MAX Digital enables dealer to sell more effectively to today’s buyers
Mark Rose brought a wealth of digital and Internet sales experience with him when he joined Rainbow Luxury Imports as general manager in 2015. When he began working on the automotive dealership’s digital presence, Rose had one key question, he says: “Why weren’t things meshed together more seamlessly to run at better speed?”
Formerly publisher of one of New Orleans’ leading local news and entertainment websites, Rose knew how the habits of today’s car buyers were changing, and knew how to harness digital data to target and reach those customers. But as he moved into the auto industry, he says, “The missing piece for me was: We have all this information to make a decision based on data — why aren’t we using it in the car business? Why shouldn’t data help the dealer price the vehicle, customize the vehicle and help us figure out how many we should have on the lot? “All of those decisions, from my experience, were being made off the cuff, not using data.” The access to data that the dealership now has via MAX Digital products, Rose says, allows Rainbow to have a vision of a perpetual buying cycle — one that satisfies customer demand and keeps optimum vehicle values. For Rainbow, based in Covington, La., some 95 percent of sales are preowned luxury brands, including BMW, Infiniti, Lexus and Audi. The Rainbow team visits local auctions, buying 30-50 vehicles at a time that are then brought back to the dealership and reconditioned. A whopping 81 percent of leads come via the dealership’s website.
As Rose took stock of Rainbow’s needs, he says, “I wanted to find a system that could help tell us: Are we buying at the right price? Are we keeping a car too long on the lot? Customers are coming in significantly educated about the car they have in mind. How do I better arm us to stock the right units, build the value of those units and price them correctly? “Understand that in our market, I may have the only one of these high-end models in 500 miles. How can we build the value of that car in the right way?” He also wanted to pull all of Rainbow’s information together so that it could be accessed in one place. “I went on a quest to find someone to help wrap accounting and CRM (customer relationship management) with the ability to price cars in the market, evaluate a trade and ultimately give customers the best price while also giving us the best chance to do something with that vehicle,” he says. Rose purchased and implemented the MAX Digital suite of software tools to help Rainbow acquire, price, merchandise and sell its vehicles. Rainbow uses the company’s FirstLook Inventory Management Platform and the MAX Digital Marketing and Sales Platform, which pulls information from across the Internet to validate prices, generate ads and send vehicle information to every interaction point — from the dealer’s own digital showroom to third-party sales and review sites.
We want to sell cars every day, but we weren’t on a perpetual buying cycle,” he says. “We’d see spikes of activity but might not have everything we needed for customers until we went back to the auction three weeks later.” With data in hand, he says, “Now we are able to go to auction and fill in our inventory on an almost daily basis.”A dealer can get all these pieces and parts of digital sales and marketing from different vendors, Rose says, “but what MAX Digital did for me was to put all the marbles on the top of the table so that I can deal with one champion partner to help me have a holistic look at my business.” Rainbow is still in the early stages of its digital transformation, but one thing is clear, says Rose: “Data sells automobiles.”