A Better Digital Marketing Playbook, Part 1: The Right Data Matters

Digital Marketing Playbook Part 1

Once upon a time, Google introduced the world to the Zero Moment of Truth, or ZMOT.

ZMOT is more than a fun acronym. It symbolizes each and every digital interaction consumers have with brands and the conversations they have about them.

For dealers, those interactions and conversations influence car buyers’ decisions before they ever walk onto a lot or contact a salesperson. If you lose at the ZMOT, you can miss some serious profit opportunities in the future.

We’ve told you all that before. Here’s a video to remind you.

However, knowing about ZMOT isn’t the same as winning the ZMOT.

Those who know about ZMOT focus on what their dealership does digitally. Those who want to win the ZMOT refine how and why their marketing is going digital.

There are three common problems that could keep you from belonging to the second group. Let’s tackle one of them.

Playbook Problem: Outdated Database

Digital marketing both uses and generates data – lots of it! This data can help send a specific message to a specific person who is looking for a specific thing.

However, those data-driven messages don’t really work if you use inaccurate data.

A Naked Lime study found that 33 percent of people in customer databases own a different car than listed in the dealership’s records. That means one out of every three customers no longer owns the car you think they do.

Watch out for common customer data problems:

  • Undeliverable mailing addresses
  • Outdated vehicle information
  • Missing or invalid email addresses
  • Multiple records for one customer

Messages based on bad data are going to miss the mark. They’re a waste of personnel time and effort – and they can turn off potential customers from trusting your dealership with their business.

Solution: Dismiss Outdated Data

You want to use customer data to its full potential for your digital marketing. How can you do that? Clean up your database!

Your database should accurately reflect what vehicles your customers drive, when those vehicles were last serviced, what time and mileage services the vehicles need, a customer’s equity position, and more.

Some practical ways to clean up an old database:

  • Ask customers to review their “profile” so you can add to or correct their information.
  • If duplicate customer records exist, organize customer information under a single entry.
  • Check the U.S.P.S.’s National Change of Address registry to verify where customers live.

You may not know or recognize all of your database’s problems. However, plenty of service providers can help “scrub” your existing database to remove inaccuracies. Some can even match your customer data against a third-party database to obtain missing information.

Just make sure you consider a service provider’s cost, reputation, and services offered when choosing the right partner for you.


Digital marketing is more than a to-do list. It’s a strategic, purposeful use of clean, accurate data to target the right customer with the right message at the right time.

The only way to do that is to keep an up-to-date database that works for your dealership. Your customers will appreciate receiving relevant messages – and your dealership will see an increase in revenue.


The content in this post has appeared in an alternate form in the Naked Lime Marketing whitepaper, “Stop Using the Same Playbook as Your Competition: 3 New Marketing Plays to Help You Win.”