Big data is too overwhelming. It’s too complicated, too confusing, too time-consuming, and too expensive.

If you’ve ever made any of these statements—or heard someone at your dealership say something similar—you’re not alone. Many see data as a frenemy, both a friend and an enemy. And that’s because they’ve been told they need to utilize the insights they can glean from data, yet they’re not sure how to use data to help their businesses or help consumers find what they’re looking for in the marketplace.

While businesses are looking to boost their bottom lines by delivering precisely what shoppers are looking for, shoppers are looking for businesses that provide relevant, affordable options. Both of these goals can be met by leveraging the power of data.

But this can be a daunting concept for dealerships that haven’t been using consumer intelligence to its greatest potential.

Those who have a love-hate relationship with data know they need consumer information in order to survive in the modern marketplace. Take these tips to heart and you’ll end up kicking your data frustrations and fears to the curb, leaving you with nothing but love for the insights you’ll be able to gain.

Data is always there for you, 24/7.

1. CATCH AND RELEASE.

In other words, keep only what you need. Although you’ll be able to get boatloads of information, some of it you don’t need to focus on. Stick to what’s relevant to your dealership, and you’ll be able to streamline data and keep it manageable.

2. USE WHAT YOU KNOW.

You have a wealth of data on your current customers. Your existing DMS is a goldmine. Be sure to leverage the insights you already have and stay relevant with those customers who may be back in the market or looking to upgrade their vehicles soon. We know everyone wants a new car.

3. BUILD YOUR TOOLBOX FIRST.

By investing in tools that facilitate collecting, organizing, and accessing consumer data, you’ll be empowering your entire team to make more sales with higher gross potential. But make sure the data is organized, accessible, and actionable.

4. ANALYZE AND UNDERSTAND.

Once you’ve gathered the data you need, it’s important to take the time to figure out exactly what it all means. Translate it into everyday terms. What are consumers telling you with their behaviors? When you measure shopper needs against the objectives of your dealership, you’ll be able to align the products and services you offer with exactly the things consumers are seeking, resulting in efficient, seamless transactions. The analysis will also help you sort what data is useful and what is not.

5. DON’T BURY YOUR HEAD.

Big data is here to stay, and dealerships that use the valuable insights to be gleaned from it are seeing increased gross potential and lower fixed costs. If you haven’t been leveraging shopper intelligence to its fullest potential, it may seem intimidating at first, but it won’t be long before you realize a data-driven approach will end up delivering satisfying results.

Think about your best friend in school. Data is just like that friend. Data is always there for you, 24/7. It tells you the truth, never forgets the important stuff, and always backs you up.

Your existing DMS is a goldmine.

No question about it, there’s a lot of data out there. Seriously, a lot. And in order to get the best mileage out of the intelligence you gather, you’ll need to have a plan. When you clearly define your information-gathering objectives and narrow the scope of what you’re looking for, you’ll end up with reliable insights that will guide you in successfully delivering what your customers want.

It’s time to make friends with data, because it’s here to stay. When you embrace consumer insights and use them to help you have the right conversations at the right times, you’ll see an improvement in your bottom line.

Joey Little
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Joey Little

Joey Little is well-known in the automotive industry for creating leading-edge social and digital media marketing, advertising, and communication strategies, and is a sought-after speaker on these topics at premier auto retail workshops worldwide. Working closely with the metal-movers and wrench-turners at dealerships across the nation, Joey’s integrated perspective on how dealerships operate at a core level offers valuable insights to the industry.
Joey Little
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