Marketers struggle with relationship data. And automotive marketers?

Customer Lifecycle Engagement Yesmail and Gleanster 2013As an automotive marketer in a brands headquarter or country organization, you know the needs, wishes and preferences of your brands customers and dearest fans. When is it the best moment to start communicating about that new promotional package or lure them into buying the new face lifted model? You know, don’t you?

Marketing Profs cites a report by Yesmail and Gleanster. For the report 100 senior marketers from mid-to-large ($10 million to over $1 billion revenue) B2C companies with online and offline sales models were interviewed. They asked which triggers the marketers used for their e-mail marketing campaigns. The general outcome was that marketers struggle with putting social and relationship data to use.

See how you stand up to marketers in other industries by checking the chart below.

Customer Lifecycle Engagement Yesmail and Gleanster 2013Are you top notch? If not, there is a good reason the tables will be turned pretty soon.

Historically car manufacturers fully relied on third parties – read dealers – to realize their retail sales. If the business is structured like that, it is logical that automotive marketers are struggling with putting social and relationship data to its fullest use. And they are not the only ones. Frontrunners can be found in industries in which production and direct sales are under control of one organization. The obvious examples are for instance the telco and travel industry.

Premium brands – Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Tesla, Mini – have opened up dedicated sales stores in city centers throughout the world. Opel has its Adam store, and Fiat and Alfa Romeo have done trials with point of sale locations. And on the Champs Elysee in Paris numerous car brands have done their best to present their cars differently from the average dealer. The trend is unmistakingly that car brands want to take control over the retail sales process and environment. In these innercity, high priced show rooms, there is no room for any maintenance or repair activities. It is just sales or generating leads.

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Audi City London – Digital Car Showroom

The maintenance and repair tasks are left at the hand of the car dealers with large premises with lower prices square meters. If more and more electric vehicles come to the market, which are even more low maintenance than current fossil fuel cars, the trend of separating the sales and the maintenance location will definitely grow further. Many brands have developed the first steps to e-commerce solutions over the past years. We are sure to see more and more in that direction.

If owning and having grips on the retail sales process is the (near) future for the automotive sector, then marketers will surely get a chance to get a better grasp on the behavior of their customers in the brands sales stores and future e-commerce portals.

Who knows, the automotive industry might even become a frontrunner similar to telco and travel these days.

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