Automotive > Powertrain, Body, Chassis & Safety Blog

T2 Turbochargers Dealer Data

by Roger Lanctot | Jan 25, 2022

The onset of electric vehicles has a lot of pundits predicting the demise of car dealers. EVs require much less service than the typical internal combustion engine car, goes the rationale, with 40% less parts and will simply be sold directly – a la Tesla – cutting out the middleman.

A conversation with any friendly neighborhood car dealer will quickly dispel this notion. Dealers quickly learned during the pandemic that car buyers still want to kick tires and dicker over the details in person.

Cox Automotive even rolled out the results of a consumer survey last week revealing that though vehicle buyer satisfaction with the shopping experience dimmed last year as they encountered a shortage of new models and higher sticker prices on dealership lots, they remain happier with the process overall than before the onset of the pandemic.

Consumers who did more of their purchase digitally did tend to be happier with their experience than those who did more work in person, Cox found. But buyers' satisfaction with their experience while at a dealership stayed above pre-pandemic levels — 75 percent last year, which is essentially unchanged from 77 percent in 2020 but better than 70 percent in 2019, according to the survey.

Car dealers know all about this. They are, by and large, a clever lot. Their industry has been transformed by technology – the Internet and social media – helping them to better target their advertising and marketing to enlarge and focus their “sales funnel.” Still, these skills are applied to data which is often out of date.

Dealers rely on two essential tools to succeed: CRM (customer relationship management) and DMS (dealer management systems). CRM is the tool for managing customer engagement. This is where the sales funnel begins. It represents the process of capturing all sales leads as customers cross the digital or physical threshold. DMS is the tool for managing sales and service of actual customers.

The problem lies in the fact that car dealers have no effective means of updating or validating their information although there are many players in the game who claim they have services which perform this task.  T2 recently performed an analysis of one of the largest companies in the data cleansing space and, when compared to recent first party known dealer data, T2 found that only 38% of the customer VIN (vehicle identification number) relationships were correct and email and phone appends fell below the 20% range in accuracy.  Vehicle ownership changes frequently over the 10-15 year life of a car. Dealers have no reliable way of updating that information accurately. 

“So, we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

As a result, dealers are constantly fighting a rearguard action – sending out promotional postcards for service deals or buyback offers to customers who may no longer own the vehicles in question. Over time, the data simply deteriorates along with the credibility of the dealer as the customer can clearly see the dealer has old information. T2 has found that a database of any size loses accuracy of 2% to 2.5% per month resulting in 25% of customer-VIN pairing being inaccurate within a one year period of time.

There is an answer. A company called T2 has quantified the scope of this problem and has a solution that is revolutionizing the business of new and used car marketing through the application of big data using AI based reality checks. 

T2 has access to up to the minute vehicle ownership data which can be combined with car dealer CRM and DMS data sources in order to bring information up to date and expand the breadth and accuracy of any dealer’s existing targeted marketing activities. Beyond that it can also be leveraged to identify vehicles with outstanding uncorrected recalls as well as to combat fraud.

T2’s Driver's Privacy Protection Act-compliant solution can be applied with existing CRM and DMS files to identify:

· Current vehicle ownership of customers who have visited or had cars serviced at the dealership – but have not bought a vehicle there (CRM)

· Current vehicle ownership of past and existing customers (DMS)

· Current secondary and tertiary owners of cars originally bought from the dealer (DMS)

· Current ownership of all cars of past customers who did not buy from the dealer (CRM); and current ownership of all cars of customers who did buy from the dealer or had cars serviced at the dealer (DMS)

This data cleaning action applied by T2 can expand by several times their total addressable local market. More importantly it means dealers can be more precise in their physical and digital marketing activities.

In this way, dealers who have been living in the past can leapfrog forward at least into the present state of vehicle ownership in their local markets. It means that they can craft highly relevant marketing messages precisely at the moment that new electric vehicles are arriving in their markets.

In effect, the CRM and DMS assets of dealers are something of a secret weapon, if applied intelligently with appropriate cleansing and refinement. T2 is now making that possible – along with the promise of prolonging the relevance of dealers themselves.

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