There is no reason why the automotive industry should stop innovating and thinking of new ways to reach its market. After all, times are changing. The market is more demanding. Not to mention, they also want things to be better, improved, fresher, and much more technologically advanced. Even though the pandemic pulled down automotive sales, there’s a belief in the industry that things will pick up pretty fast. Surveys showed that consumers are still gunning to buy a new car once the market stabilizes. When things are back to normal, you can expect that there’ll be more demands for new models, variants, accessories, and what more.
The question is, are you ready for it? Many companies are shifting their marketing strategies because of the pandemic. They are using technology and data like never before, relying on the availability of this data to shed light on how their audience wants to be marketed. It has been a long time coming as studies showed more than 79% of auto consumers want technology to be the focal point of their buying process.
Shifting to Digital
The traditional dealership marketing cracked last year since car buyers can’t go to showrooms to check and test drive cars. They relied instead on shopping for cars online, making it impossible for car manufacturers and dealerships not to invest in product videos. This is the new way of selling to customers.
before that, consumers are researching their options through the internet. More than 88% of consumers said they watched a video review of a car before checking it out in a dealership near them. In fact, the average car buyer spent six or more months researching a particular car. Sure, that also includes traditional research such as visiting the showroom or dealership. For the most part, though, the research includes spending hours watching videos on YouTube.
A Different Approach to Buying
This isn’t the only thing they want from the dealership. They want an improved experience. The car-buying process is more complicated now than it was before. In the past, customers see a car they like, test-drive it, and make an offer (or apply for a car loan). Today, they want an immersive experience. They want auto dealerships to use extended reality, augmented reality, and virtual reality like those offered by companies such as Reveal XR. Before they completely fall in love with a car, they want to check every aspect, albeit virtually, of it—how it feels to drive it on off-road tracks and how they look in it.
Here’s another thing that customers want from auto dealerships: they want customization options. They are now buying cars online. For them, dealerships should offer customization right on their website. It’s basically like buying a customized embroidered handbag. They want the process to be that easy. Forget the fact that the item they’re buying is worth tens of thousands of dollars.
Automotive companies can’t work in silos anymore. They need to combine their data in marketing, advertising, inventory, customer relations, website views, and more to provide the best experience for their audiences. Their data should lead to more sales, dealership visits, online inquiries, and service history. Doing so will make automakers and their dealers understand their market better.
Streamlining and connecting data will allow automakers to track the precise buyer journey, providing them with methods to fill these gaps in the long run. This will help them become more strategic to boost their conversion rates. Another way this will work for them is in reaching their target market at the right time. The seamless integration of data in every step of the automaker’s manufacturing and marketing process will provide the best customer experience.
Of course, this is not always an easy route because car manufacturers and dealers are not used to sharing data. If anyone is in the business of manufacturing and selling cars, they should invest in entirely new systems. They should also do an inventory of their existing tools and platforms that can help them better understand the emerging demands from their target markets. Such understanding will lead to better campaigns, methods, strategies, and processes.
Once you make the transition into digitizing your marketing and advertising efforts, you will realize what your auto dealership has been missing all these years. Delivering smooth service and seamless experience to customers should be your business goals, but you have to achieve them on the new battleground—the digital world. Only then can you be truly competitive and at par with the rest of the industry that seems to be shifting every second.