Auto Retail CRM Digital Marketing

Dirty Truth About Car Dealer CRM Data: Don’t Let Your Data Drive You into the Wrong Lane!

As a car dealer, you understand the importance of CRM data for your marketing efforts. However, what you may not realize is that your dealership’s CRM data may not be as clean as you think. In fact, a significant portion of your data is inaccurate or outdated, leading to wasted advertising budget and missed opportunities. This is where the concept of “garbage in, garbage out (GIGO)” comes into play – flawed or nonsensical input data produces nonsensical output (i.e. [email protected]). Let’s explore the reasons why clean customer data is crucial for effective and cost-efficient marketing strategies.

The Reality of Customer Data in the Average Dealer’s Database

According to recent research, the reality of customer data accuracy in the average dealer’s CRM is quite alarming. On average, 34% of customer records do not have an email address, 38% of the contacts vehicles are no longer owned by the customers, and 50% of the customer records have incorrect addresses. This means that a significant portion of your CRM data is inaccurate and outdated, which can have serious repercussions for your marketing efforts.

The Cost of Inaccurate and Outdated CRM Data

Marketing to customers with inaccurate and outdated data can result in wasted advertising spend and missed opportunities. Here are some of the costs associated with using dirty CRM data:

  • Wasted Advertising Spend: When your CRM data is not clean, you may end up targeting customers who are no longer in the market (OEM or GEO). This can result in wasted advertising spend (and human bandwidth), as your marketing efforts may not yield the desired results. For example, sending promotional emails or direct mailers to incorrect addresses or to customers who no longer own the listed vehicles can be a waste of resources and money.
  • Missed Opportunities: Inaccurate CRM data can also result in missed opportunities. For instance, if a customer’s email address is missing from your CRM data, you may not be able to send them important updates, promotions, or special offers, resulting in missed chances to engage with them and drive them to trade, buy, or service. Additionally, if a customer has sold their vehicle but your CRM data still shows them as an owner, you may miss the opportunity to target them with relevant marketing messages for any acquisition campaigns. 
  • Damaged Brand Reputation: Using inaccurate or outdated CRM data can also damage your dealership’s brand reputation. Customers who receive irrelevant or outdated marketing messages may perceive your dealership as unprofessional or unorganized, leading to a negative impression of your brand. This can result in lost trust and reduced customer loyalty, which can be detrimental to customer lifetime value (CLV).

Clean CRM Data Can Enhance Your Marketing Strategies

On the other hand, having clean CRM data can significantly enhance your marketing strategies and help you achieve better results. Here are some benefits of clean CRM data:

  • Targeted Marketing Campaigns: Clean CRM data allows you to accurately segment your customer base and target your marketing campaigns to specific segments based on their preferences, behaviors (think service history!), and purchases. This enables you to send relevant and personalized marketing messages to the right customers at the right time, increasing the chances of engagement and conversion.

Improved Customer Engagement: Clean CRM data allows you to engage with your customers in a more meaningful way. By having accurate contact information, such as email addresses, you can send important updates, promotions, and special offers directly to your customers’ inboxes, increasing the chances of them taking action. Additionally, by having up-to-date vehicle ownership information, you can send relevant service reminders and maintenance offers.