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3 Simple Ways to Use Behavioral Data to Grow Your Dealership

For the past few years, dealers more than ever began leveraging the power of business intelligence and data to grow their PMA. Using CRM’s, DMS systems and new affordable, easy-to-use tools, dealers began to analyze the data they collected on their prospects and customers, and to use it to conquest new business, reactivate lost prospects and retain loyal customers.

So how can you leverage data to grow your dealership in 2016?

If you’re like a majority of dealerships, you most likely use a simple approach of collecting website opt-ins, walk-ins, other various leads and storing them in your CRM for drip campaigns. While this is a necessary component of a generally robust marketing strategy, there are some other very powerful ways to use data to sell more units.

We’re going to outline 3 in this blog post:

1- Hygiene and organize your data into manageable data sets to create an interactive data ecosystem.

As a dealership owner/manager, it’s likely that you already have a fair number of years of data that can be analyzed, cleaned, and organized into a data set that fits into a data ecosystem.

For example, as your CRM data grows, so do all the lost/inactive/missed opportunities. This data set grows stale over time with opt-outs, changes of postal addresses and email addresses alike. Updating this data into a fresh new set allows you to market your current offers and factory incentives to thousands of prospects that would not receive your offers without a data update. By keeping this data set up to date and adding it to your data ecosystem, you have a powerful list of potential customers that you already spent money and time acquiring. In many instances, just keeping your offers in front of these prospects when they are in the buying cycle increases traffic and sales at your store.

2 - Target third party data sets to grow your conquest market share.

There are many data sets available in the market today. Targeting a set of data and suppressing your in-house data set from it results in a data set of conquest prospects who have never purchased or serviced at your dealership before. This allows you to target conquest badges specifically and focuses your advertising dollars on growing penetration in your PMA while you secure your existing, loyal customer base..

For example, an easy way to leverage third party data into conquest sales is to target conquest prospects who are involved with a national recall. The news of the recall creates anxiety and frustration for the owner of the vehicle and when you place your advertising in front of these prospects - tastefully and in a non-threatening manner - at the right time with an attractive offer, you increase the chances of trading these owners out of their existing vehicles and into one of yours.. 

3 - Use programmatic marketing for behavioral data.

Behavioral data is not just a beta test any longer. Targeting prospects who exhibit certain behaviors at exactly the right moment not only cuts down on wasted marketing dollars but also increases the opportunity of selling more units for your store.

Imagine this scenario:

Every month, thousands of prospects in your PMA are searching for automotive offers. Many of these potential customers are just starting to research the market and are collecting the necessary information to make an informed buying decision. Knowing when these prospects are in-the-market and targeting them with both traditional and programmatic advertising brings your brand and dealership to their top of mind awareness. With the right incentives and factory offers you’ll quickly be a contender for their business. Using a behavioral data set and then targeting the set throughout the internet with your banners on sites they visit gives your dealership a powerful advantage over your competitors - and delivers your message at the best time in the consumer’s buying cycle.

Building your data ecosystem

As a dealership owner/manager, you might want to think twice before you jump head first into all of these strategies. That’s okay. That’s smart.. Just remember that behavioral data is real, powerful, and becoming the primary means for targeting and reaching car buyers who are entering the buying cycle. So, do your homework and consider starting small. Organize your own in-house data set to capitalize on the marketing dollars you already invested on prospects who already came to your dealership, but didn’t buy. Clean up their data, and reanimate them with your new offers.You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how many do come back and drive out in one of your vehicles.

Move next into targeting data outside your CRM and DMS to increase your conquest market share.

Next, optimize multiple data sets by suppressing them against a master Behavioral data set so you are targeting the most likely new prospects to purchase a vehicle from you.


If you would like a deeper dive into how to use Behavioral data to sell more units check out the ePush! Behavioral Marketing Blueprint that maps out the proper foundation to insure a successful campaign.

Eric Thornsbrough
Eric Thornsbrough
As the Marketing Director for ePush! Eric Thornsbrough oversees business developement, strategic marketing and consults with dealer agencies who want to leverage complex data and new technologies.

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