It’s the LA Auto Show. Another event which gives the world’s leading automotive manufacturers the opportunity to show off their newest, shiniest, most tech-filled cars to date – but are the bright lights of these showcases detracting from some serious underlying issues facing automotive marketing?
Luxury Should Start Long Before You Buy the Car
Let’s start by looking at the ‘affordable luxury’ trend which has recently been gathering momentum amongst automotive marketing and manufacturers. An increasing number of brands are standardising the ‘extra’ features that were once reserved for higher-end options. The ability to reflect this industry tendency towards luxury product with a seamless, tailor-made customer experience is a real challenge facing automotive marketers. The true winners will be those companies that address the expectation of the customer for a ‘luxury experience’ beyond the hardware and software of the vehicle, engaging them through a seamless customer journey from start to finish.
The Customer Journey Shouldn’t Prove Restrictive
Getting the customer journey right from first brand recognition, in dealership and beyond is crucial to a ‘luxurious’ experience – but it is something that car brands consistently struggle with.
A member of the Flock walked into a car dealership knowing exactly the car she wanted to buy. She’d driven it as a City Car so she didn’t need to test drive it. All she needed was to simply pick a colour and choose the options she wanted. Possibly the easiest sale that year for the dealer, no? The reality was to be left sitting for 25 mins and, so frustrated, walked out of the dealer. Did they follow up? No. She’d flipped the customer journey on its head and consequently, they lost out.
This example demonstrates how an ever-broader path to purchase has made each customer journey even more bespoke. The customer creates a complex web between so many different touch points before purchasing – from social media, television and print to website content, apps, and emails.
By not observing the journeys their customers make, Marketers are losing out on potential sales… Marketers need to ask themselves who are their customers? What are their interests and behaviours? Once you understand who they really are, you can start to understand how they think, what they are doing, searching for etc.
If you’ve got a clear picture of how your customers are interacting with your brand, you can identify the key channels in which to engage, creating a much simpler, clearer path to purchase.
This will be the real game changer, and a very real challenge… as stated by Phil Abram, Chief Infotainment Officer of OnStar at the LA automotive show, ‘Getting the whole ecosystem right is something that is very new to the automotive industry’.
Flock have helped clients to build one clear seamless journey to purchase through optimising the key customer touchpoints. If you would like help with driving your customers safely to purchase, we would be happy to help, just get in touch
To find out more about transforming your automotive marketing, procurement services or how to gain integrated marketing insight, take a look at the blogs below:
Six Steps of Marketing Transformation for Automotive Marketers
Integrated Marketing Procurement for the Automotive Category
Automotive Category Integrated Marketing Insights & Implications for Marketing Procurement
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