When we first started really getting into the numbers that String Automotive supplied our clients, it was both breath of fresh air and a moment of contemplation. On one hand, we were getting to see everything we'd always wanted to see in order to direct the marketing and advertising efforts of our clients. On the other hand, it made me question how I was able to be effective in the past before I had access to the real numbers.
For us at Dealer Authority, we live by the numbers. Sales numbers are always the most important, but we also have to track traffic and leads in order to know who to target, where to target them, and with what message to target them. While we do not have a formal reseller or referral arrangement with String, we always recommend them to our clients. Who knows. Someday we might even start reselling, but for today it's simply a very confident recommendation.
There's one thing that I've learned about numbers when it comes to automotive marketing and advertising. A car dealer's gut is usually right. This is important to understand because in a world that is flooded by numbers and data points, it's easy to get caught up in making decisions strictly based upon what the trends are saying. Here's the reality: an experience dealer knows where and how to market but the data is perfect for fine-tuning and for confirmation. We've seen multiple instances in the recent past where nurturing and adjusting decisions that were made through gut instinct yields a better result when we apply the data to it.
For example, a dealership for whom where running an Octane social dark post campaign felt that the major metro to their north wasn't the only big opportunity. He wanted us to look to the south of the dealership at a smaller city that had a single competitor. He felt that a proper message crafted around choice and competition would play nicely. We went to work. We looked at the String data and it allowed us to target the zip codes in the city that were most likely to want to buy a certain model. Then, we created a series of messages using their targeting to go after this particular competitor.
The results were incredible. We went from 13% of the sales the city the previous two months to 38% last month. It wasn't just a win for the dealership. It wasn't just a major loss for the competitor. It was justification for what I've been learning month in and month out: our creative plus String's data plus a dealership's instincts yields awesomesauce.
The recipe works. Dealers who want to take full advantage of what they know about their market should embrace data as their ultimate redeemer.