Customer Data Platforms (CDP) have become all the rage in automotive and the reason is obvious: data connectivity is a critical player in building any successful business. Businesses looking to succeed in the modern era need to invest in technologies that provide insights into what their target shoppers are doing online and what specifically is driving that behavior. 

So, what is a CDP anyway? 

A Customer Data Platform is built on technology that cleans, sorts, and consolidates a business’s data sources in order to build a full picture of their customer behavior. The platform typically integrates multiple data sources including a dealership’s website, CRM, DMS, ad platforms, analytics, and third party sources so information is collected from every customer touchpoint.  

The benefits of a CDP for automotive are clear:

Once data connectivity has been achieved, dealers can move on to data orchestration and leverage their data to create effective targeted marketing campaigns.

Clean, normalized data can easily be queried to create unique audiences for ad campaigns. Questions like, “show me everyone who visited this specific web page in the last 10 days,” helps marketers slice and dice audiences based on shopper behavior to create hyper-targeted ad campaigns, giving dealers the opportunity to present the right incentive to the right lead at the right time. 

How does a CDP work with a CRM? 

Before we look at how the platforms can work together, dealers need to recognize that a CDP and CRM are two completely different platforms with different functions. 

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software plays host to dealership lead information and sales activity, allowing for a dealership’s sales teams and BDC to work on following leads and generating a timely follow-up process.  Now, while the CRM holds a lot of information and is definitely a useful tool, the data collected there is ingested without sorting or formatting and is then used by multiple sales people who may or may not update the data as needed. 

Let’s take a look at a real world example. James Monroe converts on a dealership website on a trade in offer, but he already has an entry in your CRM because he called in a few days ago to ask if your dealership has a specific vehicle available for a test drive. James already exists within the dealership CRM but there is no process, no automation or sanitizing technology in place, to consolidate and merge that file into one. This means the dealership is getting an incomplete view of James as a potential lead and that lack of information could cost them the sale. This is where the CDP steps up to the plate to ensure that the multiple leads that point to James Monroe are consolidated into one so the sales team knows who they are working with. 

In short, CRMs and CDPs work in tandem. While CRMs focus on lead management and sales opportunities, the CDP works to ensure data hygiene is maintained and that shopper behavior is consolidated into a single view. In order to execute a proper data strategy, your dealership needs to employ both a CRM and a CDP.  

What is a CDXP? 

Until recently, CRMs were considered to be the only place for dealers to store their lead data. However, with the evolution of shopper expectations in the last few years, new data technologies have come to market to help dealers not only survive, but thrive in today’s consumer climate. 

Customer Data and Experience Platforms (CDXP) take the concept of a CDP one step further by adding the “Experience” factor. The CDXP layers AI-powered marketing technology on top of the dealership’s data, enabling dealers to automatically orchestrate hyper-personalized shopper experiences and marketing campaigns that drive leads and increase dealership revenues. 

Modern shoppers seek personalization. They want to be engaged with retailers in a conversation, rather than an obvious advertising campaign. The CDXP provides dealers with the tools and technology they need to compete on the level of global corporate giants by speaking directly to the needs of their leads with smart content designed to directly engage their interests. 

How do you choose the right CDP or CDXP for your dealership?

Consider the following questions when researching the CDP and CDXP options for your dealership: 

  • Which data sources does this CDP integrate with? What is integration with my automotive CRM?
  • Does the CDP allow for data orchestration, or can I only view it?
  • Is the data structured in a way for me to easily execute omni-channel marketing campaigns?  
  • How does the CDP merge the shopper information?
  • How much manual effort is required for my dealership? Do I need to maintain anything or is it automated?
  • Is my data being stored securely? Is this CDP following security best practices?

Stay Competitive in 2023 with a CDP/CDXP 

As your dealership begins planning their 2023 marketing strategy, consider adding a CDP or a CDXP to your tech stack. Your dealership will see massive benefit from investing in gathering the most competitive data on today’s shoppers.

AutoLeadStar’s leading CDXP consolidates and normalizes dealership data and leverages it to create the seamless, hyper-personalized customer experiences modern shoppers have come to expect. Contact us at get.started@autoleadstar.com to learn more about how AutoLeadStar’s CDXP can elevate your dealership’s data and marketing strategies. 

*An earlier version of this blog post appeared on niada.com