services instead of just the things the shopper has already browsed or bought,” the McKinsey report deduced. “This might entail, for instance, suggesting a cocktail dress for someone who has just bought or searched for stiletto heels.”

This is what Amazon has mastered with its “Amazon’s Choice products related to items in your cart,” “Customers who shopped for [blank] also shopped for,” and other behavior/product analytics-based features.

In a special report by The Wall Street Journal this month called “C-Suite Strategies: View From the Top,” CEOs, CFOs, and others in the C-suites of major companies shared their thoughts on pressing business issues. An entire section of the report was titled “Consumer Companies Get Personal.”

Daniel Henry, global chief information officer for McDonald’s, told The WSJ, “It’s getting away from dealing with the masses to how do we deal with you as an individual.”

Heidi O’Neill, president of Nike Direct, said, “What’s important from a Nike shopping experience is that with machine learning and AI, we’re able to have every digital experience at Nike be unique and personal. My wish for you one day is to feel that you have your very own personal store curated for you on our app experiences.”

When it comes to car shopping, AutoAlert’s software has perfected the timing on when to engage customers who are already in market, but what’s just as valuable – if not more so – is that it also targets those who aren’t actively looking for cars online, but are statistically likely to be receptive to good deals. For example, a deal that gives a customer an opportunity to trade keys at about the same payment, and drive home a new car today, can be just what they didn’t know they wanted, as deciphered by other data collected.

A marketing tool that is proven to engage consumers with relevant, personalized messages at every touchpoint then becomes invaluable. One-to-One Intelligent Marketing, the award-winning marketing tool of AutoAlert’s CXM platform, does just that.

“We identified the uselessness of communicating to consumers through outdated CRM platforms that send irrelevant messages, such as Happy Birthday, or acknowledging the anniversary of their vehicle purchase,” AutoAlert Senior Director of Performance Management Denis Sovik said. “Instead, we provide consumers with unique, intelligent, actionable information and options to make informed decisions on their next vehicle purchase through relevant, direct-to-consumer channels: direct mail, email, text, AI, and social media. Consumer engagement in our marketing then drives our CXM platform to identify, learn, and react to the engagement, allowing our dealer clients to better understand buyers’ needs at any point in the consumer lifecycle and journey.”

Marketing to today’s smart, connected consumers requires knowing how and what they’re shopping, plus what would appeal to them that they hadn’t even considered. Intelligent software tools like those created by AutoAlert are essential for getting the job done right, and for keeping your dealership competitive and responsive in a quickly changing market. See what dealers are saying