Automotive buying is finally heading online and now is the time for brands to seize the competitive advantage lying in their data.
From Dealers To Direct
Test drives have long been the lynchpin of the automotive sales process. Your customers need to feel the feel the leather of the seats, the way the car handles, the leg room…or do they?
OEMs are all looking at the Tesla model and selling direct to consumers, but to do this they need to leverage their first party data to better understand the motivations behind purchases.
63% of car buyers are now open to buying online. With 80% of them being new car buyers.
Automotive consumers visit an average of 4.2 websites in their purchasing process.
After researching online, the average buyer contacts just 3 sellers and 50% visit only one dealer.
Automotive buyers need to quickly leverage all of the ecosystems of a big-box retailer in order to get a single customer view. Your marketing mix is likely composed of a multitude of paid marketing channels (e.g. Google, Meta, TikTok), CRM activity (email, sms, push notifications), influencer marketing, etc.
This means your reporting needs to become more sophisticated in order to capture all the nuances of your customer journeys and overall performance.
If you want to understand where do the most valuable users come from, which activities work best at re-activating your prospects or how many different sources do your users typically come from before converting… this is where you start.
The Rise Of Social Selling
With car programmes and magazines still going strong today, so it is perhaps no surprise that social selling is helping to influence that buying decision. Interestingly China seems to be leading the way in this area as automobile dealers use third-party e-commerce platforms to market cars, schedule visits, and book test drives.
Social media is used by 71% of car buyers to assist with the buying process in some way.
The watch time of “test drive” videos on YouTube has grown by more than 65% in the past 2 years.
34% of new-vehicle buyers post a picture of their new vehicle on social media.
As the selling landscape becomes more fragmented, it’s important that OEMs and distributors understand which partners, channels and even influencers are performing the best.
Leverage NLP to quickly search social media, see whose talking about your brand and get a top level understanding of the sentiment behind those comments. Are people exited about your latest model? Find out in real time.
UTMs are still the easiest way to track affiliate sites, but you’ll also have to factor in the proportion of your people do not consent to tracking. Combine deterministic (you know exactly the performance) and probabilistic (you estimate the performance) models in order to assess your overall marketing performance and connect with third-party APIs to understand how their performance influences your sales.
Complete Customer Journeys
While undoubtedly the pandemic and the delay in new models (through the chip shortage) has had an effect, its also true that automotive brands have NOT been leveraged their CRM effectively. Whilst a lot of marketing budget has been spent on advertising and attracting new customers, keeping existing customers/warm is often overlooked.
Industry Brand Loyalty is down to its lowest rate in 6 years at 51%.
90% of loyal customers still consider at least one other automotive brand.
The used car market up 33.3% in 2022, back to pre-pandemic levels.
(Motor Trade News)
By connecting data across all marketing channels and your own data, you have the power and flexibility to build custom reporting that covers any aspect of the business and customer journey: attribute individual users to marketing activities, calculate meaningful marketing ROI and any sophisticated metrics such as payback period, cost per retained user, etc. This holistic view is what facilitates customer centricity.
And its only by taking a long-term view of your customers that you can begin to engage them effectively and beyond that generic ‘here’s our new model’ email. Greater engagement will naturally lead to a better relationship with your brand and increase the chances that when it comes time to purchase again, you’re in their mind.
Start Your Data Engine
If your business is looking to:
- Create a single source of the truth.
- To understand what is working and why.
- To make faster, more informed decisions.
- And get closer to customers and improve conversion.
You need data.
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Whether you have an in-house data team and are looking for specialised help or are starting from scratch, we can help.
Use the booking form for an impartial and obligation meeting to discuss how we can help you in more detail.
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