IS VENDOR INTEGRATION THE NEW INNOVATION?

A Tale That Proves 2 Technology Leaders are Better Than 1

By David Metter

Too many companies these days suffer as a result of being close-minded. They think innovation means constantly developing new solutions to better service dealers and OEMs. I’d like to challenge that mindset. What happened to sticking with what you’re best at? I’m not saying don’t dream big, but I am recommending you dream a little smarter. Too often vendors attempt to do things they’re never going to be good at. For example, I know AutoHook will never be great at social advertising. We could do it, and we could do a decent job, but what’s the point of doing anything if you don’t do it right?

Great solutions are a result of knowing what you’re best at and holding on tight to that. In my opinion, strategic partnerships might just be the new and improved form of innovation within the automotive space – and here’s why. AutoHook’s core competency is securing our private offer and incentive rail system within dealerships and directly proving the source that led to a sale or a new to brand buyer. We’re great at attribution reporting because of the data we have access to through Urban Science. We’re never going to be great at Facebook ads, but we know SOCIALDEALER is.

To provide some color, AutoHook opened up our API in January of 2017 so that reputable partners could access our redemption platform and proven attribution engine at no cost to them or their dealer clients. SOCIALDEALER is the latest company to join in our open API initiative to advance actionable data and simply deliver a higher ROI through these types of technology integrations.

SOCIALDEALER’s core competency is in converting customers through social media advertising. Now that they have tied into the redemption rail system AutoHook has already put into place, they can prove exactly which social campaigns resulted in an incremental sale or service appointment. Having the ability to tie in what we’re best at with what another vendor is best at and execute on that to sell and service more cars (and prove it)…now that, that is innovation.

By integrating with our private offer and attribution API, SOCIALDEALER can do more than just show conversions from their solutions to more showroom traffic. They can validate to their dealer clients if a vehicle was purchased as a direct result of their own existing ad platform. This open and unified approach presents countless opportunities for innovation that benefits all parties involved. Most importantly, it benefits the dealers and OEMs that no longer have to pay the integration fees vendors typically charge to work with other vendors.

Here’s a breakdown of how this whole open API thing works. SOCIALDEALER can now use AutoHook’s redemption rail system to serve inventory-specific test drive offers to highly targeted audiences on Facebook. For example, if a customer views a vehicle details page on a dealer’s website and later goes on Facebook to post a picture of their cat, SOCIALDEALER will then retarget that shopper and strategically plug in an AutoHook incentive to visit XYZ dealer to test-drive the vehicle they previously viewed or showed interest in. Through a vast network of data partners (yes more vendor integration) SOCIALDEALER will plug a test drive incentive offer directly into their Facebook ads AND with prepopulated form fields. All the customer has to do to redeem their incentive is hit submit and show up at the dealership. No one else in the space can do that.

We know conversion rates decrease when a customer is asked to fill out an online form with several fields of their personal information. Adding incentives to forms absolutely lifts conversion, but having the form already filled out with the customer's name and contact information, that’s just a no-brainer. That’s why this partnership defines innovation (along with all the other vendors in our API Partner Program).

Think about Salesforce and what happened after they decided to open up their interface and allow third party providers to integrate, for free. Their revenue grew exponentially and their adoption rates blew up. Now you can have video conference calls, send emails, post to social sites, and sign contracts all within Salesforce. Their AppExchange literally has 1,000 different apps available to their customers. That’s beyond valuable, and that’s exactly what being a little more open-minded can do for automotive. I mean heck, look what it did for Apple!

 

To learn more about AutoHook’s API Partner Program visit DriveAutoHook.com/Partners.