The situation: Stalking apps, GPS trackers, EZ passes, ad networks, credit card Issuers, cell phone providers and auto industry analytic companies are now using APIs, data mining, behavioral marketing and “situational targeting” to know how you get to work, what you eat and what you are about to buy — including your next car — creating intimate data-based portraits of everything you do in your personal and professional life.
What seems to be going on? Data and market research companies in the automotive sector are combining their resources, technology, data bases and predictive algorithmic programming with huge data base acquisition and data marketing and mining companies to capture and exploit vast amounts of new flows of information about consumers who are using the Internet to communicate research and buy goods and services. Worse yet they are “selling” it to any company possible for huge revenues streams without anyone really knowing the scope of the information these Big Daddy Companies are delivering and even exploiting.
Data is King and The King knows all about you: Content may be Queen, but data is the new language and revenue source for those companies who aggregate, track and store information about what consumers are doing everyday on the Internet including Facebook, Twitter, bank transactions, Teleco payments, set top boxes, Go To Meeting conferences, and of course, search queries. More information about Internet activity has been collected in the past two years than all the years before.
What does this mean to automotive dealers, OEMs, industry systems providers and marketing companies? First off, it suggests that the “funnel” is no longer a purchasing funnel but is a “tube” or large “straw” that will suck or channel a body of behavioral, personal and financial data about a potential auto buyer into a databank or minefield where all this information is stored, accessed, sold and delivered about a given individual for their entire life upon request and payment..
What this means to dealers? First, forget concern and investment in lead generation by dealership management because now the consumer data companies and industry providers who control the new “consumer journey” in the “data tube” the “new funnel” will have so much more information about as potential auto buying consumer that the dealer can buy this information with everything as dealer could ever ask for from buying patterns, credit standing, income, expenditures, location, education, kids, divorces and even some “dirt” that people would rather not have out there.
Now they will truly know us for a lifetime: Second, it may well enable as dealer to gain the life time customer that they and the OEM have always sought. By having access to almost day to day activities of an existing customer, the dealer can establish a communication format, monitor and respond to known changes in the customers’ situation, and almost anticipate when a vehicle needs to be serviced, replaced or upgraded.
Tracking, fracking, and attacking gaining backing – These maybe the new buzz words for 2013 or a while to come. Fracking will cause more and bigger earthquakes in the Midwest, tracking will produce tornadic outrage among consumers and congress soon, and consumers will be subtly attacked with what may be uninvited purchasing propositions from car dealers, local retailers, and national marketers, even non-profits seeking tax shelter contributions and wealth management companies seeking to move your assets to the Caymans. BTW, Big Daddy will know when you do that and how much, too.