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Thinking of Diversifying Your Dealership? 5 Reasons to Work Creative Services Into Your Solutions Suite

3 Mar, 2015

A creative services team of custom web developers, designers and digital strategists can be a strategic and profitable business move for your dealership, and a value-add for customers. Business process automation teams typically design solutions to collect, store and retrieve documents and data more efficiently for a variety of business scenarios.

With a creative services team on board, your dealership can help clients collect their data more efficiently and use their data to implement additional workplace automation. Here are five reasons why creative services can be a good addition to your dealership’s solutions suite:

1. Upsell with custom application solutions

A unique service to offer is custom solutions tied into off-the-shelf software. There is a substantial opportunity to cross-collaborate strategic service offerings (Document Management software—PaperCut, PlanetPress and ViaWorks, etc.) with custom application development skills to focus on automating office workflow tasks. These engagements focus on lowering cost and increasing efficiency with our document management and MPS hardware solutions. This collaboration takes these ideas even further. Your team can assess business workflow scenarios— payroll processing, invoicing, taking orders or packing inventory— and identify redundancies and replace them with cost saving automation. A team of software developers can write custom applications to allow the sharing of data across multiple software suites: your ERP system can talk to your payroll system and your in-the-field sales reps can place realtime orders into your ERP using tablet based web apps. These integrations can eliminate redundant data entry and streamline an out-of-date business process. 

2. Evaluate Marketing Data, Technology and Strategy during the Assessment Phase

Before implementing Business Automation Services for clients, dealers typically perform an assessment of the workplace to evaluate workflow inefficiencies and manual process redundancies. Based on observations, the dealership will present the financial and operational costs to the organization.

Several processes that are typically evaluated during the assessment—— customer service processes, shipping/receiving, inventory tracking and management— have an inherent marketing tie-in. Product data, customer data, and order data can actually be used to trigger automated marketing campaigns that will deliver an improved customer experience, further save the client time and money, and even generate revenue for the client.

The assessment is the perfect opportunity to gather additional insights on what type of data the client is collecting and how they are using it— and determine if there is a potential marketing upsell opportunity.


3. Take Advantage of the Opportunity for Data-Driven Marketing Consulting

Automated campaigns are real-time data-driven campaigns that are sent when a specific action is taken by a user. Marketing automation allows brands to personalize and provide contextually targeted messages, which are two of seven of the trends Experian marketing has named for 2015.

Marketing automation is significant because it will save your client time, create additional efficiencies, and can actually further improve customer-oriented processes— client challenges you are already addressing with other business automation solutions.

Best of all for your dealership: there is opportunity. An Experian marketing study showed that personalized emails deliver 6X the transaction rates, but 70% of brands fail to use them. Clients need help leveraging their data to better engage with their customers and sales leads. Be the one to help uncover the potential of their data. If your team is already working on a business automation solution for the client, you have knowledge of their technical infrastructure, data sources and workflow. Your team will be familiar with the systems they have implemented for data collection they have and can use that knowledge to upsell marketing consulting services.

Some questions to consider: Do they have lists of customer data in a CRM, but don’t take advantage of transactional or automated messages? Do they utilize any of their customer data for personalized one-to-one communication? Do they have a high-end inventory tracking system, but fail to communicate when products are out of stock to customers? Are they using these systems to provide the best experience for their own customers?

3. Use Product and Customer Data to further Automate Business Processes

The opportunity to upsell marketing automation integration and consulting largely depends on the size of the company, the industry, and if they have an internal team who can handle software integration. But for the right clients, it is a huge opportunity. The best clients for this service are those who sell direct to customers: B2C retailers B2C manufacturers. Two possible campaign ideas to implement for clients are explored below:

3A. Set up marketing campaigns based on inventory data.

If your dealership streamlined a client’s inventory management, further support their business by using product data to set up automated online advertising campaigns.

Product data can be fed into a Google Adwords Shopping Campaign directly from an inventory management system. Google Shopping Campaigns use the data feed to dynamically create ads with product information listed in an inventory database. The ads run on Google search results pages when an internet user performs a Google search for your product. Custom rules can be set up to automatically run campaigns more frequently when you need to move inventory quickly, or pause the ads if inventory is out of stock. Ad copy and keyword targets automatically populate based on the product names and descriptions found in your inventory management systems. Developers can integrate the data and digital strategists can work with the client to figure out what their goals are, and set up an appropriate campaign accordingly. The ads offer little day-to-day management once set up. The Google Account itself is free, but your organization pays each time the ad gets a click.

The campaigns can save clients hours of manual time creating advertising, all based on data your client likely already has configured. Clients will benefit from understanding that additional marketing automation can be set up with little investment in additional marketing technology. It is a good upsell to current workflow automation projects and can lead into other marketing service opportunities with clients.

3B. Further Automate your Client’s Customer Service Processes with Customer Data

Workplace assessments will often evaluate customer service and sales order fulfillment processes for tedious, manual data entry processes. Use this opportunity to determine if your client is capturing customer data in a CRM and evaluate if it’s being utilized to its full potential. If your goal as a Business Process Analyst is to make a client’s customer service more efficient, it is a strategic and valuable to look at how marketing strategy and technology can also help automate the process— especially if the client has the customer data to do it. There are several different automation campaigns that can be set up to alleviate your customer service center:

  • Send an automated email a few weeks after an order is delivered with product FAQs
  • Send an email with tips on how to make the most of the product
  • Send a follow up after a customer service inquiry with resources
  • Set up automatic reminder emails to register their product
  • Send an email to let them know when their warranty is expiring
  • Send emails based on purchase history- upsell with product add-ons, create loyalty programs based on amount spent, send promos to low engagement customers, etc.

Creating and distributing content at the right time to customers’ results in less customer inquiry calls for the customer service team to handle. Automated and personalized marketing communication is proactive, has proven higher conversion rates, helps a customer service team become more efficient, and creates a better experience for customers. Helping your clients harness the power of their data, and helping them provide a better experience to their own clients will be a major value-add.

5. Position your Dealership as that Long-Term Strategic Partner

In order to make it a feasible option for a variety of clients, there are many ways to customize these services to work within their needs and budget. Creative Services can be a one-time upsell, but it also can be positioned as a long-term strategic partnership by offering on-going marketing campaign management. This is an opportunity to continue the relationship with your and development a long-term partnership.


Author: Kaitlyn Fisher, Internet Marketing Specialist, Impact Creative Services Group for Impact Networking, a leading award-winning office dealership headquartered in Waukegan, IL. At kfisher@impactnetworking.com and www.ImpactMyBiz.com for company info.

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