In the automotive sector, marketing has continued to evolve with the onset of digital. Not only are marketers in the space adding digital channels and options to their overall marketing mix—integrating with print, broadcast, and other more traditional means—they are delving further into the tools set.
The digital marketing arsenal has continued to evolve, after all, with data science and more sophisticated creative tools and formats leading the charge.
As you specifically consider your objectives around emphasizing your customer service, driving return visits, and just generally improving customer communication, it’s worth getting your hands on today’s most promising tactical options.
Let’s take a look at a few of your most powerful opportunities for really connecting with your consumer to engage on service.
1. Make your website count on a one-to-one basis
Understanding how increasingly inclined toward digital your consumer is, and how vital one-to-one experiences (or the perception of them) are, one of your best first moves is to consider website content personalization.
Website content personalization will allow you to convert more website visitors into customers by combining with your existing CMS to present relevant one-to-one website content based on browsing behavior, products of interest, and how the data at hand indicates their likelihood to convert.
The right solution provider can show you live, on-demand reporting that plots how visitors are interacting with your site right now.
Imagine, with data in hand, being able to showcase a blog post about the pros and cons of certain tire brands to a consumer who has just been browsing through new tire options that brand offers on your website.
It’s been proven that this sort of tactic and the follow-up optimization you can then implement (for example, serving up a personalized pop-in for discounts on a new set of brand-specific tires if a consumer demonstrates enough interest) boosts the efficiency of your content marketing, and therefore is more conducive to your desired results over time.
2. Put your customer data to use
Given your focus on the customer, you’ve probably spent a lot of time thinking about customer relationship management (CRM), especially if you’ve implemented an actual CRM system, to collect and leverage customer data.
The good news for your digital marketing team is that it’s now possible to onboard your first-party CRM and sales data into a marketing platform via your data solution provider to target customers and known prospects across display, search, social, and your own website—and to find new audiences that resemble your best customers.
And if you are already looking at behavioral profiling, you can combine CRM-based audiences with that to enhance cross-channel advertising efficiency. Better yet: The possibility for audience discovery is real in this day and age.
Sure, you may have a good grasp on who your customer is. But, what if you could uncover new audiences that bear great fruit for you, just by following useful data breadcrumbs?
This very much is the value of leveraging CRM data to find new audiences who resemble your best customers for efficient cross-channel advertising at scale.
3. The power of the look-alike
This takes us to a third strong tactic to consider: audience look-alike targeting.
Expanding on the ideas already mentioned, imagine combining CRM and sales data, website visitor behavior, and audience scoring via your data solution provider to uncover your best customers (understanding all the criteria that make them “best”— frequency, overall revenue value, and so on) in order market to similar (look-alike) audiences across channels and devices—including search, display, social, or your website.
Here’s how that plays out when marketing the service department or encouraging new levels of communication with your existing and new customers: Let’s say your best audience spends a lot of time on automotive blog sites, has children, and purchases a new car, on average, every 3.5 years.
Harnessing that data, you can deploy a display campaign to reach audiences who display similar behavior (for example, audiences between the ages of 29–49 and likely to have a family, whose browsing history includes at least one visit to an automotive blog).
Look-alike audiences allow you to build upon the foundation of your best audiences to scale your reach with the highest chance of relevance and success.
For as often as we talk strategy—it is, after all, essential to maintain a high-level point of view on objective, audience, and desired outcome—any given strategy is only as productive as your ability to activate precisely and generate outcomes. Your tactics will continue to evolve as new options emerge.
Some of the most powerful digital marketing options available today have been discussed in this article. What’s next? With the possibilities of the connected car and IoT on the rise, we’re keeping a careful eye on how emerging technology will translate into new tools.
David Ragals is the senior vice president of customer success for IgnitionOne, where he leads both the account management and professional services teams for the U.S. David’s experience in the digital marketing industry has spanned across product, technology, and services, allowing him to provide 360-degree insights on trends and strategy.
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