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December 1, 2021

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

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.

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