Consumers today leave clues and data across the Internet – insights into who they are, what they like, and what they are about to purchase. And like most industries today, the automotive industry is gathering and using as much of this data as they can possibly collect.

Of course, not all data is created equal. Data may be incomplete, unstructured, or just plain wrong. And to compound the problem, this data isn’t necessarily easy to collect and transform into any type of meaningful information.

So what are the best types of marketing data automotive marketers should collect to boost their competitive advantage?


If you don’t know who your customers and best prospects are, how can you send then messages to get them into your dealership or repair center? Sure, you may have information on when they last visited your place of business, including a few contact details here and there. And perhaps you have their billing address if they have done business with you before.  But as is often the case, you are probably missing numerous details to help you understand your customers on a much more personalized level.

You may want to know which households have children (“may be time to upgrade to a larger vehicle”), who has a teen driver in the house (“time for a first car”), or who is interested in the outdoors (“this new model of truck just came out”). Details such as income, marital status, occupation, hobbies, lifestyle, and age are some examples of demographics that can be used to create targeted marketing messages to which your consumers are most apt to relate.


Say you have a list of customers but no email addresses or you are missing phone numbers. By appending this contact data to your file, you have more ways to send messages, increasing the likelihood of a new sale.  Or if you have a list that has been sitting around for a while, a large percentage of this data has most likely gone bad. Using an email and phone append service, wrong contact information can quickly be removed and replaced with accurate phones and emails.


Several specialized data solution providers can provide detailed information on vehicles and their owners. Look for a data solution that includes:

  • 100% populated with Make, Model and Year as derived directly from VINs.
  • Fully populated database in which every lead record includes data such as name, address, make, model and year.
  • Premium selects such as in-market for a new vehicle, consumer demographics, segmented wealth modeling, email addresses, and full VIN.
  • Selections available such as engine size, fuel type, drive train, engine block, and engine cylinders.
  • Validated emails and directory assistance validated phone numbers.

car owners


Dealers can target consumers who may be ready to purchase a car within the next several months with statistically modeled values that indicate a household’s inclination to purchase a vehicle. Before a consumer heads to a competitive dealership, prospects who are most likely to be in-market for a new or used vehicle can be targeted. In addition with other consumer variables, this brings you closer to finding the ready to buy, sell, or lease prospects in your targeted geographical area.


Follow the Car data identifies cars that you sold and performed regular service on, after they are sold to a new owner, so you can bring them back in for service.


Allows you to know when your customers move so you can retain them at another location. New mover data can also be used to welcome new prospects who have just moved to your area, before they go somewhere else.


Digital ad targeting allows you to focus on in-market buyers by brand, category and more. Consumer information may be based on data such as vehicle make, model, and year; intent to purchase; geographic locations; and demographics such as age, income, profession, ethnicity, and known interests. This data is often sourced from dealers, service centers, co-registration, and other national sources.


Dealers can use these models to quickly and cost-efficiently predict front-end response and back-end performance. These models use credit data on a Zip+4 level and thus does not require a firm offer of credit. Response models can also be used to access information on who is likely to respond, and who is likely to pay.

performance automotive


Trigger data sets provide access to the vast data market place for insights based on imminent purchase signals such as:

  • New births
  • Home purchases
  • Credit triggers
  • Social signals
  • New teen drivers


These programs provide dealers with daily, “hand-raising” consumers that are in positive equity and willing to trade their cars in on newer models. Traditionally, many automotive marketing programs have used pre-screen credit data as a starting point to identify consumers, which requires a firm offer of credit and often entails mountains of paperwork. More advanced auto equity programs are based on proprietary algorithms built upon thousands of data points including summarized credit information, consumer demographics and psychographics and other types of data to determine ranking of consumers in the best equity positions. This allows dealers to identify equity hand raisers and then determine the best sales and lending package. 

Consumers produce mountains of data every day. Digging though the piles of available information to find the data that truly can make a difference often leads to a state of “analysis paralysis.” However, by utilizing a data solutions provider who has already aggregated the most useful information from the Big Data universe, you can quickly get your hands on the marketing data that really matters – the data that will have a direct impact on your bottom line.

To learn how automotive marketers are using online and offline data to target car buyers across the entire customer journey, download this free guide.

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