Today we’re going to talk about data consolidation, and why it’s so important.

What’s data consolidation? Simply put: it’s when you bring all your dealership’s data sources together so that you maximize productivity, unlock your dealership’s true ROI, and stop losing money.

Losing money, you ask? Yes. Lots of it: a study by SnapLogic found that businesses lose $140 billion every year due to disconnected data. So let’s get into why this happens– and how you can use data consolidation to maximize your dealership’s marketing efforts, cut waste, and boost your bottom line.  

Why lack of consolidation means losing money

Difficulty meeting customer needs

When your data is not consolidated, your customer service suffers because you can’t provide the right engagements at the right time. For example, if your email marketing platform can’t access your CRM data, your customers could get the wrong email follow-up or wrong retargeting ad after an in-store visit. Or, you might have a customer come in to your dealership whose lead data is not easily accessible to your sales team, so the interaction ends up being repetitive and not as helpful as it should be. Customers are used to relevant engagements in their shopping experiences and they expect no less from your dealership. Lack of consolidation gets in the way. And that can cost your dealership customers.

Duplicating efforts

Unconsolidated data means your team can’t access information easily, which leads to duplicating efforts across departments. In and of itself, doing the same work as someone else wastes resources. But duplication can also mean missing sales. For example, if a customer calls your BDC, gets a price quote, and then comes in and gets a different quote from a salesperson, that customer has now lost a little bit of trust in your dealership. Or, if you make a follow-up call to a lead and ask the same questions they already answered on their conversion form, that both wastes time and reduces the shopper’s confidence in your process. Lack of consolidation wastes time and hurts customer trust.  

Inaccurate ROI

Without data consolidation, you can’t see how your marketing efforts are actually performing. Consider this scenario: you might know your customer’s lead data, but when that information doesn’t connect to their interactions with ads, eventual purchase, or service visits, you can’t see the true ROI on your marketing campaigns. Without the ability to track whether your ads actually lead to sales and repeat business, marketing involves a lot of guessing, which means lost marketing dollars.

Lost time

Have you ever sat there waiting to pull a report, only to have it take half an hour for each query? How many reports do you feel like pulling when you’re dealing with this kind of delay? Think about all the hours you could save just accessing data when you could actually spend that time doing something with that data. According to the study cited above, most workers spend more time gathering and accessing data than they do actually using it– that’s a lot of busywork consolidation can prevent.

Okay, so now that we’ve covered the pitfalls of unconsolidated data, let’s fix the problem. Here are some strategies for consolidating your data in three key areas to set your dealership apart for its superior service, while saving you time and money.

Consolidating Your Dealership Data

Across your website tools

In order to make sure your customers are getting the right interactions, make sure to use tools that bring data together and use it to your customers’ benefit. For example, if your customer converts on a special offer, your website should use this data to provide them with a relevant follow-up interaction, such as the opportunity to book a test drive or value their trade. Additionally, if customers do interact with a second website engagement tool, it should already have all their information so the customer doesn’t have to repeat it. Consolidated data on your website means more relevance for customers and a smoother buying process.

Across all your digital platforms

Consolidating data across marketing platforms means you can continue interacting with customers no matter where they are, from website to email to ads– and you can keep it personalized and relevant. Seek out platforms and tools that can connect the data of all these touchpoints, and make that data accessible to you. This will help you provide your customers with a holistic experience, and enable you to make better use of your marketing data.

Among your team

So many teams suffer from data silos– but the problem can often be solved by fostering a culture of information-sharing. Make it clear to the entire team that everyone is working toward the same goals, rather than competing for credit. Then, create data-sharing processes to keep your team on the same page: proper access to all relevant data channels, a communication system that keeps your team connected. A team with consolidated data can provide the best service and maximize resources.

So those are the consolidation basics and why they can help your dealership. Wishing you a consolidated 2019!

Want to hear about our consolidation tools, Falcon and DataAi? Click for a demo!

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