A Customer Data Platform, or CDP, is a comprehensive system that collects, unifies, and organizes customer and operational data from various touch points and channels into a centralized platform. It creates a unified customer profile and multiple AI models of your business and your audience, providing a 360-degree view of each customer by incorporating data from sources like referral sites, mobile applications, website interactions, CRM systems, social media, and much more.

No two businesses have the same technology in place, and the data a brand manages is like DNA.

You need a microscope to study DNA, and that’s what a CDP can serve as — your microscope and a telescope to view what may happen next.

In the context of the automotive industry, a CDP can deliver:

Holistic Customer Understanding

The car business involves complex customer journeys with multiple touchpoints. A CDP allows dealerships to gain a holistic understanding of customer preferences, behaviors, and interactions across various channels. This insight is invaluable in tailoring marketing efforts and enhancing the overall customer experience.

Personalized Marketing and Customer Experiences 

Car purchases are often emotionally driven, and personalization is key to capturing customer attention. A CDP enables dealerships to create highly targeted and personalized marketing campaigns based on individual customer profiles. This personalized approach increases the effectiveness of marketing efforts, leading to higher conversion rates.

Streamlined Operations

Automotive dealerships deal with vast amounts of data, from inventory management to customer interactions. A CDP streamlines operations by centralizing and organizing this data. This not only improves internal efficiency but also ensures that every department has access to accurate and up-to-date information.

Predictive Analytics for Media Planning, Improved Operations, and Inventory Management

The automotive industry is subject to market volatility, trends, and seasonality. A CDP, equipped with predictive analytics and bespoke AI models, allows dealerships to anticipate market trends and adjust their media spend and inventory accordingly. This proactive approach minimizes excess inventory, reduces costs, and maximizes opportunities to meet customer demands.

Enhanced Customer Retention

Building lasting relationships with customers is crucial in the car business. A CDP facilitates targeted customer retention campaigns by analyzing data on marketing activity, sales, service history, preferences, and other relevant factors. This leads to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and repeat business.

FUTURE READINESS – the CDP is your telescope for predictive analytics and “next best action” guidance. A CDP should also provide you with plug-and-play capabilities that keep you ready for technological changes over the next 2-3 years. With cleansed and resolved data, you will be ready to employ applied artificial intelligence to model your data, customer and operations behavior, and marketing signals as more automation is in customers’ pockets. This includes new opportunities for you to employ automation at scale in an uncertain future.

In essence, a CDP serves as the technological backbone for automotive dealerships, empowering them to navigate the complexities of the modern market. It not only centralizes and organizes data but transforms it into actionable insights, driving personalized marketing, streamlined operations, and, ultimately, success in the car business.

But, as we’ve discussed before, not all CDPs are created equal. Some of the best CDPs allow for unstructured or “schemaless” data digestion, which can lead to several business benefits. These include:


Faster Marketing Response Time

Unstructured data ingestion accelerates marketing response times by capturing a broader spectrum of customer interactions. This allows the dealership’s marketing team to access real-time insights from diverse sources, enabling swift adaptation to trends, preferences, and customer sentiments. Quick response times translate to more agile and effective marketing campaigns, staying ahead in the competitive automotive landscape.

Reduced IT Costs in Data Preparation

Unstructured data ingestion alleviates the burden on IT resources by automating and simplifying the process of cleaning and preparing data for integration. Traditional data cleaning processes can be resource-intensive and time-consuming. By incorporating unstructured data seamlessly into the CDP, IT costs associated with data preparation are significantly reduced. This efficiency not only saves resources but also ensures that the CDP operates with the most current and relevant data.

Resolving Customer Lists for Marketing Efficiency

Unstructured data ingestion is crucial in resolving customer lists, especially when multiple stores within the same dealer group operate. This process ensures that different dealerships don’t inadvertently compete against each other for the same customers, which can cost thousands to convert to a test drive. By consolidating and resolving customer information, marketing efforts become much more streamlined and accurate. This actionable approach prevents wasteful spending on marketing dollars while optimizing customer targeting for each dealership within the group.

Enhanced Customer Understanding and Segmentation

Unstructured data contributes to a more nuanced customer understanding, enabling sophisticated segmentation strategies. This segmentation goes beyond basic demographics, incorporating insights from unstructured data sources like social media and customer feedback. With a well-segmented customer base, marketing efforts can be finely tuned to cater to specific customer preferences, resulting in higher engagement and conversion rates.

Facilitating Creative Marketing Strategies

Unstructured data, when ingested efficiently, empowers the marketing team to discover creative inspiration for campaigns. This includes customer-generated content, sentiment expressed in reviews, and unique preferences highlighted in unstructured data. The ability to swiftly incorporate this creative fodder into marketing initiatives not only enhances the quality of campaigns but also fosters a more authentic connection with customers.

In summary, the strategic use of unstructured data not only optimizes marketing efficiency but also positions the dealership as a more agile and customer-centric player in the competitive automotive market – but you already know all that. This is a well-trodden path for most CDP vendors, regardless of whether or not their particular product can deliver, and you’re not here for most vendors. You’re here for brain+trust.

brain+trust isn’t just another tech vendor — we’re a true strategic partner in the digital evolution of your business, and we’re here to help you develop new, innovative, “outside-the-box” use cases like personalized video campaigns that meet your customers on the platforms they engage with most, interactive AR dealerships that place digital information over their showrooms, guiding customers to where they need to go on the floor, in service, or to that perfect vehicle out on the lot. Viral loyalty programs, geo-targeted “surprise and delight” offers, and gamified referral programs are all on the menu, as well … but let’s go further.


Digital Feng Shui

We said we were going “outside the box,” but there’s a lot to be said for what’s inside the box. Specifically, how you arrange what’s inside the “box” that is your showroom.

A CDP, coupled with a generative AI, could recognize the potential for enhancing the customer experience and operational efficiency like a digital, data-driven Feng Shui. Think of it as a data-driven approach to showroom layout optimization – by continuously analyzing customer data, foot traffic patterns, and market trends, a tech-savvy dealership that’s truly utilizing its available tech stack can dynamically adjust their showroom’s arrangement to create a harmonious and engaging environment that customers will love.

An approach like this can help ensure that the physical space of your dealership aligns with individual preferences of your most valuable customers, promoting a seamless, personalized experience built on an innovative fusion of proven and traditional interior design practices with cutting-edge, data-driven insights.



Customer Preferences Analysis

The CDP analyzes customer data to understand individual preferences and behaviors. It takes into account factors such as the types of vehicles customers are interested in, popular features, and even preferred colors.

Real-Time Foot Traffic Monitoring

Integrated sensors or smart cameras within the showroom track real-time foot traffic. The CDP processes this data to identify high-traffic areas and customer dwell times.

Seasonal and Trend Analysis

The CDP analyzes historical data to identify seasonal trends and changing customer preferences. For example, it might recognize increased interest in SUVs during winter or convertibles during summer.

Dynamic Layout Recommendations

The generative AI, powered by the CDP, continuously processes incoming data and generates recommendations for the optimal arrangement of vehicles and displays. These recommendations consider current customer interests, foot traffic patterns, and seasonal trends.

Automated Display Adjustments

Smart display systems and automated platforms within the showroom receive recommendations from the generative AI and autonomously adjust the placement of vehicles and promotional materials. For instance, during a surge in interest for electric vehicles, the AI may suggest creating a dedicated EV showcase area.


Use cases like these exemplify the incredible potential that a properly implemented CDP, paired with some forward-thinking, creative ideas, can optimize business spaces by mining rich, first-party customer data, and provide a unique and adaptive experience that aligns with your brand’s core values

We have a proven track record in reshaping financial institutions, and we bring that expertise to tailor solutions for your dealership’s success. Imagine a seamless blend of technology and personalization—implementing a Customer Data Platform (CDP) that doesn’t just integrate data but orchestrates a dynamic customer experience.

Simply put, we get the nuances of car dealerships. We can consult on matters of data management, cyber insurance, efficiency at scale, and using technology to develop a customer-centric approach that fosters trust and loyalty. Whether you operate a single rooftop or a national network of dealerships, brain+trust can help build your business thrive in the digital era with true “AI readiness.”


Written by Jo Borrás, with Open AI’s ChatGPT 4.