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3 min read

What is DMS or CRM Retargeting?

2/12/20 3:53 PM

What is a CRM or DMS?
A CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, is software that collects and manages data associated with your customers. For auto dealers, this refers to a DMS or Dealership Management System. Your DMS is more than just digital storage for your customers’ contact information. It contains a wealth of data that can be used to create hyper-relevant, personalized, and targeted content.

What is CRM Retargeting?
CRM retargeting, also known as ‘offline or database retargeting’, serves display ads to your customers using data in first-party platforms–in this case, your DMS data. Database retargeting presents a valuable opportunity to increase customer lifetime value by using the detailed data you already have in your DMS.

How does it work?
Database retargeting finds the specified customers via your DMS and starts tracking their online activity. It also relies on the data and previous customer interactions already stored in your DMS. As these customers surf the web, each one will see ad content that has been tailored to his or her interests and purchase behavior.

Strategic Segmentation for Automotive Database Retargeting
Database retargeting is extremely effective, however the relevancy of ads served to your customers can be amplified by targeting specific audience segments. Using your entire customer base as a target segment is not a bad place to start, but organizing customers into specific target segments is much more effective.

For example, try segmenting your customers by:

  • Service behavior: frequents/loyalists, prospects, defectors, lost customers
  • Services or parts purchased
  • Links clicked (on your website, in emails)
  • Opened emails
  • Frequent buyers
  • Low-engagement leads
  • Lifecycle stage
  • Lead source
  • Preferred communication method(s)


Database Retargeting Benefits
There are many benefits to DMS retargeting. Your DMS houses sales and email data, enabling dealers to target audience segments based on known characteristics like past purchase history or customer preferences.

Below are several ways Database Retargeting can help your dealership:

  • Speak directly to your customer base by serving display ads to your current customers wherever they are online
  • Tailor messaging based on their specific history and interactions with your dealership
  • Personalization on a massive scale
  • Grow loyalty and lifetime value. This process unifies cross-channel messaging by preventing irrelevant messaging. Example: Using database retargeting, a customer that just bought tires from you will NOT receive a display ad for tires because that customer’s recent purchase is stored in your DMS
  • When using website retargeting, dealers miss important user data that only a DMS can provide – service visits/frequency, recent parts purchases, specific vehicle needs like declined services, etc. This is where DMS retargeting helps create hyper-relevant ads
  • Retarget on Facebook based on the behavior of your leads and customers
  • Create better lookalike audiences on Facebook
    • Facebook can create lookalike audiences from a customer file of your existing DMS, or a specific segment. These lookalike audiences automatically update every 3-7 days. If the source audience changes, your lookalike audience changes too. This means every time you add new prospects to a list segmentation, the Custom Audience will reflect this new profile to reach similar users that may be interested in your dealership. This process works by connecting your Facebook Ad Account to software that builds custom audiences via your DMS data (like GSM’s Digital Marketing software!)


Richman, Jonah; HuffPost 2017: CRM Retargeting: How it Works and Everything You Need to Know Before Using It


Written by GSM

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