Times change, change is fast, remarketers are in a new ecosystem, we all have to adapt. All true, but all clichés. I find this paradox more instructive for where we now are as an industry: in the new remarketing ecosystem, you’ll only be ready if you realise you’ll never be finished. So, what does that mean for your business?
In remarketing, as in any part of the automotive industry, which is undergoing the most transformative change in its hundred-or-so-years’ existence, there’s a lot of talk about objectives, missions and visions.
Find your position
I don’t really get too focused on defining and overanalysing the differences between those various targets… as long as your company has a clear and over-arching goal. And that can only be: To find and claim your position in this new remarketing ecosystem.
Now, the most important thing to realise about that position is that it is not fixed. The market changes quickly – and often unpredictably. The goalposts keep moving. Your corporate purpose, if properly understood, will have to change with the tide.
That may require some uncomfortable mental gymnastics. Don’t think of your company as a specialist in only one field, but potentially as a player in others as well. Did we say uncomfortable? The thing is to have a positive mindset about our industry in flux. The word we should use is agile.
Agility is good, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t constants in this ever-changing world. A lot of the change, most of your competitors, and surely also your next business opportunities, will be driven by data.
Big Data and AI
If you’re out on the rough seas of remarketing and you’re looking for a lighthouse to guide you, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence are it – and so are the technology companies that can provide you with the tools to exploit them.
Having the right tech provide you with the right insights can make a world of difference. It will help you find the right product, help you set the right price, and will guide you to the right customers. But here’s the risk of our increasingly data-driven industry: we’re in danger of forgetting that remarketing is, in essence and at the end, apeople business.
There’s much about dealing with those who sell and buy used vehicles that AI can’t pick up. You need the human touch. You need the right people. To get the most out of your contacts with suppliers and customers – and to get the most out of your data-driven technology. Now more than ever, remarketing and many similar industries are in a war for talents.
Your employees want smart tools and attractive conditions to do their job. But what makes you really stand out from your competitors is your vision; you Big Idea to change the industry, grow your business, and help the planet.
Enthusiasm and creativity
Big Ideas attract people: employees as well as customers. That attraction generates sparks of enthusiasm and creativity that no computer can. So be careful about replacing people with apps, human ingenuity with Artificial Intelligence.
But again, we don’t live in an either/or world anymore. People make the difference, but technology will help them. So they need to be adequately trained and coached in all the online and digital tools at their disposal. And all that without forgetting the end customer.
The implication of all of this is that you must learn to multitask, and work on multiple fronts. It’s a simple truth, but apparently, for many players still a hard one to swallow.
Because some companies – including some of the larger ones in the field – are continuing doing business as if it’s still 2019. They assume the traditional way of doing things is the right one, and that their bigger scale will continue to do the trick. Certainly, with bigger size come some efficiencies, but size can also create complex, costly and slow corporate structures – the opposite of agility.
The way forward
My money is on those companies who know which way the wind is blowing and are reforming their business models to change proactively with the times. These smaller, more agile companies have other disadvantages to worry about – without alliances, they risk being steamrollered by the bigger players.
So I come back to that statement at the beginning, which describes the way forward for remarketing. Or, to put that paradox in words once used to describe the job of a housewife: a remarketer’s work is never done.
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This article was first published on the August 2022 Edition of FleetDrive.