9 Clouds Automotive Marketing Blog
Where automotive meets digital marketing.
Roadblock (rōdˌbläk) noun: a barrier or barricade on a road; any hindrance.
In my home state of South Dakota, those two definitions sometimes come together — like earlier this year, when 45 cows pulled an escape and hung out together on the streets of Aberdeen, SD, for a couple days.
And then there’s the huge auto marketing roadblock dealerships face: customer relationship management (CRM) data. More specifically: inaccurate, mismanaged CRM data.
You see, the spelling errors, incorrect fields, and broken down connections in your CRM cause big problems when you embrace an inbound methodology. You'd be better off with 45 cows roaming around your dealership than bad CRM data. Here's why you need to round up the data.
The basic purpose of a CRM is to streamline customer interactions by helping you manage your dealership’s contacts, set appointments, and handle customer service. Simply put: A CRM helps your staff know what's going on with a contact at any given time.
No matter what CRM system you’re using, it likely offers email and social messaging integrations, analytics dashboards, and notification systems. These are all great tools — if your team is using them. Correctly. With approved messages and worthwhile workflows.
That's not happening very often.
We’ve seen many CRMs in a state of great disrepair. Incorrect information, automated messaging to dead leads, unfamiliarity with reports – these issues undermine the power of your CRM.
Some dealership marketing managers don’t even know how unruly their store’s CRM data is because they work in small sections of the program, unaware of the chaos happening in other departments.
Any dealership engaging in traditional, outbound marketing alone doesn’t really have to worry about CRM data disorganization. As long as they have customer contacts in a manageable system and can set appointments, their CRM is doing its job.
But it's not enough to just sit back and let these silos work alone (traditional marketing doesn't work for a reason!), and in order to get the full potential of your inbound campaign, you're going to need clean CRM data.
Otherwise, your disorganization can – and will – hold you back from success.
The Key to Strategy
Any digital marketing agency looks to a dealership’s CRM as the key to strategy. When 9 Clouds is developing an automotive inbound marketing campaign for a client, the data available from their CRM tells us how much segmentation — and ultimately, automation — we can do for them out of the gate. The more repair or cleaning we have to do in a CRM, the more time it takes to deploy a killer inbound marketing strategy.
Solid CRM data is integral to online lead nurturing, which is how inbound marketers make sure you get the right message to the right people at the perfect moment in the sales process.
Unlike traditional marketers, inbound marketers don’t have to rely on emotions for ROI. For us, it’s all about data. We use your CRM – along with behavior tracking, Facebook data and email results – to connect the money you spend to sales.
When the data is mismanaged and unclear, our job is much more difficult (which ultimately costs you more money and time).
The good news is that we still haven’t met a CRM we can’t fix.
Our solution to bad data? Go to the source. We use special segmentation emails to get the information we're seeking from leads, with simple CTAs specifically designed to get the most clicks possible. This is the one time we'll advocate for an email “blast” because it lets us get the most information from a client's whole database — filling in the gaps in information the CRM couldn't provide.
When client's have less-than-perfect CRM data, we also rely more heavily on their website traffic, segmenting by page views and form submissions than we normally would because those properties are more trustworthy.
That doesn't mean you should just assume your agency will be able to fix your shitty data and work wonders, though. Our solutions will only take us so far. Ultimately, to really create inbound magic, you should provide your agency with some well-organized data.
Round Up Your Data
You can’t deny car shoppers are looking online before purchasing.
Studies show more and more car buyers are moving their research phase to the web. The good news is that these shoppers are willing to browse across brands, which means you should be putting your dealership at the forefront of their online search.
Inbound marketing is the key to getting your dealership the right attention online. But your CRM data could be the 45 cows standing between your business and great online marketing.