Dream Motor Group needed extra in-house capacity to expand marketing to customers of its Mercedes-Benz dealerships across the South.
For less than the cost of an employee, the dealership group stepped up its email outreach for sales and service. Only Dream didn't hire anyone to do it. The newsletters and email messages are written, sent and tracked by a computer.
"We are seeing so much growth that's measurable," said Amy Rothenberger, the group's marketing and business development director. "You can see how that touch point absolutely has a direct correlation for somebody coming in and purchasing."
Machines are helping dealerships with everything from turning inventory to handling customer inquiries. Proponents of the technology say artificial intelligence also can help dealerships maximize their marketing budgets by being more cost-effective than traditional media, such as TV or print, or paid search. And because computers can do the work more efficiently than humans. It has applications for sales and service departments, and for managing inventory.