The automotive industry is a changing industry that has come a long way. From Model T to Tesla’s tests with self-driving, there have been and are major trends that are shaking the automotive industry.
One of them is that the customer journey of the customer willing to buy a car has been substantially transformed. At the beginning of the last millennium, it was common for a potential customer to approach the dealerships of a particular brand to look for information about a vehicle that interested him.
Today, doubts and questions about the suitability of the vehicle, its technical capabilities, its sustainability and prices and payment methods are consulted and resolved online.
So, with potential customers investing much less time in seeing cars in dealerships, digital marketing is gaining another relevance in the field of car sales.
In this post, we will see how digital marketing can help the automotive industry to sell -configuring an automotive marketing attentive to these new habits of potential customers.
In 2015, a study by Autotrader stated that the Internet is 20 times more influential on potential customers in the automotive industry than other media (especially thinking of Generation X and millennia). This influence can only have increased, especially if we bear in mind that anyone interested in buying a car has an internet connection.
As people increasingly depend on internet search engines to get to the cars they’re interested in, dealerships can no longer relapse as they used to in graphic media, road signs and other types of traditional advertising.
Today, to be truly competitive, it is essential to have a website or landing page (website oriented to a specific goal, generally performance) optimized for search engines and cell phones. The user experience is also key – given that your site will be the first point of contact that the potential client has with your brand, or perhaps, the only one.
Have a well optimized landing page
A good example of a landing page is the KIA landing page for the test-drive. Although this landing page no longer runs (it was a campaign last year), it is a good example of how to build an optimized landing page.
In the page you can see that there are no links that lead outside the landing, so to exit you have to click on the “close” button of the tab or fill out the form for the test drive.
The title is oriented towards the benefits that visitors can obtain from the landing (and in a different color to the CTA buttons and the rest of the text).
Create successful advertising ads
For its part, Toyota’s innovative campaign for its Camry (called “Sensations”) leaves us with some lessons in creativity. In that campaign, Toyota used the audience segmentation tool to show videos according to the mood expressed by a certain user’s tweets: for example, if someone tweetted a happy emoji, the advertising showed a video with a happy emoji.
The rise in car costs (not only in the product, but also in maintenance -nafta, insurance, taxes) and the rise in car sharing (carpooling or ridesharing) are eroding interest in buying cars.
At this point, it is already a confirmed fact that millennials are buying fewer cars than previous generations.
So it’s important to generate interest in the purchase.
As we said above, the automotive customer spends more time online. And it is in this digital ecosystem where automotive marketing can make its contribution, going out to meet potential customers with interesting content.
So how do we generate interest among such a digitalized audience? Only in the last year, the visualization of this type of content doubled.
Here are the three types of content with the highest conversion rates.
- Test drives
- Feature Videos
- Videos of walks
Automotive marketing must pay attention to customers who do not make their purchase in a short period of time, but need more time to decide. To take advantage of this flow of customers it is necessary to manage leads and give place to email marketing.
The communications sequences that constitute the lead nurturing are very common in digital marketing, and have much to contribute to the automotive industry.
Indeed, they can help sales teams capitalize on those potential customers who may, without these efforts, disperse and end up buying from the competition.
A list of contacts can serve as a starting point to build campaigns or newsletters and send them to potential customers. From there, and with the use of metrics (click rates and openings, for example), prospects can be segmented so that sales teams work on that information base, capitalizing the entire flow of potential customers.
Giving rise to real conversations
One of the most influential trends in digital marketing is marketing automation – the implementation of software to automate marketing actions that would otherwise have to be done manually in more time and with greater energy expenditure. And at the height of this trend, we find chatbots.
Chatbots are software that automates customer service, that is, software that speeds up conversational marketing – conversational conversations with the customer.
This software has a lot of potential to speed up conversations in the automotive industry. You can make them happen at the time the customer wants and from the device that suits him.
Real conversations in real time, without having to go through a tedious form that leaves them waiting and, in most cases, without response.
These technologies reaffirm the need for users to converse with brands, as it has been proven that they multiply the conversion rates of landing pages.
The best part? Although they are no longer a novelty in the European or U.S. market as they were one or two years ago, they are in the Latin American market, allowing companies to be innovation referents with the use of this technology.
In conclusion, with potential customers buying and looking for information on digital channels, the benefits that digital marketing can bring to the automotive industry are many. Indeed, it can help automotive marketing gain new customers and capitalize on its marketing investment – for DealerSocket, traditional advertising media (radio spots, billboards, television) have lost profitability.
Therefore, it is much wiser to invest in a strategy where digital and traditional media complement each other, taking into account the profile of each dealership’s potential customers and knowing that digital marketing has much to contribute to the sales objectives of this industry.