Can Technology [Really] Predict Consumer Purchase Behavior? 

05.04.21 03:54 PM By Gina

The Truth About Predictive Marketing

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 took a trip down memory lane through what we've coined the Path of Technology. We plotted out various data tech milestones with a brief definition of 5 methods currently used in the automotive retail sales and customer experience.  Here, we tackle The Truth About Predictive Marketing - and give you a glimpse into what's next! 

Our world is ever-changing and so is our technology. Most people do not use smartphones, laptops, or even televisions that are over a decade old. Predictive technology is over a decade old too, so why do dealerships still solely use it? There is better, more innovative technology out there.


First, it is important to understand what predictive technology is and what it does. 

pre•dic•tive  /prəˈdiktiv/

Encompasses a variety of statistical techniques from data mining, predictive modeling and machine learning in an effort to accurately market to customers. 

Predictive technology uses a variety of statistical techniques and tools from data mining predictive modeling machine learning. It is based off of existing data to predict outcomes. For instance, all Nissan Altima owners are put into the predictive modeling machine and it shows that they are likely to purchase or trade for another Altima, or something similar. Well, imagine this individual decides to start a family. An Altima may no longer be what they need or even want!

According to one industry predictive leader, it's said that "Good predictive insights can tell you not only who your best customers are today, but who they might be tomorrow."  Is that what you really want to know? Who they MIGHT be?  Predictive technology does not know, it only makes estimated guesses and cannot account for changes. It uses the past to determine the future, which is a huge risk due to the fast-paced environment we are living in today.


A little over a year ago, the coronavirus pandemic brought with it a life of uncertainty in the Unites States and throughout the globe; including more closely to our own world - marketers and dealerships in the automotive industry. Given the current irregular market fluctuations, supply and demand, and accelerated changing consumer behavior of the past year, predictive data cannot adequately predict future forecasts. To keep up during these times, it is crucial to have real-time data and real-time marketing. We went from in-person school, jobs, and contact to functioning many of those things in the digital and virtual space. 

As mentioned, consumer behavior went virtual too. According to Cox Automotive, 2 out of 3 shoppers are more likely to buy their vehicle 100% online. Dealers simply cannot leave this process to guesstimation.


In addition to the online behavior shift, more and more consumers expect personalized experiences from businesses and dealerships. According to Accenture, 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands who provide relevant offers and recommendations. Again, predictive technology bases current outcomes off of past history and does not use real-time communication. Therefore, consumers cannot get the personalization that they expect and want.

The reality is that while predictive marketing still holds value, it's just a piece of what is possible. Predictive data can tell you not just what your customers want, but make informed assumptions about what content or offers are more likely to move them along your funnel.  But new technology exists that's helping businesses create authentic and personalized experiences— while achieving a 20% lift in business impact above and beyond even that. Leading brands like Verizon, Pandora, and more have successfully harnessed the power of their customer data and solved data fragmentation while gaining the business intelligence needed to orchestrate experience across their customer journey.


Simply put, 3 Birds’ is that new technology. With a customer-driven and data-blended approach a single platform to activating all of a dealership's data to the edge of every customer experience. Data is based on current consumer behavior delivered in real time, not on the past. Blue Sky Dashboards allow Dealers to take a deeper dive into understanding their unique and ideal customers - and the system to duplicate immediate successes and lean into changing demands. It provides actionable transaction data rather than an estimated guess. 

3 Birds helps automotive dealerships go from knowing what customers want.


Stay tuned to learn more about how the path of technology has evolved and how 3 Birds has implemented the newest, most innovative, most essential marketing technology in recent years.


Submitted by:

Destiny Chafin

Staff Writer