9 Clouds Automotive Marketing Blog

Where automotive meets digital marketing.


Marketing Automation and CDK: Real-time Data-mining for Dealers

CDK Global is one of the most popular software solutions for automotive dealers. Its CRM solution collects all historic data about clients such as leads submitted on the website, previous purchase history, service history and more.

This information leads to repeat buyers and sales when it is powered by real-time data-mining. That is what marketing automation can add to CDK.

How Marketing Automation Integrates with CDK

There are two ways leads or customers are added to CDK: through online forms or manually by a sales rep or service consultant at the store.

When an online form is submitted, often showing interest in a vehicle, that information is sent to CDK. Similarly, when a walk-in is registered in the software, that information is uploaded to CDK.

CDK then sends an email with that information to the marketing automation software (in an ADF format). The marketing automation software reads that email and automatically adds relevant details to the database.

Once the lead is in the marketing automation database, the personalized marketing begins. Based on the lead's information, targeted messages will be sent via email, social media, landing pages and more. When the lead visits the website or clicks an offer, a sales rep will be notified in real-time so the rep can call the potential customer while he or she is shopping online.

Why Use CDK and Marketing Automation

In a word: real-time data-mining.

CDK gathers the information you already have about your customers and leads and puts it in one place. Marketing automation tracks the online activity of your customers and leads. It adds this real-time information about their behavior to CDK. Most importantly, marketing automation takes action on this real-time information.

We like to call it real-time data-mining. At any time, day or night, marketing automation is watching for specific behaviors that would qualify someone as a warm lead.

Examples of CDK and Marketing Automation in Action

Interested Visitor

A person who looks at a vehicle detail page three times in one day is probably interested in that vehicle. That information can be sent to the sales rep and an email with more information about that specific vehicle can be delivered to the lead while they are on the page.

Returning Lead

As another example, if someone who submitted a form online requesting information about a vehicle returns to the website, a sales rep should know. Marketing automation will mine the data of all contacts to see which customers are active, what they are looking at and what message they should receive. Then it will tell the specific sales rep to contact that person.

The best part of this technique is that the person will answer the phone or email. The marketing automation knows that the customers are on their computer or phone, so the chance that they will respond is higher. In fact, click through rate on triggered messages such as these have a 119% higher click through rate than typical marketing messages.

Segmented Follow-ups

Another powerful use of marketing automation and CDK is segmenting automated follow-ups. Typically, when leads submit a form online or visit the store in-person, they will receive some kind of automated, “Thank you for visiting,” email. This is usually the same email for every person with the only personal text being the vehicle that the potential customer requested information about.

Marketing automation allows a personal follow-up for each customer. A customer who visits the store should receive a different thank you than an online customer. If customers request information about an F-150, they should not only receive a thank you, but also links to more information about that vehicle. This personalization is at the heart of the power of marketing automation.

Getting Started with Marketing Automation and CDK

If you use CDK, marketing automation is the next step your store should take for online success. Marketing automation provides the real-time data-mining that converts your contacts into customers and repeat buyers.

In short, marketing automation sends the right message to the right people at the right time and place.

Fortunately, you can try marketing automation for free. With our partners, we are offering a 30 day free trial of marketing automation software. We will help you install the software and provide recommendations at the end of your trial. We can even provide best practices on integrating with CDK.

Don't wait. Marketing automation will add the real-time data-mining you need to take action on your CDK database.

Try Marketing Automation for Free

Photo: Fred Seibert