Key Takeaways From Auto Industry for Marketers

The average consumer sees 5,000 pieces of promotional content per day, so getting drowned out in all the noise is a valid concern for digital marketers regardless of vertical. But many automotive marketers see this not as a challenge but an opportunity.

Roger Barnette

May 26, 2016

3 Min Read
Key Takeaways From Auto Industry for Marketers

The automotive industry is innovative by design – from engineering and machinery to the tactics its marketers use to generate engagement and conversions.

Marketers across all verticals can benefit from taking a deeper dive into how the auto industry is transforming its digital platforms into powerhouses of personalization, prioritized messaging and a fully engaged customer experience.

It’s All About the Customer

Everyone knows the old adage “The customer is always right.” But rarely does that statement get transformed into the question “How can we deliver what the customer wants?”

Automotive marketers ask this question, and more importantly, they answer it.

Website personalization is a key factor in digital marketing, and the auto industry excels in personalization. Automotive marketers have become adept in using tools like engagement scoring to provide real-time 1:1 prospect data to enhance a personalization experience beyond just audience segment, reaching a truly individual level.

The average consumer sees 5,000 pieces of promotional content per day, so getting drowned out in all the noise is a valid concern for digital marketers regardless of vertical.

But many automotive marketers see this not as a challenge but an opportunity. In a sea of people, someone still will turn around when they hear their name called – able to recognize it in a crowd.

The same is true for marketing in the digital space. When customers feel a personal connection is being made, they pay attention.

Priority + Personalization

Personalization also extends to campaign messaging, particularly in terms of customer priorities. The automotive industry has one of the widest audience ranges of any vertical, which makes messaging priorities particularly important.

What appeals to the Millennial car buyer –  personalization and the opportunity to consider a vehicle a creative extension of themselves, differs from what appeals to the Baby Boomer market, an audience that typically prioritizes luxury and safety.

The auto industry recognizes the multitude of messaging options when executing a campaign, understanding it’s the combination of personalization and prioritization that hits the mark.

From Starting Gate to Finish Line

This hyper-targeted personalization creates the kind of intuitive experience customers crave, particularly when it comes to high-consideration purchases. Just as importantly, the experience stretches across multiple channels throughout the entire customer journey.

Digital marketers are well-versed in personalization, but too often forget it should extend beyond one website visit, one email or one social posting. It should begin the moment a customer first realizes they may want to consider a purchase, and carry on with post-purchase check-ins that keep them engaged.

For example, if potential customers type “highest-rated SUVs” into a search engine, they immediately will be served up paid search advertisements, along with a seemingly infinite list of relevant websites and brands.

So, what stands out? Odds are it’s whatever option seems the most relevant to them: the geo-targeted ad or the one touting child safety or the one prioritizing fuel efficiency. Automotive marketers understand the need to create in-depth profiles of both potential and existing customers so they can capitalize on personalization in real time from the very first step of the customer journey.

That kind of engagement then continues through a website visit, social targeting and e-blasts across devices.

The “T” Word

What does this combination of personalization, prioritization and full customer-journey engagement get automotive marketers? A customer’s trust.

We’re all more inclined to shop the brands we trust, those we feel understand us and represent themselves in an authentic, customer-centered way.

Trust is a factor in every consumer decision, whether it’s something as big as a vehicle or as small as kitchen trash bags. It’s an area in which the automotive industry excels and is something all marketers can apply to their own strategies.

As President of IgnitionOne, Roger Barnette oversees the company’s aggressive growth and technology strategy. He has extensive experience managing and growing emerging technology businesses and is a veteran of the online marketing industry.

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