November 21, 2011
Are You Thinking Big This Holiday Season?
It comes as no surprise anymore to hear that digital is key. Smartphones, tablets, social media, email—these are all cornerstones of sales and marketing for successful industries, including automotive.
The numbers say it all, as provided by iMedia Connection. 4 out of 5 new vehicle shoppers use the internet in their purchasing process. 2.4 million shoppers use Facebook as part of making their decision. 58% of consumers will mention the purchase of a new vehicle via social media, 82% of those mentions are positive, and social media is where potential new customers seek out dealer and vehicle reviews.
“Participating in the recent JD Power Automotive Internet Roundtable in Las Vegas, the biggest trends to emerge involved the potential of mobile and tablet, along with the importance of having a strong social media plan. There’s overwhelming data that speaks not only to the growth, but to the effectiveness of these emerging platforms for automotive marketers.”
Volkswagen Netherlands has taken an innovative approach to the digital trend, and created a social media campaign to get consumers to choose either the classic Beetle or T1 model to be the new VW Fanwagen, which one lucky winner will get to take home. Of course to even participate, consumers must first LIKE the Volkswagen Netherlands Facebook Fanpage.
The T1 campervan has the numbers so far, but there is still a month left to decide who takes the winning model home. This is a rare example of Facebook LIKES actually building a vehicle. More at PSFK.
The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic is also showing off some impressive social media campaigns, along with a national campaign through Klout, the social site for measuring influence online. The campaign allows qualifying Klout users in Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Atlanta, and Dallas to sign up via the Klout Perks Program to drive a Sonic for a three-day test drive. The promotion runs through Dec. 14.
Carolin Probst-lyer, manager of digital consumer engagement at Chevrolet, had this to say:
“We are aiming the Sonic squarely at consumers who are part of the Millennial generation. Partnering with Klout allows us to reach this audience, encourage them to get behind the wheel of a Sonic and use social media to share their driving experiences.”
Digital is key, and innovation brings success, especially as we near the holidays and end of the year car sales. Don’t miss out on your opportunities to do digital right!
Photo by: Dave Pinter
October 31, 2011
J.D. Power and Associates held a conference October 12 and 13 in Las Vegas on “Aligning Next Generation Marketing with Today’s Digital Consumer.” Chiqui Cartagena, Vice President of Corporate Marketing for Univision, moderated an important first for this annual event—a panel on growing your business with the Hispanic consumer.
Cartagena made some interesting observations at the panel, having been concerned initially that automotive companies weren’t taking their Hispanic marketing plans seriously enough. She was pleasantly surprised to find that Nissan, among other attending brands, are very focused on how to best reach their Hispanic consumers.
In her article on Ad Age, Cartagena reported that according to data from Polk, Hispanics will spend $18 billion on new vehicles this year. Several other studies have detailed the differences in how Hispanic vs. non-Hispanic consumers view the process of buying a vehicle. A Univision study conducted in 2007 showed that the majority of Hispanics consider purchasing a vehicle a “family” event, something to be proud of and to celebrate. Non-Hispanics are more annoyed with the process and see it as a business transaction that more often than not is also a huge hassle. Obviously, marketing to these two varied groups must be approached differently.
One of the exciting ways Nissan is marketing to the Hispanic community is through a campaign for their Versa model. They shot original Spanish-language TV creative, rather than simply translating the English version, as is more often done. They are also utilizing social media and mobile communication for reaching Hispanic consumers with their message.
As much as mobile is key for marketing and brand communication in general, the same is especially true for Hispanic consumers.
“43% of Hispanics (against 25% of non-Hispanics) used a mobile device to access the Internet among those planning to purchase a vehicle within 6 months.”
According to Nielsen, telecommunications and automotive are among the largest mobile advertising categories. Portada, the leading source on Latin marketing and media, supports the need for Hispanic mobile advertising, but has said that technical issues are no longer what is holding back larger budgeting for the Hispanic market. The problem is creative. Unique mobile-optimized content is needed for all consumer markets to be truly effective.
Recent release of results from a study done in 2010 by the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies, revealed that automotive, while not best in class for marketing to Hispanics, is among the leaders recognizing that advertising dollars need to be allotted to that important consumer group. More may be needed to join the few pioneers being truly successful with their marketing to the Hispanic community.
Are you doing enough to reach that important market?
Photo by: Melanie Edwards
Purchase Behavior is Key
J.D. Power and Associates published a white paper in April about “The Death of Demographics: Why Targeting by Purchase Behavior is Most Effective in Automotive Marketing.” This comes as no surprise to those within the digital marketing field, because the onset of so much new technology has shifted the way marketing power is focused.
Looking at demographics such as gender, age, and income are no longer enough for informing on the best marketing and advertizing practices. We need data on the consumer lifecycle. We need to be able to look at and measure the consumer’s buying behavior to predict how and when they are going to buy in the future.
“Demographics, more so than many other tools, has proven to be a much less effective tool in the automotive space, particularly with regard to new-vehicle buyers. The most popular models overall are typically the most popular regardless of the particular demographic.”
May 16, 2011
Is Your Dealership Certified Female Friendly?
Stephanie Young, Vice President of Business Development for The Manus Group, a premier provider of strategic sales force training, corporate leadership development and automotive and corporate recruiting services, posted an interesting entry on the Automotive Social Network recently, entitled “Helping Goldilocks Find the Right Car.”
In the post, Young offers a personal story of when she was in the market for a sports car. The first dealership she tried was inattentive, unwilling to listen, jumped to conclusions based on her gender, and even after she point-blank said she was only there to buy a sports car and would buy that day if she could only get a test drive, the salesperson still tried to steer her toward another vehicle because it would be “too much car for a young lady”.
This was years ago, but Young still enjoys the silver sports car she purchased that day from a competing dealership.
As a member of the automotive community, this was more than a personal experience for Young, but also a social experiment that has informed her own business practices. The salesperson who failed to help her let a stereotype ruin a good sale, something that can be seen more prevalently when dealing with female consumers, even though statistically women make 54% of all car purchases and influence up to 80% according to http://www.women-drivers.com/.
Those statistics may explain why there are several websites targeted to women drivers and women who might be in the market for a new car.
AskPatty.com, for example, is a site providing automotive advice for women. It offers a place for women to ask questions, rate places they have shopped for cars and service, and read up on some basic tips.
The most interesting aspect of the website, however, is the portion directed at auto dealers, tire dealers, collision centers, and auto service and repair centers. AskPatty.com offers a Certified Female Friendly® program for training and certification on how to attract, sell, retain and increase loyalty with female customers.
Learning an entirely separate sales strategy might seem like unnecessary effort, but the reality is that male and female customers are different, and a unique strategy for each could mean the difference between a sale and helping your competitor down the street get rid of a sports car.
Women are often intimidated about even starting to car shop or bring a vehicle in for repair because they expect to be treated as if they do not know anything about the industry. On AskPatty.com they can search for dealers that are certified as Female Friendly and feel more at ease before they even go in.
While the AskPatty.com program may not be for everyone, it may be time to consider how your dealership is marketing to female customers.