NATDA Magazine May/June 2016 - Page 26

It’s no secret that marketers and business owners alike have been forced to move beyond simply selling a product or service to a customer. Nowadays, they are in the business of selling an experience in addition to the product. A sale that was once a transactional process via an exchange in value (dollars in return for a product or service) has evolved into much more than that. As a result, company owners have been required to adapt and provide an elevated customer experience that truly delights, or run the risk of becoming obsolete. Beyond that, the consumer is demanding more than just a one-time transaction with a business or a brand and is expecting to receive an experience worthy of their time. Customers have the ability and the right to shut off communication or future purchases with a company completely with the mere touch of a button or a sequence of clicks. To avoid this in your dealership, this article will share five insights about the most effective ways to put your customers at the heart of your marketing efforts, incorporate a customercentric mindset into every department team and leverage customer insights and feedback for intelligence to inform your marketing strategy. Use data and analytics to uncover opportunities and measure success Do you know the value of a long-term customer of your dealership? If not, read on. It is important to understand how to organize data around your customers, establish the right metrics to measure success and deploy the right tools and processes to execute an effective marketing program. To truly understand your customer’s needs, it’s important to listen and observe how they are engaging with your company, what channels they are present on and what things they are talking about. Listening, measuring and analyzing customer metrics can lead to opportunities to further engage them, speak to a new audience and determine the effectiveness of your current marketing programs. Establish these metrics upfront, benchmark them and measure your success on an ongoing basis. Garner customer intelligence in places your customers already are An easy way to gain customer insights, knowledge, and engagement is to show up and listen to them in the places they are already regularly spending time. This includes social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Are your customers or potential customers looking for answers to questions, or do they need fast customer service? By optimizing your social presence, consistently engaging in conversation, and providing useful and timely information to your customers, you will become a welcome addition in their day-to-day world and have a leg up in encouraging them to share authentic feedback that you can incorporate back into your marketing strategy. continued on page 28 26 NATDA Magazine