I was recently able to take a look at the data two of the largest marketing data providers in the U.S. have on me—and boy do they have an incorrect picture of me. According to them, I’m Hispanic (wrong!), I have one child (wrong!), I currently own a 2013 Honda Accord (wrong!) and a 2006 Honda Odyssey (wrong!) and I just moved into my house last November (wrong!)
OK, so now that we know my demographics are a disaster, let’s take a look at my psychographics. As you can see in the image, I fall into segments that show an inclination for fishing (wrong!), hunting (wrong!), running (OK, a little), boxing (wrong!) and college sports (wrong!). Epic fail for psychographics, too.
Relying solely on demographic and psychographic data to try to target your marketing is expensive, inefficient, and very costly in terms of waste and questionable effectiveness. It’s also a leftover from a previous era where this type of data was the best that was available. Not anymore. Now, companies like Jornaya are enabling brands to engage with people exactly when they are shopping: to understand their behavior, their desires, and to be able to make the right offer at the right time, in real time.
I’ll give you a personal example. I’ve been shopping for a Ford Mustang GT for the past year. I’ve been on Fords’ OEM and dealer websites, I’ve been on comparison sites, I’ve watched videos, and I’ve sat in several at car shows and quietly made “vroom vroom” noises as I’ve pictured myself driving them. Yet Ford has no idea I exist. If Jim Hackett knew how much research I’ve been doing on a Mustang he’d call me personally and invite me in for a test drive.
And what about Toyota, the owner of the brand I currently drive? What if they knew I was actively shopping for a sporty car? I bet they’d love to have me drive a new Supra. Understanding my behavior in real time would give Ford the opportunity to gain me as a customer, and would give Toyota the ability to retain me in their fold. Instead, both have little to no idea that I am actively shopping.
The technology exists today to understand behavior in a completely privacy friendly way. Demographics and psychographics may be wrong, but behavior never lies. Are you going to sell me a car today by knowing my (incorrect) demo/psycho data and taking a guess? Or, would you rather know that I’m shopping for a car right now? The risk you face is the brands in the Auto industry who are now embracing authoritative behavioral data while you continue to use the dull instrument of demo/psycho data. It’s 2019. Companies should know more about me! I don’t hunt or fish, I’m not into boxing and I’m not Hispanic, but I was on a local dealer website looking at Mustangs 20 minutes ago. With the right data partners, you would’ve known that.
Brian Epro is Vice President of Automotive at Jornaya.