Winning Women Over Through Mobile Marketing

QL_Woman_With_Phone2011_PK copy_RGBWith women now responsible for 85 percent of all purchasing decisions in the U.S., marketers are always searching for new ways to reach women with offers and incentives.  Mobile marketing is the perfect solution, according to a recent Business Insider article.

A recent Google survey showed that 66 percent of smartphone owners use their devices to help them shop while they are in a retail location.  An independent survey of 1,000 women by mobile marketer Swirl found that 58 percent of them would like to receive a personalized offer on their smartphone while shopping in-store.

Much has been written about showrooming, the practice of using smartphones to search for lower prices and buy online after visiting a brick and mortar store, but women are also using their smartphones to get product advice and feedback, search for product information, and look for special offers and discounts while they shop. Rather than fear this smartphone-enabled behavior, dealers should find ways to use it to their advantage.

For example, dealerships that utilize technology like uNotifi’s Communicator can provide dealership personnel with a text alert when a customer walks into the dealership and can also deliver personalized coupons and offers directly to a customer’s smartphone.  Implementing mobile strategies and technologies that enhance the in-store shopping experience help dealers sell more and incentivize customers to purchase.

The Mobile Consumer and the Impact on Automotive Marketing

Nielsen has released its report on The Mobile Consumer and the insights that matter most to automotive marketers are as follows:

  • 94% of Americans have a mobile device
  • 53% of Americans own a smart phone
  • 86% of smart phone users send text messages
  • 75% of smart phone users access and send email
  • 63% of smart phone users engage in social media networking
  • 82% of smart phone users search the Internet
  • 72% of smart phone users watch video; 31% of those watch at least once a day and 42% watch several times a week

A glimpse into mobile behavior patterns has been provided by comScore’s Mobile Future in Focus Report 2013, which shows how consumers engage different devices during the day:

comscoreAs the comScore report shows, we are all becoming “digital omnivores,” accessing content through different devices at different times of the day.

The successful delivery of automotive marketing content to mobile devices – smart phones and tablets – is directly impacted by the optimization of your website, landing pages and e-newsletters for mobile.  It is no longer a question of if you should do it, it’s now just a question of when.

comScore says that with smart phone penetration now past 50%, the market has now entered the “late majority” stage of the technology adoption bell curve:

bellcurveThis means that the media consumption habits of consumers is now substantially different than it was just a year ago, and that new media strategies are required to capture this audience that now numbers more than 80 million American consumers.

Sell More by Making It Personal

A recent study from Econsultancy found that a majority of marketers are falling short in delivering a highly personalized marketing experience for consumers, especially when it comes to mobile.

Mobile marketing allows marketers to deliver a personalized experience directly in a customer’s pocket, which is hard for anyone to ignore.  The infographic below offers powerful insight into how marketers can use mobile to deliver a more personalized campaign to prospects and current customers:

mobile marketinguNotifi’s Mobile Alerts can be used to deliver highly personalized text messages directly to dealer customers, either to notify them when service is due, when their vehicle is ready for pickup and offer promotions for test drives, extended service contracts and much more.  uNotifi makes it easy for dealers to create highly personalized marketing campaigns, and delivers important customer data right to the dealer desktop.

How Marketing Has Gone Mobile

iphone in pocketAccording to comScore, a leading digital usage measurement company, 134 million Americans own smartphones, up 8% in the last three months.  As smartphone usage continues to grow, mobile marketing is the fastest growing marketing discipline.  A recent Google study on Understanding the Mobile Consumer shows why:

  • 66% of smartphone users access the Internet daily
  • 94% have searched for local information and 90% have taken action as a result
  • 97% use smartphones at home, 83% use them on the go and 78% use them in-store
  • 96% use smartphones to search for information on a product or service
  • 76% watch video on their smartphones
  • 80% use smartphones to visit a social network
  • 62% make purchases on a smartphone at least once a month
  • 66% have performed a mobile search after seeing an ad
  • 89% of smartphone users notice mobile ads
  • Texting is the most common usage of mobile technology

Automotive marketing CRM systems that feature mobile marketing tools like uNotifi’s Communicator helps dealers and service centers capitalize on new sales opportunities and enhance customer relationships.

This innovative application was designed specifically to allow service advisors to notify customers in real time about when their car is ready, when a special order part has arrived or if customer approval is needed for additional service.

Using uNotifi Communicator, service advisors can text a customer about the status of their vehicle repair or request approval for any additional service. The customer can respond immediately, with no time wasted playing telephone-tag.

Another powerful component of the uNotifi Communicator is the Opportunities feature – a daily work plan for service advisors and sales departments that displays sales opportunities in the Communicator Dashboard (service past due, service contract expiration, etc.) so texts can be sent to individual customers.

In addition, the uNotifi Communicator provides service advisors with a text alert when a customer walks into the dealership, enabling them to greet the customer and engage them about any other vehicle service needs.

uNotifi Communicator turns text messages into turbochargers for service department efficiency while increasing sales and customer loyalty.

Relationship Building is the New Closing

glengarry_rectMost people hear the word “closing” and think of Alec Baldwin’s epic speech in the film Glengarry Glen Ross. Well, today’s salesperson must always be building relationships.

Relationship building coupled with technology makes traditional closing tactics a thing of the past. But this isn’t simply a call for more schmoozing; this is a call for a technology platform that provides sales personnel with insightful knowledge about the customer’s wants and needs and how customers want those solutions delivered.

Today’s salesperson can operate as a one person army, generating their own opportunities, creating their own leads, and taking control of their own direction with the help of a automotive-focused CRM system that applies the tactics of marketing to their proven ability to build relationships.

For example, uNotifi’s automotive marketing CRM software provides relationship-building tools that include:

  • Automatic text messages to your customers when their vehicle service is completed
  • Text notification to sales personnel when top tier customers are visiting the dealership or service center
  • Automatic text messages to customers when service is due or their special order parts have been checked into inventory
  • Two-way texting between the service writer’s computer and the customer’s phone
  • A customer reward point system to create customer loyalty at the dealership service department
  • Offering customers their own personalized vehicle information page on the Web or via an exclusive iPhone app

A multi-faceted automotive marketing CRM system that supports a talented salesperson’s ability to build relationships means more “closing” more often.

How to Implement a System for Converting Leads and Retaining Customers

texting manDo you have the right system in place for converting leads into customers, and then from paying customers into staying customers?

If the answer is no, you’re not alone.  Many dealers fail to take a systematic approach to lead conversion and client retention.  But you definitely should.

First, you should identify any software needs to assist in automating the process.  The more you can automate this, the lower your costs will be.  CRM software is readily available at a relatively low cost, compared to the expense of doing it manually. Good customer-tracking software can be shared across multiple computers and can generate easily interpreted reports for the dealership’s decision makers.

Secondly, try to automate your follow-up process. Develop follow-up sequences for:

Direct mail – what do you send to prospects and customers?  Postcards? Email?  Letters?  This can be a very labor-intensive process or it can be highly automated. It’s your choice.

Autoresponder emails – Develop a series of email messages to be sent at regularly scheduled intervals that can convey your messaging in a timely manner to your prospects.

Scheduled text alerts – Develop a schedule of text alerts so that business opportunities don’t fall through the cracks.  uNotifi’s CRM system features a daily work plan for service advisors that alerts dealers to sales opportunities (service past due, service contract expiration, etc.) so texts can be sent to individual customers, resulting in increased service sales on a daily basis.

Thirdly, develop rules of engagement for a sales-driven dealership. Some things to identify from the outset are:

What is being said? – Know your key messages about your dealership, as well as information about your prospect’s needs.

Who is saying what? – Who are the principal contacts for prospects?  Is the task shared or centralized?

How often are prospects contacted? – Staying top-of-mind without being obnoxious is a delicate balance.

Top 5 Tools Small Businesses Use to Create Customer Loyalty

knowledgeNew survey data from email marketing firm Constant Contact on how small businesses use technology to boost customer loyalty finds that the 5 most effective tools are:

  • Online surveys (60%)
  • Digital loyalty programs (56%)
  • CRM systems (46%)
  • Email marketing (45%)
  • Contact management tools (38%)

Constant Contact surveyed 1,305 small business owners about the ways they connect with, and grow, their audiences. Results include responses from respondents across a range of business-to-business and business-to-consumer industries.

“Eighty-two percent of small business owners have said their main source of new business is referrals, so it’s no surprise they’re taking a hard look at technologies that boost social visibility and feed the referral engine,” said Joel Hughes, senior vice president, strategy and corporate development, Constant Contact. “To succeed, small business owners have the difficult task of keeping pace with a rapidly evolving technology landscape. When you consider that they now see digital loyalty, which was not even on the horizon a few years ago, as the second most effective way to engage customers, I think they’re up to the challenge.”

The intersection of attracting new customers and engaging existing customers is the critical crossroads for small businesses. When asked which tools are effective at both attracting and engaging customers:

  • 77% said websites.
  • 69% said blogs.
  • 60% said social media.
  • 59% said video hosting sites, like YouTube.
  • 52% said event management tools.
  • 50% said email marketing.

This fairly even distribution of marketing tools indicates that a complement of in-person and online interactions, supported by the foundation of email, and amplified by social media, creates effective customer awareness and sustainable connections.

“Email consistently ranks high as an effective marketing tool for small businesses,” said Hughes, “and it’s interesting to see how small businesses are now successfully integrating it with emerging social platforms to strengthen customer engagement.”

 

How to Turn Customer Data into Excellent Customer Service

face on laptopIf you are a frequent visitor to data-driven websites like Amazon.com, you have experienced what it’s like when savvy companies use customer data to deliver an exception customer experience.

Mining customer data to help guide future behavior (“if you bought this, you’ll probably like that”) is one way to enrich the customer experience; savvy marketers also use data to create targeted marketing campaigns, make real-time offers online and provide customers with self-service tools that resonate with customers and lead to increased satisfaction ratings.

The first step in making the move to data-driven marketing is to invest in a CRM system that provides you with foundational data analytics tools.  To capitalize fully on your CRM system, you then need to:

Keep an inventory of your customer data and scour it regularly for any quality issues, supplementing the data you have gathered with third-party data sources (demographics, lifestyle, behavioral, etc.).

Analyze the data for meaningful insights into your customers’ behavior.  This includes customer segmentation, acquisition and retention modeling, lifetime value models, next-best-offer models, etc.

Train your managers to use the data enhancing their decision-making and instill fact-based decision-making as a core value.

Continuously measure and monitor your data models using transactional data as well as insights from qualitative data like customer surveys to get deeper insights into your customers and their purchase motivations.

Helping Car Dealers Boost Sales Through Customer Segmentation Technology

textingAutomotive marketing company uNotifi is helping car dealers and service centers boost sales through a sophisticated customer segmentation process that scores each customer’s dealership purchase and links that information with 125 key segmented behavioral patterns to create specific targeted messages sent automatically via text or email.

“Thanks to the systematic approach by Unotifi of truly marketing to our customers based on their value to the dealership, their past behavior and providing them with relevant offers, we have enjoyed tremendous growth compared to the same period in 2010,” said Jay Henderson, service director of Toyota of Boerne in Boerne, Texas, whose repair orders increased 15 percent from June through September over the same period one year ago after signing on with uNotifi.

According to Richard Greene, service director of Parker Lexus in Little Rock, Arkansas, one of the most valuable features of uNotifi’s inbound marketing program is the uNotifi Communicator, which helps reduce inbound call volume, which frees service advisors to sell more service.

“The Communicator is nothing short of amazing,” said Greene.  “Most dealers don’t realize that inbound calls from customers asking about the status of their vehicle is hugely unproductive.  uNotifi’s automated texting tool relieves this stress, helps cut down on unproductive calls and customers like it better.  For special order parts jobs, it’s like having another employee in the parts department!”

Greene noted that the first day the dealership installed the uNotifi system, one service advisor up-sold six repair orders, “which are all sales he ordinarily would not have been able to get.”

A study by Pew Internet Research released last month showed that 73 percent of U.S. cell phone users send and receive text messages, and one-third of those say they prefer texting to calling.

“Dealership and service center customers don’t have time to take calls and play the eternal voicemail game,” said uNotifi founder Fred van der Neut.  “Texting is convenient, nonintrusive and allows customers to deal with information on their own time.  The ability to manage customer communication via one source that is automatic and seamless is a huge benefit to dealers and service centers.”

How Dealers Can Market Smarter with Data-Driven Marketing

Girl on car hoodData-driven marketing – the use of customer data to drive marketing and sales processes – has been credited with delivering an average ROI of 145 percent, nearly double that of traditional marketing methods.

For many dealers, customer data is scattered throughout a number of different databases, making it a challenge to collect and consolidate, then mine for useful marketing information.  Investing in a CRM system that aggregates, cleanses and validates this information is the first step in crafting marketing campaigns that really resonate with customers and prospects.

Here are some tips for choosing a system that builds and optimizes your customer data:

Collection – you need to be able to integrate data from every source within your company as well as from vendors.

Cleanse and validate –consumers and dealers frequently enter data into their system inaccurately. Address standardization is done to improve the matching of addresses. By using standardized addresses, you can improve internal matching and be able to execute geographic maps or select with improved accuracy.

Build customer history record – to understand a customer’s behavior, you need to understand a customer’s interaction with the dealer. By creating a master customer information record and populating it with details identifying the time, type, and transaction with the dealer, you get a useful database that adds greater value to your communications.

Identify opportunity – sorting through the database to identify purchase habits and trends can create vast opportunities for future sales.

Update and maintain – customer databases need to be updated and maintained on a regular basis; having a uniform system allows you and your employees to continually update and maintain this important asset.