Why Dealerships Should Use Artificial Intelligence in Automotive Marketing

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The auto industry has been experiencing significant disruption in recent years, undergoing a massive digital shift even before the COVID-19 pandemic crippled supply chains and depleted inventories. More and more consumers demand enhanced online experiences that rival in-person ones, requiring dealerships to bolster their digital marketing strategies to meet ever-increasing expectations. 

However, developing and executing a revamped campaign can require more than just a great game plan – it also needs top-notch machine learning and predictive analytics. Dealers can employ these innovative solutions by using artificial intelligence in automotive marketing campaigns. 

This article discusses five reasons dealerships should consider artificial intelligence (AI) when redesigning their marketing strategies. 

5 Reasons to Use Artificial Intelligence in Automotive Marketing 

Five reasons to consider AI and data-driven solutions include the following:

1. Developing a Targeted Omnichannel Approach 

A targeted omnichannel presence involves distributing pertinent content over various online channels, including 

  • Search engines 
  • Websites 
  • Mobile devices 
  • Social media 
  • Various applications 

AI can provide customers with a seamless experience across all these platforms, expanding their opportunities to learn more about what a dealership offers. It can also trigger promotions and exclusive offers over these channels relevant to user searches, selecting specific characteristics, makes, and models based on user preferences. 

2. Identifying Potential Customers Early 

Specific online actions can signal how likely a customer is to buy a vehicle early in the sales process, possibly before they begin their search.

Advancements in third-party cookies and mobile advertising identifiers help AI find new prospects quickly and efficiently. They do this via first-party data and real-time signals that identify customers with similar characteristics and behaviors. 

By spotting overlapping demographic segments, dealers can find high-priority targets and tailor ads for each, providing them with a distinctive experience to encourage engagement. These elements might include different: 

  • Colors 
  • Messages 
  • Tones 
  • Visuals 

As customer preferences and expectations evolve, these solutions can also learn and adapt over time. 

3. Creating Personalized Customer Experiences 

AI’s continued enhancements make the average consumer’s life easier by the day, and as a result, they expect certain levels of service and knowledge before even visiting the dealership.  

AI’s predictive capability can help sales reps offer information that reflects the customer’s behavior, which the representative can predict based on: 

  • Expressed interests  
  • Marketing ad engagements 
  • Online searches 
  • Purchase intent 

This way, sales reps can recommend a particular vehicle make and model that matches the customer’s interests before they enter the showroom. They can also shortlist several alternatives based on pertinent criteria, making each recommendation highly intentional and relevant. 

4. Expediting the Purchase Path 

Dealers can use AI to create a more efficient purchase path by differentiating between genuinely interested consumers and casual ones who are window shopping. This strategy allows the sales team to concentrate their efforts on consumers prepared to make purchases. 

Sales teams can proactively contact these customers with offers instead of waiting for them to initiate a conversation, giving that dealer a head start on competitors and a significant sales edge. 

Additionally, dealerships can use AI to gather customer data early in the buying process and prepare it for when the customer is ready to buy—facilitating customer transactions in a simple, quick, and comfortable way. 

5. Improving Customer Service 

AI enables representatives to develop personalized relationships with each customer via process automation with predictive analytics. These solutions allow dealerships to keep in touch with customers and offer tailored follow-up content, including:  

  • “Thank you” letters 
  • Customer satisfaction surveys 
  • Product updates 

They can also create materials to address poor customer experiences at the time of purchase. These communications might include: 

  • Service improvement surveys 
  • Service recovery offers 
  • Select promotions 

These strategies help nurture customers and deepen relationships by promptly communicating customer experiences, product updates, and service reminders. 

Leverage the Best AI Tools to Outpace the Competition 

Auto dealerships have fallen behind other retail industries vis-a-vis data-driven marketing strategies, and understanding how to access, evaluate, and use that data has proven to be a challenge, especially for businesses looking to minimize ad spending. As a result, many dealers still distribute generic, impersonal communications to sizable portions of their database. 

However, the use of artificial intelligence in automotive marketing campaigns is becoming more widespread. This development signals a promising trend for dealers with limited resources and suggests they might invest those funds in AI and data-driven solutions that maximize customer engagements. 

Contact us today and discover how Affinitiv Essentials can help you drive more customers to your showroom through AI-driven multi-channel marketing strategies. 

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