Customer over Product

The classic sales model in the automotive sector places the product at the center. The modern approach places the customer at the center of its activities. How can this succeed?

customer realtionship


While access to customer data is an important prerequisite for omnichannel commerce, it is not only car dealerships that need to be convinced to share it; technical adaptations on the part of manufacturers, sales organizations and car dealerships are also required. Over the years, a heterogeneous IT infrastructure has been established that is not based on a consistent data foundation. However, in order to be able to address customers individually with tailored offers, a single data basis (SSOT) and thus a homogeneous IT infrastructure is necessary. 


Customer-oriented instead of product-oriented approach  

However, implementing such a homogeneous infrastructure is not straightforward, as sales companies and car dealerships are hesitant because they have become accustomed to the established systems in the sales process and see little incentive to break up these structures and standardize them in the interests of the manufacturers. In addition to the heterogeneous IT infrastructure and inconsistent database, the automotive industry has taken a product-oriented approach over the years. In this approach, the vehicle identification number (VIN) served as the central element at the system level. As a result, manufacturers know very little about their customers, as this information is exclusively available to the respective car dealer. In a customer-centric environment, however, the VIN no longer meets the requirements. 


Customer data is the asset 

Instead, information must be built around the customer. In this context, reference can be made to the Apple ID, which serves as a unified login across all devices and services. Vehicle manufacturers are now looking for a similar solution. However, they face the problem that car dealerships have direct customer access in the current sales and distribution system and therefore have the customer data. Since car dealers regard customer data as their gold treasure, they are unwilling to share it with other companies

Bastian Büschke

Bastian ist Manager bei Digacon. Der gebürtige Ostwestfale und Fußballfan von Arminia Bielefeld steht in seiner Freizeit auch mal selbst auf dem Platz. Wandert gerne, mag gute Bücher.

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