The Future of Sales Depends on Automotive Intelligence

Most everyone knows the story of Billy Beane, the Oakland A’s General Manager and the inspiration for the film Moneyball, who on a shoestring budget, led his team to the playoffs by utilizing statistical data to determine strategy.

According to Forbes, the use of data analysis in sports has since exploded and is now a $4 billion business, impacting almost everything both on and off the field. Millions of data points are being used to make better informed decisions, whether it be coaches using wearable technology to scrutinize player performance or stadiums analyzing engagement data to understand fan behaviour before, during and after the games, creating create better experiences that increase revenue (i.e. improving parking lot congestion or game-day staffing). According to Evan Wasch, senior vice president of basketball strategy and analytics for the NBA, data can prompt small changes that make a big difference.  

With our recent rebrand, taq Automotive Intelligence is aiming to do the same – change the way vehicles are bought and sold by firmly placing data in the centre of the decision-making process. taq’s strategy is to use our data to build solutions and offerings that will give our Dealer, OEM and Lender customers a competitive edge. By arming them with better and more robust information, we predict that it will lead them to make better, evidence-based business decisions. 

As taq’s President, it is my team’s responsibility to decipher what the data is telling us. Led by our SVP, Data Strategy, Adam MacDonald, the team aims to use statistical analysis to uncover insights that lead us to understand the nuances of the customer’s buying behaviour. More importantly, we start to shed light on the lifetime value of a customer when we see their behaviour through this data lens. Those are the learnings taq weaves into our strategy and subsequently shares with our clients to help guide their business decisions.

A professional sports team will engage in contract talks with valued players a year out from them becoming free agents. Similarly, the goal for your business is to engage your valued portfolio customers before they hit automotive free agency. taq’s data proves that engaging customers twelve months out from the maturity of their contract term leads to higher customer retention rates; they will be 2x as likely to be retained versus a client engaged at the end of their contract term, and 3x as likely to be retained versus a customer engaged after the term of their contract has matured.

As a key component of our digital platform, taq’s portfolio product offering mines and subsequently queues up customer data at the precise time, while also providing current market info through matching vehicle programs and current vehicle valuation. And while current inventory remains scarce as we wait for the tide to turn, utilizing a Portfolio Customer Engagement strategy now will no doubt set our customers up for greater gains a year from now once the manufacturer crisis subsides.  

Never has predictive data been more prevalent. After 18 months of struggling through this pandemic, we continue to see the impacts to our business; record low inventory and an even greater shift to online shopping. This unprecedented moment in our industry’s history forces us to re-examine how we plan to move forward with our business. For taq, it means using data to drive our strategy based on today’s challenges and tomorrow’s opportunities, with a steadfast commitment to deliver technology solutions with Automotive Intelligence at the core. We believe this will give our customers that competitive edge, which we know is critical – now more than ever.

Ultimately, the goal is this: decipher the data to further understand your business, develop strategies based on that data, and then employ those strategies to move your business forward in new and exciting ways. That’s the foundation of Automotive Intelligence and the power it brings to the table. 

John Currado is President & Chief Operations Officer, taq Automotive Intelligence. With over 30 years in the financial lending and leasing business and a decade at taq, he is a leader in innovation and technology in the retail automotive space, driving taq’s technology and enterprise relationship strategies.