In reviewing your dealership’s marketing efforts, what do you look at first? Do you just consider the budget? Or the offer? Or is it just your intent to send out a direct marketing campaign, blanketing your entire database in the hopes of driving traffic to the store? You can spend money more efficiently! You need to be looking at the ROI, customer segmentation and responses based on marketing channel used to be smarter about your marketing.

The data behind the automotive marketing campaigns will tell you most everything you need. It’s all about the data – how it works, what it means, how your customers are responding, the current offer, and the channel used. All of this can drastically improve how you should market to customers in the future.

Data segmentation is the key to your marketing program, understanding your customers and how they respond. Are you going to market with the same creative message and offer to your active service customers vs. your inactive service customers?… your lease customers vs. your finance customers? Of course the answer should be “No!” You want to reach your customers with the right message at the right time. By segmenting your customers by their purchase information, service needs and behavior, distance from the store and loyalty, you can market more effectively. You should send different offers, pricing and creative based on the needs of the particular customer group or the results you want from that target segment. Using your ROI you can determine if you are marketing successfully to those segments or not.

Control groups can be an important gauge on your marketing as well. You are going to have a certain percentage of customers that will come back to your dealership for service, warranty, parts/accessories and purchase of another vehicle based on their relationship with your dealership. But what incremental lift are you getting from your marketing? Test cells can measure communication type, communication channel, offer groups and creative. Control groups are an effective way to test a new program or new creative. Your marketing company can best recommend a hold out sample criteria.

ROI Data can be analyzed in so many ways but the key factors in determining your marketing and dealership process success are:

1. Response Rates – this measurement is more of a transactional gauge than a traffic meter. Your marketing piece may have generated appointment calls, informational calls or ups into the dealership, but your marketing company would need to rely on your team to provide this information. So the data captured is the responders that have generated an RDR and RO.

2. Dollars per Response – Are you taking in more than you are incentivizing your customers? How much more?

Now the data can only do so much… marketing drives traffic to your store, but it is up to your people and processes to help sell and upgrade a customer in the showroom or on the drive.

For more information on why processes within your dealership are so important, see related articles by Steve Dozier of DMEautomotive:

How To Improve ROI and Increase Revenue at Your Car Dealership

6 Steps to Work Through Change at Your Dealership

~ Marcie Hopey, Product Manager @ DMEautomotive - “Superior Marketing For the Automotive Industry”


Marcie has 15 years of extensive experience, of which 10 are in the automotive industry, with strategic planning, market research, media and events. She has a successful track record for implementing new marketing plans to expand market share and grow revenue. Marcie possesses a forward thinking approach to business with an emphasis on bottom line results. As DMEautomotive’s Product Manager Marcie is responsible for the company’s Direct to Dealer Program, product development and data analysis, client services, and customer retention.

› See More: Automotive Direct Marketing - It's All About the Data