The Importance of First-Party Data for Your Dealership

One of the trendy terms being bandied about a lot lately in the automobile business is “first-party data.” It makes sense because the basis of every clever, effective marketing strategy is data, or at the very least excellent data.


Regardless of whether your dealership is already using data to improve marketing outcomes, you have the tools to increase profitability, cultivate customer loyalty, and seize in-market demand before the competition—all from what’s already in your DMS.


Accurate, usable data is good data.


Let’s further break this down into four essential components so that you may determine for yourself whether the information you (or your marketing partner) is utilizing meets the criteria for good data:



Data collection can frequently resemble a game of telephone. The consumer’s key information will be understood most clearly by the person who hears it first; if they speak to someone later, their message may be muddled.


First-party data, to put it simply, is any information you obtain directly from your clients. First-party data is intrinsically more valuable to marketing efforts since it comes directly from the source, as opposed to second or even third-party data (which is information about your consumers that originates from another source, such as a business partner or a data firm).


What that indicates


Many things about your dealership could be categorized as first-party data, including:


Name and contact information for the client (email, phone, mailing address, etc.)

Information about purchases (such as the type of car a customer purchased and the date of purchase)

Submissions to websites, newsletter subscriptions, or client testimonials


The source of the data is important. Only when you receive data straight from the source is it considered first-party data, and the closer you can get to that source, the more effective your marketing campaigns will be.



Just as crucial as who provided the data is when it was obtained. Consider all the emails you get each day. Chances are, some of them will come from businesses you haven’t done business with in a long time.


There are several reasons why clients can stop doing business with you. Perhaps they’ve relocated, begun a new job, or their family has expanded or altered. First-party data from your dealership can give you a very clear image of your audience, but as people change over time, so will that data’s accuracy.


What that indicates


Most of the time, a client from six months to a year ago will be more interested in your emails than a client from six to ten years ago. Regular customer data verification and updating are necessary to avoid your dealership wasting time and money by assuming the proper outcomes while utilizing inaccurate data.


When was the last time you (or your marketing partner) cleaned up the data at your dealership?



Everyone loves returning customers, right? Let’s use an illustration to discuss the depth of your data:


For years, Danny has brought his cars to your facility for routine maintenance. He has also bought two new cars from you in the past ten years. Lifetime value, inclination to buy, service habits, current equity… all of these customer data points, when combined, can help you estimate what action he might need to take next. All of these data points can be connected back to a single DMS client record.


The amount of data that your dealership has on each individual customer determines how detailed the data is. A name and an email address are a terrific place to start, but if you want to understand your audience and their needs, you’ll need much more information.


What that indicates


Consumers’ data can give you marketing insights about potential future actions they might take (as well as the actions of consumers who exhibit similar traits). Predictive analytics in action can be seen here.


Danny may visit your shop for upkeep on his crossover, but according to your transactional data, he might soon be interested in buying a new vehicle. Danny may suit the description of someone who could be interested in buying a larger SUV if you add in additional demographic details, such as his age or income level. With this knowledge, you may approach him with a pertinent and timely sales offer while he’s already having his current vehicle serviced at your shop!



Do you recall how much data we mentioned that dealerships have?


The range of the data you have gathered is referred to as the “span of your data.” It may be an effective predictor of the areas in which your dealership has a competitive advantage (and, thus, of the people you should be targeting). For instance, one dealer may find that they have a higher-than-average retention rate in their local area (which also provides excellent insight into marketing tactics), while another may find that customers travel hundreds of miles in every direction to buy their SUVs.


What that indicates


You need a wide range of data to draw the appropriate correlations and conclusions in order to get information of that nature from your market.


Consider this: According to our analysis, more than 40% of your customers’ emails are incorrect or completely absent from your system, and more than 30% of your clients no longer own the vehicles listed in your records.


Your marketing efforts won’t be very effective if a sizable portion of the client information you have is incorrect. The first step to understanding who your consumers are without any poor data getting in the way is to have a clean, accurate and updated marketing database. It’s the first step to having correct data that can be used.


One of the most accessible yet underutilized resources your dealership has at its disposal to boost marketing is data. Your DMS already contains a wealth of data that can assist your dealership in achieving better marketing outcomes; the outcomes are even greater when you clean and update the data.

No leads were lost. reduced overhead.
Swipe to setup a demo
Swipe to learn more