How Automotive Dealers Can Best Connect with High-Value Customers

The brand loyalty average for both luxury and mass-market automotive dealers is about 45%. If consumers switch brands half the time, dealer groups need an effective marketing solution to retain their high-value customers.

One positive thing about the last 18+ months is you may already know who your most loyal high-value customers are.

Since the start of the pandemic:

“The bottom line is finding a vehicle required working closely with a dealer and, when presented with obstacles, shoppers turned to the dealer they already knew. As a result, the level of increased loyalty this year is remarkable.” – Tyson Jominy, vice president of data & analytics at J.D. Power.

What’s more important now is to not let that loyalty fade. Dealer groups can best connect with their high-value customers, retain loyalty, and create an individualized experience through:

  • Buyer Detection
  • Equity Detection
  • Consistency

Buyer Detection

Having a system in place to manage your communication structure, such as a marketing automation solution, will aggregate your data and build individualized consumer profiles that engage consumers based on their lifecycle and show you everything you need to know about them.

A solution-driven by artificial intelligence can determine which consumers have the most propensity to purchase or service based on their behavior – i.e., buyer detection. A tool utilizing buyer detection can then deploy the best communications to engage those in-market consumers.

Without a marketing automation solution designed to do this automatically, dealer groups are left with cookie-cutter communications that can alienate consumers who have come to expect an individualized approach.

Equity Detection

Equally, dealer groups need equity tools to pinpoint customers in a favorable equity position and who will likely want an upgrade. Similar to buyer detection, an AI-driven marketing solution can identify customers and prospects who reach positive equity status, so that dealer groups can inform those consumers when they are in a good position to trade their current vehicle and purchase a new one sooner than they normally would.

Effective solutions can even communicate to customers specific VINs they can get with similar payments to what they have now and identify for the group desirable used vehicles for trade-in when specific inventory is hard to come by.

With the continued shortage of new vehicles, many shoppers are turning to used options. This too has become an issue as used vehicles are becoming less available as well. One positive from this is that customers can get a lot more for their trade-ins — and may be looking to do just that. Don’t miss out on ways to restock your inventory by not having the right solution in place.


If you haven’t been adding different channels to your marketing efforts, website updates, social media, and email are critical when much of the country is still working from home. Be there, be everywhere, and be consistent so you’re always top of mind when consumers return to the market.

You already know that general customer loyalty is less than half, but research has found that half of the repurchasers also change OEM brands, and these brand defectors do not always choose the same dealer group for their next purchase.

Store or OEM-only communications, siloed data, and siloed stores limit retention and loyalty opportunities and lead to irrelevant communications to customers who could otherwise be retained.

None of this means you only engage consumers when they are in the market – you should always communicate with them; it’s just the message that changes. The right marketing automation solution can help reduce the burden on you, your team, and your budget, with consistent messaging across stores.

Loyalty isn’t guaranteed but the right marketing tools can help. Learn more about Outsell’s dealer group solution and how we can help you best connect with your high-value customers.