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Team Velocity & Microsoft Advertising: Helping auto dealerships drive growth

  Article , Tech and Telecom , Success stories

Auto dealerships thrive with all-in-one marketing platform

About Team Velocity

team velocity logo

The car business is still a people business, and the first dealers to connect consumer desires with the local car buying experience are winning. Team Velocity is an innovative digital marketing company that offers a suite of connected technology solutions that help auto dealerships connect with buyers to sell and service more vehicles more efficiently.

What started by serving local businesses in the mid-Atlantic region in 2005 has become a company with over 300 developers, performance managers, digital marketing specialists, and support staff dedicated to serving their partners every day. With headquarters and a production center outside of Washington D.C., and a marketing center in Miami, their vision is to help auto dealers thrive by providing digital marketing solutions that make automotive retail faster, easier, and smarter to future-proof the dealership experience. Since day one, they've built the company to help dealer partners win (and keep winning) by focusing on product development and support. Their team takes the most pride in setting a new standard for dealer satisfaction.

Working with the Microsoft account team has been great. They understand our technology, and whenever there's a new member on the team, they're always quick to get on a demo and understand our platform and how it works. Most importantly, the value of the direct connections to the engineers who create the products and solutions that we're looking to leverage.

— Joe High, Senior Vice President, Team Velocity

Apollo: An all-in-one platform for dealerships

Snapshot of a search results page ad example for the new 2022 Toyota Camry.

Automotive inventory ad from one of Team Velocity’s dealership clients

From core technology to automated marketing services, Team Velocity set out to become an all-in-one automotive partner—producing everything in-house—to ensure quality, connectivity, and efficiency for a better consumer experience. While it may sound like a simple approach, the technology needed to accomplish that goal requires building all the components of the systems that serve different purposes. This includes the plugins available in the market, solutions that require chat, text, email, mail, search, and more. In order to deliver a consistent message across multiple channels, including websites, search, display, video, social media, mail, and email, Team Velocity built an all-in-one platform from the ground up, which is now known as Apollo.

Rather than trying to define a dealership’s specific marketing strategy, Team Velocity’s approach is to develop technology that helps execute a variety of strategies fulfilling each dealer’s unique marketing needs. Since each brand has unique messaging, the platform leverages automation to tailor a campaign in which ads are established by available inventory and, in some cases, based on the manufacturers' guidelines or compliance requirements. ROI is calculated by zip code and by looking at target areas where the dealer performed best. Then, it uses an upgrade matrix to see consumer trade patterns that help direct advertising efforts effectively. With this, Apollo allows each dealership to build a campaign that works with their metrics, and it's then executed based on the dealer's location, sales, and service history—using automation to present products that customers are statistically most likely to buy.

Team Velocity’s partnership with Microsoft

The goal of the Team Velocity-Microsoft partnership is to leverage the power of Microsoft Advertising to help dealerships reach customers with personalized experiences. The impact of the partnership is grounded on the principle of a proactive strategy that allows dealers to reach and engage new audiences—via the Microsoft Audience Network, Automotive Inventory Ads, and Search.

Microsoft customers are a valuable audience with strong buying power and a propensity to spend. With the help of Microsoft, Team Velocity can put dealerships in front of target customers and drive them to their marketing and sales department with a focus on consistency, relevance, and personalization. This ensures that the first ad the customer sees, along with pricing information and product details, is consistent with what’s offered on the website and what’s offered in person.

Message relevance can also be seen in ad copy. In other words, rather than using filler words—like most of their competitors—dealers can meet the customers where they are by focusing on product description, availability, features, and pricing. This directly satisfies their needs at the time they engage with an ad—something that has been particularly helpful during the pandemic.

With Microsoft Advertising, Team Velocity has access to a wealth of information coming from different mediums. This means that when customers visit a dealer’s website, the dealer can track the data to see real attribution, from the search phrase all the way to the purchase of a vehicle or servicing of a car. With all these data points, they can tailor their marketing strategy by either updating a transaction list to bid or target more effectively, ensuring a better, smoother, and more personalized experience.

Dealerships reap the benefits of the partnership

The automotive industry saw a lot of change due to the pandemic, and it will continue to transform by shifting its focus to prioritize the customer experience and the need to leverage intelligent technology in a landscape that's founded on privacy.

The benefits of the Team Velocity-Microsoft partnership are experienced every day when dealers can connect with customers that were previously out of reach. This allows them to bring the dealership to the consumer rather than the consumer to the dealership.

Apollo also provides the dealers with a roll-up view of all the communications and engagements with customers, so they can create streamlined messages that are trustworthy and prompt further engagement. And while there's no substitute for in-person interactions, the Team Velocity-Microsoft partnership helps dealers deliver experiences in a way that provides true value and feels comfortable and natural to the consumer.

Team Velocity partners with Microsoft so that they can continue to forge forward and provide us the best solution for the pain points that the customers have in their journey and also the pain points we have as dealers communicating to those customers.

— Rachel Paulin, President Brown Automotive Group (representing 16 dealerships in Virginia and Maryland).

Microsoft and Team Velocity keep growing together

Team Velocity has been on a path to provide a better consumer experience for years, and thanks to their innovative solutions, they were awarded Microsoft Advertising Partner of the Year in 2021. Employing Microsoft technology, they've created a solution to the automotive industry that empowers dealerships and communities. And while the business is constantly changing, the strategy has not; their vision remains constant. They’ll continue to innovate and optimize their products by listening to dealers’ and partners’ feedback—taking more and more steps each year with Microsoft as a valuable partner.

See case summary

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