The Dealer Playbook
The Dealer Playbook

Episode 488 · 6 months ago

Bill Parlaman: How to Collect And Leverage Your Own Data

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Bill Parlaman is the CMO at FullThrottle.ai, a company that generates and transforms 1st party household data for agencies, media, and brands. His experience from both within and out of automotive has granted him unique insights into how dealerships can be self-reliant in the ever-expanding digital landscape. 

What we discuss in this episode:

  • Big tech companies like Apple and Google are limiting the ability to track user behavior across devices/platforms. 
  • That's causing issues for advertisers who are now unable to leverage consumer movement through apps and other platforms.
  • When we are single-source dependent, we are compromised.
  • Look at how many times we've seen Facebook take groups down, or how often people get locked out of their profile and lose access to data.
  • It's important to remember that those 3rd parties own the data, not you.
  • As a business, it's vital to collect your own data so that you have an unlimited number of ways to market your business without being dependent on other platforms.
  • First-party data is what you collect from digital properties you control. 
  • CRMs are used to manage leads when they should be used to manage relationships. Not to mention, most CRM data is inaccurate or incomplete.
  • Most marketing today happens at the email level. FullThrottle.ai can make it happen at the household level. 
  • The car business starts and ends with a household address.
  • Listen to the full episode for even more insights from this episode.

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Thanks, Bill Parlaman

If you enjoyed this conversation with Bill Parlaman, please let them know by clicking on the links below and sending a message.

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  2. Click here to let Michael know about your number one takeaway from this conversation

The car business is rapidly changing and modern car dealers are meeting the demand. I'm Michael Cirillo and together we're going to explore what it takes to create a thriving dealership and life in the retail automotive industry. Join me each week for inspiring conversations with subject matter experts that are designed to help you grow. This is the dealer playbook. Over the last few months in particular, we've been seeing a lot of the tech companies coming out of the gate saying Hey, no more tracking pixels. Apple in particular has been a big player. If you haven't been watching the news, facebook, one titan against the other, has been jabbing and jabbing against, you know, tech giant other titans and just saying hey, we need pixels. It powers a lot of our ad revenue and all of these sorts of things. But apple is stuck to their grounds, and I mean it's no wonder why. Shortly after they implemented no third party pixels, they released their own advertising, internal advertising platform, and we're going to be seeing a lot more of that. DPB Gang. Google is really pushing the throttle forward now on removing third party tracking from its systems, which means we are now in an environment where first party data is going to rule the game. Joining me today is the chief marketing officer at full throttle, Bill Parliament. He has a ton of experience both inside and out of the auto industry. Were excited to have him on the show today to join and share his perspectives on First Party data and, more importantly, what you can do with it. Bill, thanks so much for joining me on the dealer playbook podcast. Hey, Michael, it's my pleasure. Thank you for having me and yeah, you're a hundred percent right. It's been crazy, especially everything with IOS and facebook and you know, it's just been crazy...

...crazy. That's why it's more important now than ever to own your own data. Is this an Achilles heel of these third party platforms? And what I mean by that is for years I've watched people go fully dependent on platforms like facebook and then all of a sudden a big weakness is revealed and we have to kind of change things up. Does that just put more emphasis on the fact that you need to kind of plant a flag on your own real estate? One million percent. I couldn't have said it any better. I think it doesn't just go for your data, it goes for everything that you do. If you become single source, dependent on anything, or if you build your digital properties and other places other than things that you own, you are always, you know, in a compromising situation that depending. I mean, how many times have we seen facebook take groups down right how many times that we seen youtube take channels down because they don't like what you're saying or how you're saying it whatever? So anyone that is building a business on the backs of other platforms and not owning their own data, their own digital platforms, is playing in a very risky space. And again I should say that the third party tracking situation has been around for a while. Right now it's about fifty percent of third party cookies are being track so safari, Firefox, they all stopped tracking third party cookies years ago. Chrome was going to shut it down this year. They're going to do it at the by the end of two thousand and twenty two, two thousand and twenty three, but it's definitely...

...right around the corner. And I should also say that it came to be because a lot of people don't realize that the third party cookie is tracking you without you knowing it. So on your iphone, that flashlight APP that is super helpful. You install it, you use it. No one knows that that's tracking what you're doing. Now. I think it, and that's why it's more about that permission based First Party data which it gives the user. Yes, you can track me. You know, you have the ability to opt out or stay in. But anyway, that's where that whole third party dad a really started getting hot and heavy after the presidential election a few years ago, with was a dat analytica that had all the you know that they had the the data come out and they got there was a breach and then everyone said, wait a minute, they have all this dad on all these people. How we keeping that safe? So that's when tech companies really said, okay, we got to do something about this when they saw a very star trek data looking mark Zuckerberg sitting in front of senators, answering some hilarious questions, yes, but also seeing, and you know what, God blessed the man, but what looked like a soulless creature sitting there, you know. But it does bring up an interesting point. Obviously, I know you've heard it. I hear it all the time. Yeah, man, just the other day I was talking about going to Harry Potter Land and then we'll look what happened. I go on to facebook and I see a an ad for Harry Potter land. Our phones are listening. And it brings me back to a sent a statement that I believe rand fish can shared it on the show, or maybe it was in a private email, I can't remember,...

...but we were talking about something to this effect and he just said, well, that's what the Internet does. It is an incredible listener, whether it's listening to what you type in, understanding context through its algorithms or whatever. I mean. But you made me think of that, especially talking about the flashlight APP, because nobody really considers but your phone knows everything about you, where you are, your behaviors, your appetites, the restaurants, the food you like that, like everything, it's tracking all of that. You never really think about something as quote unquote, harmless, and I don't want to freak anybody out, as a flashlight APP understanding the context by which you needed an extra source of light. Right, whatever. Yeah, so this brings me to, I guess, a follow up to this point, though we're now seeing it on iphone, where anytime you download an APP or something like that, you get that that pop up. I'm sure everybody seeing it. Now, Hey, we need to ask your permission. allowed. Don't allow correct and I think the idea of don't allow appeals to this. Well, my privacy is my privacy. Does that have a negative impact, though, like, are you just going to start seeing like, am I, a forty year old man, going to start seeing advertising that has nothing to do with me? Then well, you kid, getting with the yeah, I mean sometimes you do see it. I mean I see advertising all the time. That's just poorly target it to who I am what I do. It makes zero sense. But there are, you know, other ads that I do see. That obviously makes sense and I think, I know there's a big optout. I'm not sure of the percentage, but it was a high percentage of people that actually do optouts. A Yes, do not track me. I think everybody's a little bit different. I personally enjoy a specific experience when I go online. Hey, if I'm looking at something, if I'm...

...on an APP, whatever it might be. You know winecom would hey, I might see some I might get an ad about a different wine or new wine gadget or whatever it might be. So for me that doesn't and I just assume that everybody's tracking me anyway. So that's just one way to handle that. But I prefer, and that's really you know, the third party cookies. First party cookies have a lot to do with that personalized search experience. So it just depends on where you are on you know, that spectrum. Do you want to be tracked? Don't you want to be tracked? You want specific ads and offerings that you know are important for you. So but I do think as the deprecation of that third party cookie, I think it's going to be harder and harder for brands and advertisers to really focus on really laser focused ad targeting, for sure, as opposed to have any what I call a bucket of First Party data that you're collecting off of your own digital properties that you own, that you control, that you know are in market, that you can mark it to. Because I don't know, in the auto space it's pretty rare that you land on a Subaru or a Mizzabchi website unless you're looking for a car. Like I don't remember the last time I went to you know outside of my job, like when do you land on a dealer's website if you're not in the market for a car service, that type of thing. So getting that first party in market data is going to be huge. Yeah, this is really interesting to me and it ties into what you had said earlier about being single source dependent. You're just always in a compromising situation and that really rings true here. So, for those that aren't familiar with the terminology bill, what do you mean by First Party data? Sure, so first party data is data that you collect from your...

...own digital properties, as opposed to aggregated data from other properties that you don't have a relationship with that collects your data. So you would install a pixel on your website or you know, and then you would be able to collect that first party data. And the autoworld there's typically only one or two sources of that First Party data. On that's your data, and your crm is really where most dealers have their first party data. If there is progressive enough to have education base, marketing downloads and things like that that people can leave their their name and their email and and they're able to store that information, then it's typically one to two sources of that First Party data. And with auto dealers, the problem is is that data, that first party data, in many cases is rear view, meaning it's an old transaction. It's someone from a few years ago that filled out a form, that type of thing, so it's not very in market actionable first party data. This is interesting. I was just looking up here. I remember years ago, I want to say, like and I'm just looking it up online because, hey, why not? Google? IBM CEO, Genie Romedi Crowns data as the Globes next natural resource. And this isn't time thirteen mm and it. It's intriguing to me that here we are now with enough understanding and, like you said, rear view, almost experience to help us understand. Oh crap, I need to be gathering my own information, because it is. It is the equivalent in today's world of tapping your land for for petroleum, sure, for...

...oil, in what you can do with it. You had mentioned installing a pixel. Where does where does one get this pixel? Well, there are different companies out there that can help you with that type of technology. I personally full throttles one of those companies that helps businesses, brands, media companies, help build more that first party data, and you're one million percent correct that there is a gold rush currently because of everything going on on that first party data. The problem is is a first party data famine in that there's not a lot of it. So how are we going to work together to help, you know, gather and collect that First Party data from your digital properties? So that is yeah, one million percent. When you said the I think that forget what you said. Was Not a goal right you. I like to use a term. It's the next gold rush, right. So, but the problem is there's not a lot of it out there. So you really need and we always know, and I mean outside of the automotive business, anyone in business always says the money's in the list. I believe the number one thing that all businesses must do is collect a list of people that they own, that they control, that they can market you whenever they whenever they want to. So when you have that list, you're completely you know, your future proofing your business from, you know, third party crackdowns, the government, CCPA, all those types of things. It's your data, you own it. So I think that is a very, very important skill for businesses to make sure that they're doing is that they are collecting, you know, list of people who are interested in the products and services that they that they buy. HMM, the first thing that comes to my mind, and I'd love your take on it, as the CRM, I mean most most dealerships have the equivalent of a small towns population in there,...

...at least some, maybe a small city. However, would always intrigues me about what you're saying. Like, as you were talking, my marketer brain just kicked in. I'm like, okay, there's a funnel here we're going to we're going to bring them through this funnel and the whole purpose of it is to ascend them to a new layer of retention and loyalty and brand advocacy and repeat referral, all of these things. And in my mind's eye I can see the sequence of events that I would take people through in a very imbound fashion, which which perhaps is how we can explore the full measure of First Party data. But right now it's like run ad get lead, lead goes to crm, lead gets burned so often by some robotic empathy voided, you know, follow up sequence, and then we missed the boat on what we could have actually done to tap the resource. And it's funny, I feel like you're setting me up with these questions because you know, in the autospace we know that ninety five percent of the time is crm is used to let manage leads. But what does a CRM stand for? Customer Relationship Manager? Right, so we're not using it in the autospace to manage those relationships. And I would say, and for the most part most dealers would agree, or people in the automotive space would agree, that we do not do a great job of communicating and talking to our previous customers. There's going to be some, I know there's going to be some say hey, wait a minute, I do that all the time, but for the most part it's not. You know. So how do you collect and again, that's rear view. Those are people that have already been on your website, transact it, etc. Or like. Whether or not you're doing anything with those people is up to you. I would highly suggest that you do do that in...

...a customer centric type away, not in a dealership type away, like hey, come buy more stuff, but in more of building a relationship over time. Imagine if you had your whole entire database from the last fifteen years and you were sending them meaningful, helpful information that they could interact with your dealership so that the next time they're in a market to buy a car, they're not thinking about the guy or Gal next, you know, down the road, they're thinking about the dealership that's been sending them great information, you know, all of these years when now it's time for them to buy the vehicle. So that's big. The other thing too, in the CRM is I don't know if you've ever been into a dealer crm. A lot of times that data is not great data. It's inaccurate, it's not complete. We have, you know, technologies that allow, you know, their customers to actually do their own data hygiene where they go in and update, you know, the mileage on their cars, their address. You Know How many? You know, I don't have this car in my garage anymore. Let me remove it. So when you get into crm data, a lot of times that data is not very accurate men for the most part, that third party data that advertisers and agencies are relying on. That third party data is very similar. It's you don't know how old it is. Many times it's inaccurate. That's why, you know, when you think about when you do some sort of direct mail campaign or email campaign, you all the the the list that you pull that you mail to always outperforms that conquest campaign where you're pulling a list of people that may or may not be in the market and it's just based on user intent. So but when you mix in your your own database, then those numbers become much better because there's that relationship with you and you know who they are, etc. So that's where we're trying to get to is, how do we get more of that in market. Now on...

...your website, traffic that has not bought but they are looking to buy, and now what we're looking to do is help influence these people that visited your website within the last day or two to come into your dealership and buy a car get their car serviced. I love it. What are some examples of data that can be collected and then maybe let's talk about how we do that effectively. So starting with some examples of what can we collect, what kind of things can we understand about how people were through our websites or however we're choosing to interact with them? There's a lot that you can collect from that first party data. You can collect name, first name, last name of the household. You can collect address. In some cases you can append emails. You can again get the address. We can learn what influenced a shopper to the website. Was it a paper paid search ad? Was it a social ad? Was it an email? WAS IT SEO? Was it all of those things that influence because we know, I hope we know by now, that in the auto space there is no silver bullet right and I think in a lot of cases dealers are looking for that silver bullet or that magic wand what's the one thing that's going to help me sell more cars, when really we should be looking at what is the magic mix of things, because it's a lot of different things that touch a customer along the way before they make, you know, a purchase. In the examples, you go to the bar and you have three glasses of wine, you have four beers, you have a couple shots of Tequila, whatever it is you know, and you have some whisky's you wake up the next morning and you feel like hell and you're like, Huh, you know which one of those drinks gave me the hangover, no way of knowing the fact that the matter is it was all of those things. Or if you're working with your boss and you have...

...a project, I start the project, you know, Michael, you get it all buttoned up, ready to go, and then you give it to another coworker who gives it to our boss and then that person gets the credit. That's basically last click at your nustion. So how do you take that First Party data? You're able to see a buyer's journey. How did they get influenced to the website? What did they do when they were on their website? Like us, understanding that more than eighty five percent of people who visit a dealer's website look at more than three cars, different cars, is very important information that dealers should know. Like so is that then base retargeting? Is that something that we should be pushing? When we know someone, yeah, they might originally come to the site with an idea, but then they're looking at all kinds of different things. So I always say, like, I don't care what car they buy from us, just so long they buy from us. Right. So those are some things that you can get from that first party data. Understanding how long the buying cycle is. I think right now dealers have a pretty good understanding of, from the time someone submits a lead to the time that someone makes to purchase, what that buyers journey looks like. But do they know how long a shopper has been on their site looking, month after month after month after month, without filling out a form, without, you know, calling the dealership, and then they get the lead and then they close it down? Would you like to know those people who were on your site for months and months still looking, how them bought? Is there something that you would like to send them to help move them through the funnel, to take them from building awareness down too ready to buy? And there are ways to do that. Utilize in that first party data, so names addresses, you're able to get emails, in some cases the buyer journey and you're able to basically what we call close loop marketing. You're able to take from what the marketing channel was. Did it drive...

...this shopper to the site? What did they look like? Did they buy? What did they buy? And then how do you attribute or show the influence of all the different things you're doing from a marketing standpoint? How did you attribute that back to a sale and that's always been the holy grail. When I got into this business ten years ago, I was, you know, in the digital world and Seo, and we were having a conversation yesterday and how sort of like I feel like today, First Party Data and owning your dad is sort of like where we were ten years ago in the automotive space with Seo, where I would have website vendors say why do you need to write so much content on the website and I was like, what are you talking about, because I came from outside of automotive, so it was very antiquated. So I think now what we need to do is kind of bring everybody up in the speed into that power first party data and saying, Hey, the marketing, I'm spending thousands of dollars a month, a year, million sometimes in a year. What's working? Not just what's driving leads, what's driving sales. And ten years ago, when I was talking to dealers about se o, there like this sounds great, but how do I know it's going to sell me any cars? Well, now, with that First Party data that Attribu should and influence modeling, you're able to give that dealer on that business owner that media agency insight into what's working and what's not, because, you know John wantamaker said, I know half of my advertising budget is waste it. The problem is I don't know which half it's. It cracks me up because not only is it so true, but it also is an indication of how long things actually take for us to get the clarity in order to know what to do with it. And it also makes me chuckle a little bit because there's been this this long standing feud in our industry, most of it self inflicted, I would say, but it reminds me...

...of like my mom is Portuguese, but she's from the islands of Portugal, which are actually closer to mainland Africa than they are to mainland Portugal. Okay, and there's this rivalry. AH, they're not real Portuguese because they've never lived on the mainland and vice versa. Right. There's been a longstanding feud and automotive between marketing, let's say, vendor, even though I don't subscribe to the whole vendor thing. I'm I'm a partner or we're not doing business together, and dealer. Right, you hear this all the time. There's dealers maybe you listening. Maybe you feel this way and and I still love you, okay, but maybe you're thinking, I look at all these people, they never sold a car before. They did it it at right. There's always that thing. Why should I trust anybody who's never worked a deal or never pencil to Blab Rabbet? On the flip side, you have vendors who meet that demand with a similar roadblock. Well, but you don't get the all. The nuance of what you just said, though, brings to mind not only this rivalry, but the reason why the partnerships should exist, in my opinion, which is in order for you to do what you do well on your side, you need somebody who can effectively look at what to do with all the data. Sure, and that is a very particularly just a very particular set of skills, know, like Liam need you know it is. It's a skill set and it requires focus and attention. It's one thing to see the data and understand it, it's another thing to then come up with creative ideas to you to leverage and utilize it, and that's why that partnership must exist. We do this so you can do that, so that you can do more of that and so I think that's brilliant the way that you've you've laid that out and and what you can collect. Now some dealers might be thinking, well, but I already can collect, collect first...

...name, last name, I'm address and emails and all of those sorts of things. Let's let's maybe just spend a few minutes here as we wind down, talking about maybe some of the things you're seeing that work really well. I know you had mentioned Vin based retargeting, or are there other things you're seeing that are a creative use of all of this first party data and and maybe what could dealer do today to start thinking in the right direction or maybe implement something today that would move them in the right direction? Sure, great question, and I'll just go back a little bit to your last point in that you the data helps tell the story. I think agencies do a great job at talking about data, data, data, but data without action is absolutely useless. So how are you going to use that data that you're collecting and then what are you going to do with it? And in most cases that data that you're reviewing with your agency or your vendor is rearview data. You're sitting in March talking about what happened February. Wouldn't you rather be sitting here in March talking about what's going on right now and how are we going to move forward? So those are some things that you need to take into consideration. I think using your first party data, you have the ability to do a couple different things. Our First Party data we are able to activate marketing against first party households. Now that's important. So it's not email based. It's really down to the household because when you think about auto specifically, it all starts at the address. People have different emails, you know, things of those change, but for the most part, when you think about a caught the car business, it starts and ends with the address. So collecting that data, being able to then activate that data with marketing instantly, within twenty four or forty eight hours, delivering someone that hit your site responsive email, a direct mail, postcard and digital display, video ott instantly,...

...because we know most car shoppers are cross shopping. So let's talk to this shopper who hit my site before they go to the three other dealership sites and start looking around and get distracted. We want to hit them right away. Hey, all of a sudden I get the email with a why, by I get the I get the direct mail postcard with the why. By the entire household is Geo addressed with the digital marketing in the video. So the why? The husband, the adult children, everyone or seeing these ads. I like the blue one, I like the white one, that type of thing. That's one way. You can also do look back marketing. In other words, you can grab a list, a bucket of people who have been on your site that have not purchased. You can then activate them against their household data. Okay, as opposed to that Google and facebook, which is just a bunch of numbers and scripts. You don't know their first name, last night, where they live, what they've done. Google and facebook owns that. But because you own that, you can determine how you want to market that. So you know, we're coming into tax season. Sometimes dealers they work with challenge credit. One of the best times to work with challenge credit folks is during tax time when they have a tax return, because they have the down money. Wouldn't you like to, if you're running that type of program what do you like to pull everyone that looked the last six months and send them a campaign? Hey, you know now's the tax time will double your tat whatever it might be. You can take that First Party audience, you can upload it into Google and facebook and you can create look alike audiences with that, with that type of data, there is so many different things that you can do when you own that data. You know, slice it and dice it, but again, it future proofs you, for example, during the pandemic, and I think we're all tired of COVID. There's a lot of fatigue. But you know, having having that first party data with some of the clients that we were with, when the dealership shut...

...down, our pixels were firing because people were still shopping for cars. HMM, it's but they're shut down. Okay, so now we're capturing the data, capturing the data. Two months later we open everyone's looking around. Okay, well, what now? Let's open the door. Let's see. But the dealers that we work with had a whole bucket, a full of people that came to their site that said yes, you can use my location and we have them safe, secure and then we were able to activate a marketing campaign to those people who shopped on our clients websites when we were shut down and send them the offer with all the great incentives that manufacturers were offering during that time. So that's how you future prove otherwise you're kind of dead in the water. So there are so many different things that you can do when you own your data and then you have the ability to activate that data, not to mention just the story it tells. What is the buyers journey? What Marketing and advertising or working which driving sales? What's not? Let's do more of this less of that. So there's a ton of things that you can get from that data. That is just, you know, you know, should really live in the center of what you're doing. It should and it should interfere with anything else you're doing. It's there to, you know, look at all the traffic that you're driving and say, okay, how can we convert more of this traffic into showroom traffic? MMM MMM, I love this conversation. How can those listening get in touch with you to learn more? Sure, if you'd like to learn more, feel free to reach out to me. My email address is bill dot parliament, par La and man at full fraudle dot AI, or you can simply go to our website, full fraudle dot ai and hit us up and we be happy to talk to you about your plan for First Party data. We're also we're going to be at an ADA, so this is around that time. So we are...

...going to be at an ADA. So we're going to have a nice booth there if you like to come by. Stop by, say hello, do a demo some of the tech. What I want to leave everybody with is, you know, do you have a plan for your first party data, like, what is your plan? Is it important to you? Is it's something that you know, you feel like you need to do? If not, hey, cool, got it. But if you're in that boat, like yeah, I need a plan, or I didn't even know this was a thing, come you know, give me a Holler, shoot me an email, see us an Anapa and we'll be able to help put together a first party data plan for you and your dealership. I'm Michael Sirillo and you've been listening to the dealer playbook podcast. If you haven't yet, please click the subscribe button wherever you're listening right now, leave a rating or review and share it with a colleague. Thanks for listening.

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