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EDGE is the “directional compass” helping auto marketers behind the scenes

How EDGE insights are helping an automotive agency get wins for their dealer clients during the shortage

“EDGE will continue to be our data directional compass as we climb out of the post-COVID automotive landscape.”

AUTOFLYTE’s team of strategists, product managers, data engineers, and creatives is never satisfied with our latest platform release, nor are we so self-assured as to think every product ticks every box for every client. We are constantly tapping a wide range of users from large automotive groups and media companies to smaller agencies and automotive marketing groups to see what they love, hate, or wish they could see in our insights platforms.  Confirmation bias can undermine effectiveness and innovation at any company, so we do our best to avoid it like the latest COVID variant, but sometimes it’s good to hear how we’re hitting the mark.

We recently had such a conversation with Steve West, President of automotive marketing group Compass Marketing, which had all of their dealer clients’ 2022 media plans 100% approved when they presented the business cases behind their recommendations using insights from EDGE. We were curious to hear, in his words, how EDGE had helped. 

AUTOFLYTE: How do you approach the data in EDGE and what are some of the key values you see in it?

Steve West: Well, before we knew AUTOFLYTE existed, we relied on monthly RDR reports from the dealer and registration data, which we know has a bit of a lag. So, what has been amazing, especially during the pandemic, is to see not only how a dealer is doing, but how their facing dealers are doing—where they’re winning and where they’re losing—not only by ZIP code but getting very granular down to segment and even vehicle. In these critical times when every dollar you’re spending counts, you’ve got to be able to show some ROI and the business case for what you’re doing. AUTOFLYTE has been instrumental in helping us show our clients yes, the lots are empty, but if you look at your sales year-over-year, not only are you up but here are the ZIP codes that are giving you trouble where we can serve up a message and start taking back market share on your vehicles.

AF: What do you say to dealers who have gone completely dark on advertising media?

SW: I would say for all agencies in 2021, that’s been the mind-boggling thing: you can cancel all media and not run anything for 6 months, and the dealer will still sell every single car on their lot and make the best profit of their lives. From us personally, the reason our annual plans were a success this year is that we’re showing dealers where their strengths and weaknesses are. So, for clients right now who don’t really want to spend anything because they don’t have to, as an agency we understand this is an unbelievable peak that they’re on, but the valley is coming. So, how do we set them up for success when we have to fight for every customer to walk in the door? 

AF: What kind of reaction do you get when you show EDGE data to your dealer clients?

SW: The best part about using EDGE data is that dealers’ ears perk up immediately. When you have daily RDR data by OEM, segment, and model, you’re able to show what’s happening in the marketplace in real-time instead of a month-end report a month and a half later. So, this gets them engaged in the why behind the marketing plan. When you’re able to say, “Hey, I know you don’t have any cars on the ground, but you’ve got 22 of this model on the way, and here are three ZIP codes you’re losing in to your competing dealer who has 5…we can win all day long. Let’s just spend a little here, and BOOM.” You see those results in a month, and it keeps a dealer wanting to go with you. EDGE allows us to hone in on where we’re doing well and where our battleground ZIPs are to strategically place small media buys to win the month when budgets are so low and so tight. It really is an unbelievable tool for your strategic roadmap. [EDGE] will continue to be our data directional compass as we climb out of the post-COVID-19 automotive landscape. 

We’d love to hear how EDGE is helping you. Or if you need help getting the most out of these daily automotive insights, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

How Daily Automotive Sales Insights Can Help Dealers During the Chip and Inventory Shortage

This is a tough time to be in the new car business.

While many dealers and dealer groups are justifiably reigning in their marketing budgets (some even going “dark”), there is still a quiet battle for the biggest piece of the new and used vehicle market share pie while we all hold our breath for supply chain issues to return to normal. For that reason, it’s still imperative to know exactly what is happening within the sales month, however erratic it may be, which is where EDGE can help. 

  1. Monitor current state of the industry/market – Every dealer is having inventory issues.  Leverage EDGE daily sales data to monitor the state of your market and engage with potential buyers in your backyard when you have inventory on the lot or on the way. Only EDGE allows you to see what is happening while it is happening so you can pivot accordingly. By the time registration data is available, it’s too late. Your competitors likely don’t have the advantage of daily sales data, which is why we call it EDGE.
  1. Sell the new vehicles you do have – You may not have many full-size pickups on the lot, but you may have plenty of compact cars, for example. Use EDGE’s “Geography by Model” module in the Conquesting Tab to identify strong targeting ZIPs for the models you have and/or conquest other brands that are making sales in that segment.  
  1. “We’ll buy your car” / used car sales – Use EDGE data to identify the vehicles/segments that are currently in demand.  While we don’t yet monitor used vehicle sales in EDGE, you can still leverage the data to find the models consumers want and create campaigns around buying and/or selling those vehicles.
  1. Fixed ops/service campaigns – While you don’t have control over your inventory, you do have control over your fixed ops. Leverage EDGE data to geographically market your service department for your brands/vehicles. With the new car shortage, people need to maintain their current vehicles more than ever. Beef up service hours, create oil change specials, tires, etc. to foster customer relationships. When inventory comes back, those customers will be more likely to buy from a dealership where they have an existing relationship.

Is this a shameless plug for EDGE to readers who aren’t yet subscribers? Absolutely. But it’s also a reminder to current users who may need a fresh way to look at the data. In either case, our team is available to answer questions, jump on screen shares and help you win in 2021.

David Kain interviews AUTOFLYTE team

We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with David Kain, President of Kain Automotive, on a video conference to discuss AUTOFLYTE and walk through part of our EDGE platform. David is a key industry executive and thought leader we’ve admired for a while and have crossed paths with several times over the years. 

We have edited this video down quite a bit from the original since there was a lot to discuss and we have a tendency to nerd out on the data when anyone asks us about it. For the full video interview, click here

Please get in touch if we can answer your questions about EDGE.

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