3 ways the Netflix marketing model can benefit your dealership

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Netflix is one of the most successful disruptors of the digital age. How did they do it? By developing a business model built on customer obsession and personalization at scale. So take note of their strategy: here are three takeaways from Netflix’s meteoric rise that you can use at your dealership.

Personalization is king.

If you’re a Netflix subscriber, you’ve seen the “Top Picks for You” and “Because You Watched X” sections. Netflix tracks your viewing habits and adjusts what it shows you based on your preferences. And since these recommendations are curated just for you based on first-party data—data you already have (not purchased)—chances are good that you’ll be interested in checking them out.

So your lesson here is this: no one knows your customers like you do, and you can leverage the data and knowledge you have to serve your customers better, just like Netflix does. That’s where smarter marketing comes into play. With the right software platform, you can better appeal to customers, plus you can manage all your marketing in-house—even while personalizing it for each and every customer. For example, send your service customers special offers toward a maintenance service you know they’ll need soon. Add in offers for other similar services, and not only will you drive upsell, you’ll improve customer satisfaction by engaging them with offers they’ll actually use.

As for sales customers, provide them with more than just an upgrade offer; give them one for a vehicle you know they’ll be interested in. Offer the option to tailor that upgrade offer to their specific needs, and you’ll quickly establish your store as much more accommodating than the competing retailer down the road.

Market like a giant.

Netflix is great at keeping customers informed of new content. At least once a week, they send out an email detailing new releases. And there’s always a section of New Releases near the top of their interface.

Your dealership can do its own version of this—we know that consistent contact helps boost customer retention and recapture inactive customers. So stay in front of your audience with e-newsletters, monthly offers, and more, and your dealership will be their first thought whenever they consider their vehicle needs.

Embrace change. Then evolve.

Netflix was founded in 1997 (back when we thought calling the Internet “The Net” was going to be a thing forever). At first, they sent subscribers DVDs through the mail, effectively disrupting the video-store industry before we even knew what “disrupting” was. It may seem old-fashioned now, but it was radical for its time, and offered customers a level of freedom and convenience that simply was not an option before. Then, crucially, when digital streaming gained prominence over DVDs, Netflix was quick to adjust its business model to better fit subscribers’ changing preferences.

By adopting this kind of evolution mindset, your dealership can continue to serve customers’ changing needs. Because remember, just like mail-order DVDs during their heyday, what’s radical now will likely seem downright old-fashioned down the road. The key is to keep paying attention so you can continue to meet customers’ demands and exceed their expectations.

Dean Martin
Director of Marketing Communications

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