In follow-up to our first blog in an unfolding series, "Headed Down the Path of Digital Transformation? Start Your Journey at the End - Where [Our] New Tech Begins.", we've been walking down the road of what we've coined the Path of Technology, stopping at each of the 5 various data milestones with tech currently used in the automotive retail sales and customer experience. Here, we tackle the truth about data points.
WHAT ARE DATA POINTS?
Data points are exactly what they seem. They are points of data; one element of identification in a data set. A data point could be a piece of information about age, income, wealth, and the list can go on and on. This information is stored in a system that can quickly process the thousands or millions of data points that it receives. While all this data seems great, the more data points you want to obtain the more money it will cost your company.
IS IT WORTH IT?
Data points can cost thousands of dollars, but is it worth it? Often times marketers become set back by all the data and it results in them being less effective. Too much focus on data and numbers can draw marketers away from the most important factors – the customers and their needs. In addition to the direct costs of the data points, companies can indirectly lose money due to old software and technologies.
According to the State of Workplace Survey, outdated technology may be costing U.S. employers $1.8 trillion in wasted productivity. When marketing companies begin to pile new technology on top of old technology, it is not as effective or productive as completely implementing new technology into their servers.
In a recent Microsoft survey, over 90 percent of people said that dealing with a company that uses outdated technology would cause them to consider taking their business elsewhere due to concerns over privacy or user-friendly convenience.
Data points can only tell a company or dealership about what happened, it cannot predict the future. Individuals and companies need to rethink their idea about data. Instead of thinking what the data can do for them, they should be thinking what we need the data to do. Not all data is necessary for all firms, so purchasing large amounts of it can be costly and ineffective.
So here's the scenario: you take predictive technology, put an algorithm to it, dump it in your AI machine, and go purchase some additional data points to round out a profile. Data points can give you information you may not have already had, but a lot of what you are buying is irrelevant. Your vendor will try to sell you 20 million data points (that you don't own, by the way) - but do you really need 20 million more bits of information to sell a vehicle? It doesn't help market to your customer. It doesn't let the consumer drive the experience by responding to their purchase behavior.
Industries have been able to collect vast amounts of data, making data lakes, and even oceans, to which most companies become overwhelmed with where to start. In automotive, we understand the concept of being data-driven; gather 'data' and sell to it. The key today is utilizing a smart platform that pulls the relevant information and markets to prospects and sold, service, and retention customers it in a smarter way.
Data points can help you obtain the lowest hanging fruit. You'll never capture the great majority of your best, most loyal customers not often found on the bottom branch.
3 Birds does not rely solely on data points or adding them in to decade old technologies. Our company may not be new to the scene, but we have never stopped developing our fully integrated technology stack and investing in our content. We practice agile development and have been consistently executing on our vision of a data- and content-driven automated marketing platform that delivers precision messaging through key channels to keep our clients ahead of the changing landscape instead of struggling to catch up.
With that being said, we obviously aren't saying data (and lots of it!) is not important. It only means that a plethora of random 'big' data points are no longer the best method for marketing to your customers. Consumer behavior has changed drastically since the time of data points. Consumers expect personalization and real-time engagement. Data points can only tell you what already happened, not what will happen.
Our customer-driven and data-blended combination allows us to use data to focus in on what the customer needs and wants from your dealership. There is no reason to guess when the right technology is out there. Companies like Apple, Amazon, and Netflix are using it, so why aren’t you?
Stay tuned to our path of technology series to learn more and discover how we implemented the most innovative technology yet.