2020 has been a difficult year. But the good news is that the automotive industry has started to see slow but steady growth. And there is an opportunity to become even stronger by redefining how OEMs and dealers navigate a new environment together.
Stabilization and recovery will be powered by businesses reopening and consumer confidence rebounding. But OEMs and dealers can unleash tremendous new potential through increased collaboration focused on accommodating new customer preferences and behaviors, and future-minded industry leaders are lighting the way. CarMax has implemented contactless purchasing with curbside pickup, Ford launched the new F-150 in a prime-time YouTube event, and Volkswagen Group Australia even created a virtual showroom that displays only in-stock vehicles, improving stock locator capability at national and local level.
There’s still a lot of work to be done. As it stands, many dealers are gathering volumes of useful information about their customers, but the full value of that information often remains underused due to the lack of advanced analytics and insights. Moreover, the lack of robust collaboration between OEMs and dealers often results in fragmented lead management and inconsistencies in the customer experience, making it difficult to deliver personalized marketing at scale.
Real growth will be supported by greater integration between OEM and dealer systems — harnessing more available customer data and using it to create a more streamlined, unified, and effective customer experience. Personalize each experience by taking into account local data legislation and customer preferences.
A “customer engagement layer” that connects OEMs and dealer touchpoints across the entire customer lifecycle can help both parties in two ways: by enabling more effective lead management and customer acquisition, and by facilitating coordinated, responsive, and personalized marketing at scale that impacts sales, service and financing.