9 Clouds Automotive Marketing Blog

Where automotive meets digital marketing.


Predictive Analytics for Auto Dealers Part 3: Personalized Sales

This is the last in a series of three posts that explore the concept of predictive analytics and the three ingredients that will help you drastically increase your effectiveness online. Read the first and second post before you dive in.

The key point of this blog series is that customers don't tell you what they want — they actually show you what they want. So if we're not gathering data, listening, and watching online, we will never know who those customers are.


Instead of blasting one message to everyone on our list, we need to move into a personalized sales model. This is that third and final ingredient that will really help you stand out and help your dealership succeed.

We like creating recipes for success. We have an entire big data recipe book that will teach you how to use data in a personalized way.

One recipe that we really like is the switch factor. As a dealership, we want to get people to switch from a lower-priced vehicle to a higher-priced one or from a vehicle that’s low in our inventory to one that's more popular.



The ingredients of the switch factor are the assigned sales person, the interested model, the purchased model and the purchase date. We also need to check with their salesperson to see if they filled out a form or asked about a certain model they were interested in but ended up purchasing something else. These ingredients give our sales management team a good idea of who of salespeople are doing their best. The beauty of this recipe is that it can be set up in less than an hour by just using Excel.

Another recipe we really like is accelerating the digital sales cycle, which is trying to identify what factors go into someone purchasing from digital media.

accelerate digital sales

The ingredients for this recipe are purchase date, social media clicks, and number of web pages viewed (all of which you should be able to pull from your CRM). This takes about 15 minutes and again will help your marketing team have a clear quantifiable goal for how they should help people buy. So instead of saying we need to increase sales, we can say that the average person looks at ten pages before they buy, so our goal is to get people to look at ten pages. The rest of it should take care of itself.

Unlock Opportunities with Marketing Automation

I know a lot of you are thinking, “We don't have this information. We don't get the number of pageviews in our CRM or DMS. We don't have access to social media clicks.” That's why you should think about using something called marketing automation. Marketing automation is a tool that essentially takes data from multiple places like your CRM, your DMS, or any other kind of pay per click tools you're using, and puts it all together to allow you to take marketing actions based on that data.

So if you know how much a customer’s car cost two years ago, how many days it's been and how many web pages they've looked at, you can send emails only to people who haven't purchased in two years that bought a car more than $25,000 and then send them an email inviting them to your goal for them. That could be your target audience.

Or you can look at people who’ve had their vehicle serviced more than five times fairly recently and send them an email asking if they've had problems with their vehicle. You could then offer them a free oil change as compensation or maybe just do a simple follow-up after purchase, inviting them to like you on Facebook or check out a new deal on your webpage.

If we can get the digital sales cycle accelerated using something like a marketing automation tool, it will help us sell more and give our sales reps more qualified leads. That's something we affectionately call Smarketing, which is the merging of sales and marketing. Usually the sales team and the marketing team talk badly about one another. The sales team says, “The marketing team is not getting us leads.” Marketing says, “The sales team isn't closing the leads.” What we need to do is get both teams on the same page. We need to create those benchmarks, so the sales team can say, “We need to get people to look at ten web pages,” and the marketing team can say, “Here's how we're going to get them to do that.”

If you need help getting started with marketing automation, head over to http://learn.9clouds.com/matrial. HubSpot’s the tool that we really like to use. You can get a free trial by filling out this form and learn a little bit more about how to use marketing automation for your dealership.

If you're able to use marketing automation, you're able to take a personalized sales approach with this data. You too can get excited because your digital media will actually be doing something for you — something measurable and something personal. You won’t be scaring people away or doing the same thing every other dealership is doing. You’ll actually be taking a personalized approach to sales and marketing.

When someone walks into your store, you know how to talk to them personally. You know how to get them interested in vehicles, how to ask them about what's going on in the community, etc. This is what we need to do online. We need to use that superpower to be able to talk to people in an individualized way.


If you're able to do this, I guarantee you'll increase the sales quota, double your email open rates, and, most importantly, you'll know your customers are ready to buy before they tell you. That's the power of predictive analytics — knowing who is ready to buy before they tell you.

Unleash The Sales Machine

There is so much potential out there. If you can identify how you can create your own Guinness Book of World Records by creating interesting information to bring customers to your site and then identify ways to look at that data, you're going to be a sales machine.

We want to help you do just that. Head over to our blog homepage and subscribe via the form that pops up at the bottom.


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