In the last decade or so, digital technologies have created an ecosystem that is dynamic, real-time and scalable. Automotive companies have invested heavily in their digital transformation to differentiate themselves, outdo the competition and take the lead by capitalising on the immense potential that such technologies bring along. Using digital technologies, companies have successfully enhanced their customer outreach and opened new revenue streams. However, despite an exciting ecosystem channelled by the digital, the automotive industry was reluctant to evolve in the continuously changing landscape.
The Rigid Automotive Sector and the Changing Consumer Behaviour
The changing market culture has caused a major fundamental roadblock for the automotive industry that turned a blind eye to the new digital media strategy age. The real challenge while their consumer had migrated online, the industry was still functioning traditionally.
Consumers who quickly embraced emerging technologies such as AR weren't impressed by the old traditional automotive marketing model. The consumers were looking for a car buying experience that is quick, informative and technology-led. Digital solutions that enable them to evaluate the purchase options and make informed decisions as per their convenience and from the comforts of their homes were the need of the hour. Thus, the automotive industry has no choice but to change with the ever-evolving expectations of the consumers.
The Pandemic and the Connectivity
The pandemic discouraged people from sharing rides with strangers which led to the massive demand for vehicle sales. With consumers reluctant to visit automobile showrooms, the traditional dealership model of marketing received another setback. Consumers were carrying out a thorough online research to explore what their next purchase can offer them. This was an opportunity for Automotive Marketing players to employ a robust digital marketing strategy to influence consumers' buying decisions and optimise efforts and track results.
The Digitalization of the Automotive Marketing
As the traditional marketing approach of the automotive industry is not in tune with the changing times, there was an immense need for digital transformation. With more and more buyers going online to buy their next vehicle, companies ought to design and implement a content-rich experience at different stages of their buyer journey by giving them information about personalised offerings, pricing and finance options.
Automotive Marketing & a Hybrid Approach
To provide a better customer experience, automotive companies needed to migrate to an online platform where a consumer can find all the relevant information online and complete the entire payment process. This complete migration is also not devoid of problems. Completely eliminating the human factor from a product's buying cycle may not favour the automotive brands. It would also not allow the consumer to feel the product before buying, which is highly unlikely to bring positive results.
The best solution for automotive marketing companies is to adopt a hybrid digital marketing strategy where human interaction is an indispensable part of the exchange. The consumers can complete part formalities online, such as getting information about the products, financing options, after-sales services and making payment online.
Making the most of data
As in other industries, the automotive industry has vast data like website views, click-through rates, footfalls at stores, and engagement data of their digital marketing campaigns. The problem was how to use this data for better customer services and growth, as the industry was working in silos with departments working as separate units, one looking after the marketing and the other handling the sales, etc. In such a scenario, digital transformation was the key to integrating all this data and drawing actionable insights from it to enhance customer experience, fuel growth and realise enhanced ROI. The data analytics of campaigns enabled brands to convert leads into sales. It also allowed companies to plan their future digital media strategy to make them more result-oriented.
Check out how we empowered two of India's leading tyre brands to harness the power of digital to improve productivity and achieve marketing success.
With the objective of improving the sales pitch and increasing the impact as well as conversions from sales pitches and proposals, we developed the BrideSmart digitally-enabled sales tool that empowers sales representatives to meet customer requirements better instantly. Available in web, Android and iOS versions, this tool lets sales representatives access customers details from anywhere, anytime and provide customised solutions to fleet owners based on various parameters. These include their business challenges, fleet size, types of vehicle used, average monthly tyre demand, the split between Radial and Bias Tyre demand, load conditions, road and haulage conditions, etc. Moreover, this tools is equipped with TCO Savings Calculators to help the customers know the savings they can expect using Bridgestone tyres. To find out more, visit https://bridgesmart.bridgestone.co.in/.
When Michelin wanted to build a community and create an independent product distribution and sales channel online, our team conceptualised Trails of India, the largest peer-to-peer information exchange lifestyle platform on digital for passionate bikers. Keeping human, real and unique experiences as the focal point, it brought motorcycling journeys and related bike lifestyle details to the surface and allowed bikers to celebrate their passion together.
When biking experiences met technology, it gave birth to Trails of India, an exclusive digital platform for bikers. It is not just a portal available on the web and mobile, but a highly personal lifestyle product that is a perfect 24x7 riding partner that inspires bikers to go that extra mile and maybe more! Trails of India is a dedicated website and is paired with Android and iOS mobile applications, which leverages the latest technology offerings for a biker to achieve various tasks even in zero-connectivity zones across the country.
The creative concept involved blending technology with reality in the right proportions to create a singular and personal digitally-powered social hub for avid motorcyclists. It differentiated from the current generic personal and social networking portals and paired with a lightweight mobile app, which proved to be the perfect 24X7 riding companion for two-wheeler enthusiasts.
Trails of India was launched with an integrated marketing campaign. Social media expertise combined with on-ground activations proved to be the perfect launchpad for the campaign.
It provided a virtual space dedicated to adding value to avid motorcyclists' lifestyle, which allows bikers to express and addresses the challenges they face while exploring this gorgeous country!
Digital transformation can go a long way in enhancing customer experience, fuel growth and ensure enhanced ROI for automotive companies. Enabling customers to find the relevant information and getting their queries answered online, digital transformation can allow automotive companies to reach a large customer base, open new revenue streams and improve brand loyalty.