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Are Dealer Services Sexy Enough?

  • April 26, 2016
  • dbhatia
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Dealer Services enablement is among the biggest opportunities on the Automotive IoT landscape. Yet the opportunity is often skipped over in all the hype of the IoT landscape. Too many observers are missing the steak and focused on the sizzle.

Here’s what matters: driving value for Auto Dealers. At CalAmp Automotive, we’re focused on this like a laser. I’d like to share a few thoughts in 3 areas: Lot Management, Consumer Value, and Lifecycle Services.

Lot Management

CalAmp Automotive recently announced Lot Management, enabling dealers to “AutoPop’ vehicles with an OBD plug-and-play device that automatically creates an asset in a reporting dashboard, delivering highly tuned alerts and reports to help a GM or Flooring Manager keep track of all the vehicles on a lot, with the press of a button. Instant audit? No problem. Early warnings for low batteries? No problem. We have the platform for that. Lot Management from CalAmp is the most comprehensive offering on the market, reducing the time and cost of inventory management by 96% versus traditional practices.

But that’s just the start. At CalAmp Automotive, we’re big on repeat use. We want you to take one device that’s used for Lot Management, and re-use it to make more money with a consumer app, and then offer a lifetime of services back to the driver. How?

The same device that’s used to plug-and-play for Lot Management can be re-purposed for a consumer use. Reinstall it with a harness behind the dashboard, and now you can enable the consumer with great benefits. Just as importantly, you can begin to tap the most important value proposition of all: information. Our device installed in the vehicle gives you an instant alert when the check engine light activates. Now you’re able to offer incredible value… value that turns a problem into an opportunity.

How does it work?

When the check engine light displays on the dashboard, our installed OBD device picks that up and sends the info to the dealer in seconds. Did you sell the car to this driver last year? Did you offer the concierge lifetime service package? Now you can reach out, and have a discussion with them about their immediate problem. Something like this: “Valued customer, because you signed up for our concierge service, we’re able to give you some immediate insight into that pesky check engine light situation. See, it’s just an O2 emissions thing. No big deal. We can take care of that for you. Why don’t you come on in next Tuesday at 2pm. We’ll have the right techs available to do the work in an hour. And we’ll offer you a 20% discount, just because.”

Can you imagine a happier customer interaction? This works, because it replaces your typical spam and junk mail outreach with the right information, at the right time. It’s the essence of Permission Marketing. As Seth Godin, world-famous author of “Permission Marketing,” marketing guru, and my former boss at Yahoo! might say, ‘Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.” (Read more here.)

I’m thrilled to be able to offer true Permission Marketing to Auto Dealers now. And yes, Seth was (and is) a genius, and his words keep delivering. As we extend the connected experience to the connected car, permission will be the watchword. Students of this game should brush up on it.

Now, back to that question of sexiness. Why is it that a connected car experience that can deliver so much value, to so many dealers and drivers, is so hopelessly buried amidst the hype? Is it not sexy enough? Remember, that by enabling dealer services across the lifetime of a vehicle, we’re enabling dealers to substantially boost their profits on every vehicle sold. That profit will be measured not in thousands of dollars of annual revenues, but in millions. Perhaps we should be happy that others are distracted. So please, general reporting and tech blog world, go ahead and continue writing up the self-driving car. We’ll be over here, in this boring section of the IoT market, just making money for our clients and partners.

For more information on lot management, visit our solutions page!

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