I’m sitting with a great opportunity to deliver a digital solution for one of our clients. How do I pull it all together right now?

As background: Our client is one of the leading international automotive brands based in South Africa with 50+ dealerships spread across the country. The dealerships rely on a very traditional ATL marketing approach relying heavily on the initiatives pushed from the holding brand. The dealerships don’t get involved in any digital marketing activities with a best case scenario of having their own website. None of the dealerships are involved in social media, email marketing or activations. They rely on leads being pushed from the holding brand’s website. Our brief: We’ve been tasked to develop or enhance new and existing sales channels. Some of the channels we’ll have more influence on that others being based in digital. These include the following: - Walk-ins - Phone-ins - Workshop - Database – email - Website - Social Media - Activations and community involvement - New product launches We need to be able to provide the centralised management of the above channels for the 50+ dealerships. Ideally the process needs some automation and a central distribution mechanism of content to the various channels. Above all, the results needs to be measured and reported on. I need to put plan / platform in place to manage the process. Where do I start?


Central CRM in the cloud that everyone has access to. Infusionsoft might be a good solution. Obviously you need email follow up series integration and sales funnel automation.

Answered 9 years ago

Clearly, this is a job for Customer Relationship Management software (CRM). So the problem becomes selecting the best one. Unfortunately, this is no small task!

If you are new to CRM, Wikipedia has an excellent primer:

There is a company in Toronto called Dashboard that specializes in CRM and Marketing Automation for the Automotive industry:

I can introduce you to the owner if you like.

Good luck!

Answered 9 years ago

The scope really needs to be more defined. The website alone for 50+ dealerships is a major undertaking. There are so many questions that need to be asked and answered before you even start proposing solutions...
I have an agency friend who worked on developing a new website for an auto delearship, the budget was in the Millions of dollars.

Answered 9 years ago

This is a perfect example of the same problem a client I have is facing but not at such a large scale. The implementation of a CRM or ERP system would be a shoe in for this.

Answered 9 years ago

This is a massive project especially if you are thinking of localizing each dealership. To do a proper job you are going to need resources. In my opinion you first need to get each dealership registered as a local business. As you probably know that will require you to have google send out a local business pin to each dealership. I have two clients that required this type of setup. Happy to help as needed.

Answered 9 years ago

This is indeed a massive project. I am sure it will have to be integrated into an existing system or at least provide ways to share data. You've got to assemble a great dev team and use some agile techniques to manage changes as they will come.

I'd say break it down in modules and aim to release 1 module every 1-2 months so the client sees progress and starts benefiting from the platform as soon as possible.


Answered 9 years ago

One digital marketing approach is: Social media marketing platform with below capabilities:
1. Generating leads based on Intent analysis (such as queries, mentions, wishlist monitoring ) in (near) real-time
2. Monitor the conversion rate across different channels and prioritize presence on the relevant channels, cutting down on others
3. Combine your Logistics (GIS) with the sales leads to drive sales to the nearest / best-rated dealer
4. Rank the Dealers based on user feedback analysis, inventory capability, maintenance IRT and tie it with the premium / commission
5. Implement AB testing methods to get the pulse of your audience on which channel they are likely to receive and which methods or promotion (gift coupons, promotional offers ..) are more effective
6. Predict the sale-leads, conversion and turn-around time for orders based on historical trends for each dealer and cross-correlate it with the CSAT ratings to optimize the process cycle times and cut down costs
7. Keep the customers engaged with your social presence and continuous stream of information about what they can expect from even beyond post-order completion.
8. Profile the customers to identify the classes (e.g. regular vs luxury vehicle owners) and build recommendation engines that increase personalized value-add to each
9.Identify the capability gaps in the coverage for dealers and provide means for new dealers to take part in the business or have the existing dealers extend their services

Based on the scope and commitment more functionality can be added. These along with more have been successfully implemented in Retail sector. Let me know if this interests you, would be happy to share more details.

Management & Strategy Consultant - Big Data, AI

Answered 9 years ago

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