Driving Success: Dealer Insights and Strategies from Kevin Cravo

Driving Success at Royal Automotive: Dealer Insights and Strategies from Sales Director, Kevin Cravo

Driving Success at Royal Automotive: Dealer Insights and Strategies from Sales Director, Kevin Cravo

In a recent DAS Technology livestream, we spoke with longtime dealer client Kevin Cravo, the variable director for Royal Automotive in Tucson, AZ. Cravo shared his journey in the automotive industry, his team’s challenges, and their innovative strategies to stay ahead in a competitive market.  

Here are some highlights from our conversation with Cravo: 

Early Days and Career Progression 

Cravo’s journey in the automotive industry began 16 years ago at a Kia dealership, where he started as a salesperson. Through dedication and hard work, he climbed the ranks to become the variable director, overseeing sales operations for the entire Royal Automotive Group. His story is a testament to the opportunities available in the automotive industry for those willing to put in the effort. 

Market Leadership and Brand Communication 

Royal Automotive is a market leader, offering a diverse range of brands from Lexus and Jaguar Land Rover to Buick, GMC, and Kia. Cravo discussed the importance of tailoring messages to different customer segments. For instance, the messaging for high-end brands like Range Rover or Lexus differs from more affordable brands like Buick or Kia. By leveraging strategic partnerships and advanced analytics, Royal ensures its communications are targeted and effective, reaching the right audience with the right message. 

“We have to diversify and be creative because our message to our Range Rover or Lexus folks is going to be slightly different than to our Buick or Kia customers,” Cravo said. “We really like to be targeted so that when somebody hears our message, they feel like we’re speaking to them.” 

Overcoming Challenges with Recent System Outages  

Recently, Royal Automotive faced a significant challenge when CDK, a primary technology provider, experienced a system outage affecting its DMS (Dealer Management System) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platforms. Despite this disruption, Cravo’s team managed to maintain operations, selling nearly as many cars as the previous June. They achieved this through traditional methods and innovative solutions, such as partnering with a local credit union for on-site loans and using alternate systems for e-contracting. 

“We had the event right, the blackout, the apocalypse, whatever you want to call it,” Cravo said. “Our systems brought 15,000 dealers to their knees overnight. So, what are we going to do? How are we going to respond? We found a way. We got a local credit union to do loans and contracts on-site. We just stayed in business as usual.” 

Role of Digital Air Strike (DAS) Technology 

Throughout the CDK and Elead outage, DAS Technology played a crucial role in helping Royal Automotive maintain customer communications. By utilizing DAS’ lead response technology and Response Logix, Royal was able to send over 1,000 targeted quotes to their customers, ensuring continued engagement and sales. Cravo praised the proactive and nimble response from the DAS team, highlighting the importance of having reliable partners during challenging times. 

“Our team could have freaked out, but they rolled up their sleeves and asked, ‘What are the solutions? How do we help our clients?’ said Jason Barrie, DAS Technology’s COO. “We worked with Kevin (Cravo)’s team to ensure that communication kept going out to customers, keeping that pipeline moving.” 

The Importance of Targeted Marketing 

Cravo emphasized the shift from broad, blanket marketing approaches to more targeted, data-driven strategies. By analyzing demographics and market data, Royal Automotive can tailor its marketing efforts to specific audiences, ensuring higher ROI and more effective communication. This approach saves money and ensures that customers receive messages that resonate with them, making them feel valued and understood. 

“We used to do a lot more TV and radio and just kind of blanket that message, but now we have a better spend, better ROI, and we can track and measure it,” Cravo said. “The marketing’s really gotten to the point where we look at what we have and our offers by model and send that message out there.” 

Personal Insights and Future Aspirations 

Outside of work, Cravo enjoys traveling and spending time with his family. He appreciates DAS Technology’s support and partnership, noting that the relationships built over the years have been instrumental in Royal Automotive’s growth. His commitment to continuous improvement and innovation is reflected in his team’s resilience and success despite significant challenges. 

Cravo’s insights offer a valuable perspective on navigating the complexities of the auto industry. His leadership at Royal Automotive Group demonstrates the power of targeted marketing, strong partnerships, and innovative solutions to achieve sustained success. As the industry evolves, Cravo’s approach serves as a model for other dealerships aiming to thrive in a competitive landscape. 

Dealers can reach a DAS team member 24/7 to receive a tailored plan for their dealership, including a free audit to show help that can be provided immediately. Dealers and OEMs can call 888-713-8958, email sales@digitalairstrike.com, or visit dastechnology.com. 

Get Your 10-Minute Demo