The Rise of CEPs 

What are they and why are they the future of automotive retailing? 

Over ¾ of consumers say they expect personalization, and its existence or absence can be the deciding factor in which brands they choose, whether for household items, online purchases, or their next vehicle.  

The cutting edge marketing software to provide that personalization – in all industries, but especially crucial for automotive – is Customer Data Engagement Platforms (CEPs). 

Outsell has been leveraging this sort of data since before it was cool – which is saying something given we’re based in Minnesota. But as the automotive industry’s leading CEP, our commitment to our customers is no joke.  

We want our dealer and dealer group partners – and future partners – educated on what CEPs really are and whether one is right for you.  

What’s going on in the industry? 

According to the 2022 Kerrigan Dealer Survey, dealers have made more money in the last three years than any other time in history. In fact, 50% of dealers want to buy additional dealerships, and only 2% want to sell. 

Great! Now what? This upswing can’t last forever, and in fact, several trends are already showing a decline: 

  • Inflation is tightening consumer spending 
  • Rising interest rates are adding to inventory cost 
  • Demand is declining 
  • Inventories are growing, and 
  • Dealer margins are feeling the pressure 

Before you really start to feel the change in the market, you need to focus on retention of the customers that helped you achieve the success of the last few years.  

An Epsilon report found that “86% of respondents… are much/somewhat more likely to do business with automotive websites/apps offering personalized experiences.” 

That is where a CEP comes in.  

Your real competition 

Outsell insights show that 17% of customers in dealer databases no longer own their vehicle yet receive service reminders and offers to buy it. Not only are your customers submerged in advertising, they’re submerged in poor advertising that proves they aren’t known or understood.  

Not surprisingly, consumers are finding this increasingly annoying and decreasingly motivating to stay loyal to businesses that market to them this way. If you don’t have a CEP, you’re literally wasting money communicating that you don’t get your customers, sending them straight to the competition.  

Why does a CEP make a difference? As Oracle put it, a CEP “collects and unifies first-party customer data – from multiple sources – to build a single, coherent, complete view of each customer.”  

It isn’t a lead generator or a campaign builder but an extension of your dealership. A good CEP automatically sends communications to customers and prospects on your behalf, specific to each consumer’s individual needs and lifecycle stage, and through the channel most likely to make an impact on their decision making. 

There is no faster or more efficient way to market and sell to customers than by understanding them better, and a CEP is the key to making that happen.  

Customer Data 2.0 

As Marketing Technology Insights put it, “Too much information can be counterproductive if you don’t have the means to make sense of it.” A CEP uses this vast range of data to analyze and predict the behavior of current and potential customers, identifying your most valuable opportunities and acting on that data for you – automatically. 

A CEP is not the same as a CRM. While a CEP is built for marketing, a CRM is built for sales, meaning it typically doesn’t aggregate or analyze data from multiple sources.  

If consumers are receiving a million messages a day – which isn’t an exaggeration – the ones that break through need to be personalized, relevant, customizable, and motivating, and a CEP alongside a CRM is needed for dealers to fully utilize the expectations in today’s market. 

There’s a reason Brian Pasch is educating dealers on CEPs now more than ever, and has said, “Dealers must stop blaming their CRM and DMS vendors and begin a path forward to protecting their own first-party data” and CEPs are “one of the hottest areas of software development” to achieve this.  

Outsell insights show that when clicking on inventory in a dealer group communication, over 30% of customers clicked on a brand they do not currently own. Loyalty is fleeting, and understanding your customers is how you adapt to their needs, before considering a new make becomes choosing a new dealer.  

What’s right for you? 

If 50% of customers change brands on their next purchase, you need a partner who can pivot based on that information and keep your dealership top of mind.  

You also need a partner that can tailor your CEP experience depending on your: 

  • Vision/Goals​ 
  • Culture/Management style​ 
  • Brand Mix​ 
  • Geography​ 
  • Process/Technology/Partners​ 

Outsell will work with your dealership or dealer group to ensure we’re right for you and customize your CEP to fit your needs, the same way our communications on your behalf to customers and prospects automatically adapt to fit theirs.  

Why is Outsell the right fit? We are and always have been a customer first organization, values-aligned, with a success framework, and results guaranteed. 

How it all pays off 

As the automotive industry’s leading customer data and engagement platform, Outsell helps dealers and dealer groups like you: 

  • Listen to your customers’ behavior patterns 
  • Predict what they’ll most likely do/need next based on that data 
  • Engage them through traditional and non-traditional marketing channels 
  • Alert you when customers are ready to make their next shopping decision 
  • Inform you of what’s really working for your business 

…to build better relationships with consumers and measurably improve retention and profitability. 

What sort of measurable results can you see? 

  • 16% increase in repurchase from most valuable customers 
  • 23% increase in sales from repeat customers 
  • 31% higher rate of service return among engaged customers 
  • 65% increased gross profit over three years from engaged customers 

Outsell understands what your customers want, expect, and what matters to each of them on an individual level — before, during, and after they visit your dealership.  

We mean it when we say: Results. Guaranteed.