• Stop being a LURKER - join our dealer community and get involved. Sign up and start a conversation.

Can the USA adopt the U.K's process to optimise automotive customer acquisition?

May 14, 2019
2
0
1
First Name
Neil
Good afternoon all, I am reviewing the automotive market from the U.K and would like to learn more and share my experience.

The size of the USA automotive market can be quite overwhelming and it appears that there is no transparency, control or processes in place with purchase and use of the personal data from a new lead.

Before they have even walked into a dealership, do you have a LIVE email or telephone number to communicate with them? Better still, do you know their financial status and social media links to learn a little more about them before you do get the chance to sell to them.

Despite the strict data controls deployed in the EU, we are able to provide dealers with this information and put a value on the enquiry.

It would appear that in some cases in the USA, leads are collected and controlled by the advertisers and sold to the dealers, is that the case?
 

Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
2,780
1,386
113
First Name
Alex
There are many lead enhancement and scoring solutions for US dealers to choose from. It hasn't been an incredibly popular area though. Inaccuracies are abundant and the only ones who can really nail it are larger organizations like Equifax, American Express, cellular companies, etc. They typically don't play directly with dealers though. Most dealers don't do enough volume to wet their appetites.
 
Reactions: Alexander Lau
May 14, 2019
2
0
1
First Name
Neil
There are many lead enhancement and scoring solutions for US dealers to choose from. It hasn't been an incredibly popular area though. Inaccuracies are abundant and the only ones who can really nail it are larger organizations like Equifax, American Express, cellular companies, etc. They typically don't play directly with dealers though. Most dealers don't do enough volume to wet their appetites.
Thank you for your response Alex. I went to an affiliate summit in the USA last year and found exactly that, the solutions are not accurate enough as they are relatively new and still learning. That is what has given me the appetite to take our technology out to the USA market and replicate what we have done here. The likes of Equifax / Amex and Cellular do have very accurate verification tools but all contribute to the solution rather than singularly where they can not cover requirements.
I understand that dealers don't have the volume to make this technology appealing, our sales in the U.K are with the media agencies and the OEM's themselves and we pass qualified leads through to the most local dealer.
The reason why I felt that it may have been different in the USA is because I thought that Toyota had a solution called TDDS where I got the impression that dealers can access and extract leads in their area. Perhaps we are best applying our technology to this platform so the dealer has the option to pay a full price for a fully verified lead and a reduced price to a lead with missing or unverified data fields. Seems that there is a good opportunity in America for our technology, especially as we are aware that one of the biggest companies offering verification services
 

Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
2,780
1,386
113
First Name
Alex
No problem @Neil Shaylor. DealerRefresh is a place to find the answers to the questions you're asking and I appreciate the way you're doing it. Too many take a salesy approach out of the gate, and it forces us to moderate their threads. So thank you for that!

DealerRefresh is also here to help to help increase the competitive landscape with good solutions. If you do come to the US, please reach out to Jeff and me. There are ways we can help you get some branding.

As for the question at hand, allow me to go back some years to when Polk was offering a lead scoring product. David Metter (no worries if you don't know him) was the CMO of MileOne and @Jeff Kershner was there with him. I was competing with David and Jeff at the Checkered Flag Auto Group, but we never looked at it that way. David was an advocate for Polk Lead Scoring and got me interested in it. Jeff said it had legs, so I looked at it very hard.

If I recall correctly, at that time, we were spending roughly $2 to $3 per lead off of our website, the OEM leads were valued somewhere around $7 to $9 per lead, and we were buying third party leads between $15 and $23 (average was about $17). The total lead volume was shy of 2,000 leads a month and Polk wanted somewhere around $7 to $11 per scored lead depending on the depth of what we bought from them.

They had varying levels of scoring. One was to qualify the lead was actually a person and score the likelihood they would buy within XX days. Another was to expose an income level and another level was to indicate the type of vehicle they owned. I might be getting this all wrong because it was well over 10 years ago. Regardless of what their product level was we couldn't justify it because it was too expensive. It wasn't that we couldn't afford it. I couldn't make it work against what I had to give up in the budget to make it fit. At the same time, I didn't ask to increase the budget for it either. In hindsight, I guess that means it didn't excite me that much.

Fast forward to the early 2010s when I worked at Dealer.com. Polk enhanced their product offering and I was all about integrating it into our CRM product. Where it had the most value was in conquest marketing and long-term lead follow up. Dealers would have been able to target very specific locations with exact messages tailored to what the customer drove and how long it had been in their driveway. The medium was mail and email. And we were also going to send "dead leads" to Polk to see if they were really dead or bought elsewhere. That would have been cool. Polk was sold before we inked a deal.

And that's the point. As a pure lead scoring tool it didn't have the best value for me. Using the same data, and turning it into a marketing engine with a way to make sure I wasn't missing business it was a totally different animal. Same data; different pitch.