by Jon LeSage, editor, Used Car Market Reports
This is the year of Big Data for digital marketing strategists and dealer management. It’s been a sweet year for new and pre-owned vehicle sales, loans and leases, scheduled maintenance, and aftermarket. Big Data is becoming something like the bloodstream for all of it. It’s built into third-party digital marketing partners, upstream remarketing channels, and dealer management systems. The trick is balancing somewhere between “no duh” for technology processes that are built into everything we do today and a “Rubik’s Cube” for managers overwhelmed with data sources and figuring out what to do with them. Staying current on the issues is a good way to do it.
Here’s the latest on what analysts are saying about Big Data….
1. Big Data is messy for managers, but can show you how customers will use your services in unexpected ways. Forbes innovation columnist Rich Karlgaard learned that Big Data is showing companies how to improve their software, communicate with customers, and build loyalty. For dealers this can mean following up with customers in product and service offerings that were invisible before Big Data reporting was customized and made actionable. There are better ways now for not losing leads in your customer databases by integrating and clarifying the data.
2. Auto insurance companies are relying more on Big Data for tracking driving habits and offering discounts to customers. Allstate’s “Drivewise” and Progressive’s “Snapshot” have been available for some time on a strictly voluntary basis. Drivers who sign up and follow suggestions can see premiums drop 5% to 10% and sometimes up to 30%. There is also concern from consumer advocates that some customers may be very concerned about their privacy and send a backlash to what auto insurers want to move forward. The point here is to look for cost savings and giving customers a clear choice to opt out.
3. Big Data is worth $1,400 a year per connected car. Andreas Mai, director of product management at Cisco Systems, advocates marketing Big Data’s benefits to car shoppers and to the economy. This means that the connected car can save the motorist $550 a year with fuel economy benefits; automakers can save $300 in lower warranty costs and profitable apps; telematics service providers will gain revenue and society at large will gain from better flowing traffic. This might be a great marketing message to deliver.