Automotive dealerships, like other businesses, have unique needs. Marketing automation is one of the best tools you can use to make your customer communication simpler and more effective. But not every marketing automation solution is ideal for your dealership’s communication. You need to seek out solutions with a few specific features.
Take advantage of limited time free trials in order to see how different solutions perform for you. Marketing automation can save you a lot of time, but if your solution doesn’t have the features you need then you will not see great results.
Integrated Contact Management
Much of your contact information will be stored in your dealer management system. It is essential, however, that all this data is also accessible to your marketing automation solution. In order to provide personalized communications and marketing campaigns for each of your customers, the solution needs to be able to draw information about each contact.
Many marketing automation solutions include contact management. Some solutions even integrate with your DMS, in order to save time and increase automation capabilities. Automated information transfer keeps your customer information up to date without the hassle of manually updating data.
Your dealership probably has multiple staff members working on your automotive marketing campaigns. You may even own or manage several dealerships in an area. In that case, staff members from each location will be working on monthly campaigns. You want to ensure that each employee is working on their own part of the marketing campaigns.
It is helpful to have everyone working from a single master account. This central account enables employees to share information and content between each other and between multiple dealerships. Sharing this information saves time. Employees can use messages created by other users and simply edit the content to suit their needs.
With a single master account, you can set specific permissions for each employee. Employee permissions limit what each user can do. Each user logs in with a unique name and password, which activates their specific permissions. Permissions are set by the master user. If a new employee should not have access to edit or delete campaigns, their permissions will prohibit them from doing so. Permissions enable you to maintain accountability among your staff.
Multi Channel Functionality
Communication is no longer limited to just email and phone. In fact, text messages are often the best way to reach customers in a hurry. Text messages grab the customer’s attention and are not often ignored, as emails may be. Text messages are highly useful for appointment reminders, limited time promotions, coupons and more.
Other channels of communication that are useful for dealerships are social media (such as Twitter and Facebook), fax and survey. If a marketing automation solution includes multiple channels of communication, it is easier to reach your customers when you need to. Reaching out in multiple ways helps build your presence and keep customers engaged. Your ideal solution will include many different channels of communication.
Try Before You Buy
As mentioned, most marketing automation solutions offer a free trial. Don’t hesitate to make use of this offer. Try each solution in order to learn how it works, test its ease of use and see if it has the features you are looking for. Ask questions to the solution’s support staff or get them to give you a demonstration so you can learn more. The more you know about marketing automation, the better you will be able to use it and the more effectively you will connect with your customers and leads.
Author: Shawn Ryder
Shawn Ryder works with the Automotive Industry to automatically send communication to customers based on their individual preferences and unique dates, vehicle type, service requirements or other available information. Previously, as Co-Founder of training and coaching organizations, Shawn worked with clients to ensure the training and coaching sessions meet requirements for Volvo North America, Ford Motor Company and retail dealerships using a variety of delivery channels, including workshop and in-dealership implementation coaching.