Get To Know Your Potential Buyers
We share common likes, dislikes, wants and needs which can be quantified and focused to drive your marketing campaigns. Car buyer personas help you shape effective sales approaches to even the most finicky shoppers. It’s an immensely valuable tool for dealers who want to boost sales and efficiency.
The Car Buyer Persona Defined
Sometimes called a customer persona or an audience persona, a buyer persona is a fictional archetype representing a specific segment of your target audience — the more specific the better. Personas are based on a compilation of research data points hiding inside your CRM. To begin, start pulling data from your CRM to build your personas. Then match data you’ve collected on potential buyers and send out personalized marketing that precisely targets what those potential shoppers are looking for. The resulting response rates will help you adjust the messaging and give you insights to better shape your personas and continuously improve your sales strategy.
Using Your CRM Is Essential
Your CRM is the starting point for discovering patterns and building informed buyer personas. Using an integrated data mining tool, you can run searches by categories like spending patterns, common questions asked or the age of drivers in the family. Certain customers may need more help navigating financing, searching for vehicles by fuel-efficiency or in finding the best choice for commuting or carpooling. You can even generate a list of customers who upgrade to a newer vehicle every three years and send them trade-in messages. Pay attention and be creative.
The notes field in your CRM can also be tremendously helpful when Salespeople take down relevant details from every interaction. Quickly entering something like Left VM isn’t nearly enough when trying to identify patterns, strengths, or weaknesses within your systems. Tell your staff the more information that can be noted, the better their chances are of locking in a sale and scoring a commission.
Buyer personas can help you develop messaging that will resonate with a particular demographic. It’s your team’s job to use that knowledge and increase the odds of a successful interaction by focusing on your buyers’ needs, not what the dealership needs.
Say you identify a core customer group in their 40s and professionally successful, with no kids. Your buyer persona might be nicknamed “Dedicated Devin.” Devin doesn’t have time or interest in opening generic emails. Those messages will either be ignored or deleted, and Devin could easily click unsubscribe. Dedicated Devin would more likely respond to messages about the current year model of a car they purchased before, for example. Another great idea is to email them a virtual test drive of a vehicle they would be proud to park in front of their office. This persona likes making a statement.
When you build strategy based on helping people meet their goals or solve their problems, you’ll be developing better bonds and stronger relationships.
Try developing a persona based on a customer life stage — people who bought minivans or large family vehicles, for example. You could identify this core group as mid 30s, in the thick of family life, prioritizing value for their money, vehicle safety and good gas mileage. Let’s call this persona “Commitment Chris.” Chris thinks family-first, so messages about resale value, reliability and an extended warranty service would tend to inspire action. Emotional outreach here makes the difference.
You also have a valuable opportunity to turn around hesitation buyers like, “Selective Steph.” Steph may not exhibit any identifying characteristics except the number of times they contact the dealership before scheduling a showroom visit. Steph, like most of today’s customers, will definitely have a preferred communication channel. A good practice is to ask everyone how they want to be contacted or your messages will evaporate into the atmosphere.
Sending messages that pressure Steph to decide will most likely be ignored. Try things like price specials, trade-in values and surprise increases in inventory on specific vehicles they may have been watching. Steph responds to the right message through the right channel at the right time.
Shopping Intelligence Tools
Shopping intelligence tools drop a cookie on the browsers of visitors to your website. These cookies give you the ability to track, record and analyze their online shopping behavior and link it to their records in your CRM. Email alert flags pop up when one of these customers is on your website, a competitor’s site, or a third-party research site. Salespeople can use your buyer personas to craft the right message and reach out with exactly the right information for that customer.
But use caution here. Shopping intelligence could easily be misinterpreted as a violation of someone’s privacy. Check that your technology has alerted your customers and that you have the permissions and consent you need to follow their actions.
Drive More Sales
Once you've launched your campaign, you'll be able to track messaging data based on buyer personas almost immendiately. Valuable feedback and increased sales will let you know you're on the right track.
Michelle Vaccaro is a Lead Product Marketer at CDK Global. She is responsible for the research, launch and marketing of products that improve a dealership’s ability to capture, nurture and convert more leads with CDK’s Elead CRM.