Digital marketing has become the most important style of marketing for any business with an online presence and companies across the globe are turning their focus to their online digital strategies. In this post, we discuss a digital marketing strategy for automobile businesses.
With the emphasis on digital, companies have realised the importance of being present and active on the internet and it has now become crucial for businesses to understand what people want in order to become successfully powerful brands.
Why digital marketing strategy is critical to the automobile industry during COVID-19.
The current pandemic and its aftermath are going to cause negative disruptions in the auto industry and abrupt changes in consumer buying behaviour.
It is in this time of uncertainty that a digital marketing strategy is of utmost importance to businesses in the automobile industry hoping to retain critical market share and customer share of voice.
The Need for Digital Marketing Strategy in the Automotive Industry
The automotive industry is reaping big from the benefits of digital marketing. This platform continues to provide the auto industry with a wider audience.
Marketers in this highly competitive sector are now able to reach customers regardless of their geographical location.
In an ever-changing automotive industry, lead generation is rapidly becoming a priority. Tactics for generating leads are also evolving and in order to keep up with the market, you need to have a strong and focused marketing strategy.
In order to get your company to earn more sales, you need to know how to define a digital marketing strategy for this area.
The best way to achieve this in the automotive industry is through the following marketing strategy:
1) Identify your customers.
It is now a common trend for businesses to host online surveys to gain feedback and information from their customers.
By knowing what customers want, automotive businesses can produce products and services according to their customer needs. Surveys also give businesses the opportunity to listen to their loyal customers and by actioning feedback, they can transform into a powerful brand with a fantastic reputation.
The ability to get demographic and geographic information on customers makes digital marketing much more informed.
By monitoring activities, trends and behaviour, the automotive industry could work on things that truly matter to potential and existing customers.
Create buyer personas that go beyond geographic and demographic information. They should define actual people and information on their:
- Marital status
- Education, employment
- Interests and values
- What matters to them?
2) Target the right people with your automotive campaigns.
What type of automotive business are you marketing? Who is your typical customer?
There needs to be a different automotive marketing strategy for marketers of luxury Porsche and BMWs versus marketers of used cars or more affordable brands like Honda and Toyota.
The prospective customers have drastically different concerns, questions, wants and needs when it comes to investing in a new car.
While your Mercedes customer may be more concerned about their heated seats and leather interior, your Honda buyer most likely care more about gas mileage and longevity. Although this might not always be the case.
Different automotive marketing audiences need to be broken down and targeted separately. Considering the main things your audience cares about is a critical way to get the right message to the right person and increase the chance of conversion.
3) Conduct a SWOT Analysis
A SWOT analysis represents strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats a company may face.
It provides an overview of the external and internal factors affecting a business at a given period of time.
It mainly highlights the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Treats to the business/brand.
Here the Strengths and Weaknesses are internal factors whereas, Opportunities and Threats are usually external factors.
4) Identify your Goals.
Goals need to be extremely specific as they will help you decide what explicit action plans you have to achieve your objectives.
Establishing goals is no easy feat, these goals have to be SMART goals:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable/Attainable
R – Realistic
T – Time-Bound
Goals can either be short-term goals (ranging between 0-6 months) or can be long-term goals (6 months +).
Some marketing goals that an automobile business would consider are:
Short- Term Goals:
- Establishing an online customer community, reaching 10k followers on combined social media within the next 4 months.
- Increase in sales by 3-5 units (cars) in the next month.
- To see an increased number of customers of the business (2000 in 6+ months)
- To expand and establish additional dealerships within the next 5 years.
- Appear as the first result on an ‘Organic Search’ page withing a year.
5) Define your USP.
A unique selling position is an essential part of a marketing campaign because it is a foundational aspect of your marketing initiatives to help you achieve your strategy.
It is essentially a differentiating factor between you and your competitors, and enables us to distinguish ourselves from the industry competitors. To be able to establish points of differentiation from the crowd, we need to know the potential of our own brand and its competitors in the market.
This can be done in two ways:
SWOT Analysis: This comprises of evaluating the internal and external factors affecting the business, by analysing every aspect of the business while highlighting our strengths alongside the threats, opportunities and weaknesses
Competitor Analysis: This would refer to a SWOT Analysis of our competitors, with respect to our business and market.
6) Establish measurable KPIs.
These indicators or KPIs are metrics that will help you analyse the scope of your objectives.
It helps you make better business decisions and is very important for the success in the automotive industry.
KPIs help industries achieve their goals and helps them gain high operational efficiency. Some KPIs that automobile businesses should look to establish are:
- Sales Revenue
- Gross Profit
- EBITDA – Earnings before interest tax, depreciation, and amortization.
- Customer Lifetime Value
- Online Marketing ROI (lead generation, conversion rate, acquisition cost, etc.)
Use Google Analytics to keep track of data on customers such as no. of users on your website, where users are visiting from, which devices are being used, average session time, bounce back rates, conversion rates, acquisition rates, CTR, etc.
This kind of information can be useful to make changes to the website to make it more user friendly.
Social media analytics: Keeping track of the number of followers and likes, comments and shares on posts, etc. can help you analyse the current business position and the intensity of consumer interaction with the brand.
Creating your Digital Footprint
Content Marketing (Blog)
Content marketing involves consistently providing your target buyers with relevant and valuable content.
Buyers want relevant information when they begin their search for an automotive.
Your job is to ensure that your content is available from the moment they begin their search to the moment they make the purchase.
Optimize your website (SEO)
By having an optimized website, you will be able to occupy better positions in the search results.
The optimization will be proportional to the value of the content you offer to your audience, the experience that the user will have, the speed with which your website loads and your keyword strategy.
On-page SEO involves taking care of your page speed, page optimization, crawl errors, meta descriptions, title tags, and keyword placements.
Keyword placement will involve carrying out keyword research to find out what content your audience desires.
Off-page SEO will involve activities like guest blogging, link building, and social sharing.
Google My Business
Automotive businesses can greatly benefit from local search which allows customers in the geographic area to find a business and a service with great ease.
This continues to improve, and businesses should work on their local search strategies.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)
SEM is SEO’s paid version. SEM allows you to buy space at the top of search pages.
Considering that search is the number one resource car buyers use, then you must try and have your product on that first page.
Pay Per Click, on the other hand, is the payment you make for every click you get on the ad you created.
To help every business survive through and make the most of digital marketing, we have curated courses for businesses that will provide you all the skills and strategies you need.
IIDM™ is a global certifying body recognized worldwide which might just be the right place for you to make your business a triumphant success.
To know more, visit our website and read other blogs here!
Joshua Manwani – Brand Marketing Analyst at IIDM™
For more information, please visit our website @ www.thedigitalmarketinginstitute.org