How car and dealership marketers can use driving data to reach customers based on how, where, and when they drive

Learn how marketers can leverage driving behavior data to generate awareness, demand, and visits to car dealerships.

Everyone loves a good comeback story. It’s a tale we tell again and again because there’s something so encouraging about persevering through a major setback and coming out on top.

Auto manufacturers and dealers are on the cusp of their own comeback.

Although car sales dropped a few years ago due to the pandemic, demand is on the upswing again, and many consumers who previously relied on ride-sharing and public transportation are planning to buy a car sometime this year, according to a CarGurus survey.

But, like any good comeback story, it’s not just going to happen. So, how can car and dealership marketers help their businesses accelerate for success and come out on top?

In our last blog post, we talked about how retail and quick serve restaurant (QSR) marketers can use driving behavior data to reach their best customers. This article will discuss how automotive marketers can leverage data about how, when, and where people drive to generate awareness, demand, and visits to car dealerships.

Lead the shift to digital and win with audience targeting

A continuing trend in automotive is a shift to digital. CarGurus found that 87% of dealers are currently doing some parts of the sales process online. And digital retail is driving strong results for many dealers: 83% of dealers said profits from digital retail were higher than traditional leads, and three-quarters said they’ve seen both higher close rates and faster close times from digital deal leads.

So, it’s clear that car manufacturers and dealers understand the power of digital marketing. But there’s another key piece of digital marketing that’s needed to create truly effective and powerful digital campaigns: audience targeting. And using driving behavior data to target, auto marketers can really hone in on the drivers most likely to be in market to buy their cars.

Car makers and dealers already know a lot about their prospects – parents with children may want to purchase a safer, more reliable vehicle and everyday commuters may want to purchase a fuel-efficient vehicle. However, these inferences come only after a prospect walks into a dealership and speaks to a sales rep. But a more powerful way to reach people who’ll be interested in a certain type of vehicle before they even walk into a dealership is to use data about how people actually drive every day.

Arity has this data, and it’s available for marketers’ audience targeting efforts in the Arity Marketing Platform. Driving audiences who can be reached include:

  • Electric car interest drivers: Lower-mileage drivers who may be interested in avoiding high gas prices with an electric car
  • Safety-conscious drivers: The lowest-risk, safest drivers on the road, most likely to be interested in safety features
  • Weekend warriors: People who drive over 100 miles per weekend
  • Performance drivers: Speedy drivers more likely to take risks who may be in market for faster or sporty cars
  • Fuel-efficient drivers: High-mileage drivers most likely to be interested in fuel-efficient cars
  • High lease/Trade-in potential drivers: Drivers with low annual mileage who may be good candidates for a lease
  • Comfort-seeking drivers: Drivers who spend a long time in their vehicles and may be seeking comfort and luxury features

Beat the competition with predictive point of interest data

Not only can auto makers and dealers use these audiences to reach people who might be interested in certain vehicles based on how they drive – but they can use Arity data to reach people based on where and when they drive.

This is called Predictive Point of Interest (POI) data, and with it, Arity can create custom audiences of people who frequently drive past a certain dealership or set of dealerships. Dealers can display messages to people who often drive past their locations at a certain time of day, enticing them to come in for a test drive or to learn about certain offers. These ads can be displayed seasonally or depending on time of day, using customization to create experiences that resonate more effectively.

Accelerate for success: Examples

Example 1

Let’s say a car dealer is looking to promote a new line of electric vehicles. They have over 50 locations across multiple states. The dealer can partner with Arity to create a custom audience of people who drive past their locations at least five afternoons per week, and who also drive fewer annual miles than average – say, under 5,000 miles per year. These low-annual mileage drivers are more likely to be in market for an EV and are driving past the dealer’s locations almost every day. The dealer displays a targeted message to this audience in the early-afternoon promoting their new line of EVs and suggesting an in-store visit to test drive and learn more.

Example 2

Let’s say a performance car dealership’s location is less-than-ideal, especially compared to its top competitor which sits in a highly visible, heavily trafficked area. Because of this, its competitor tends to get more foot traffic and therefore more sales. The dealer can partner with Arity to create a custom audience of speedy drivers who are more likely in the market for a faster, sporty car. Then, with Arity’s POI data, the dealer can add another layer with targeted messaging to people who drive near their location or even past their competitor’s location, promoting discounts or promotions.

Our next post will cover how the Arity Marketing Platform can help auto aftermarket marketers find their best customers using driving behavior data.  Stay tuned, and learn more about the Arity Marketing Platform.

Headshot of Jen Gold
Jen Gold
Jen Gold runs Product Marketing for the Marketing Solutions team at Arity. She focuses on products that help marketers connect with their best customers using telematics data. Jen lives with her family in Massachusetts where she enjoys skiing, beach trips, lobster rolls, foliage drives, and other New England cliches throughout the year.