Digital has become a big part of consumer habits in recent years, including when it comes to buying your next car. In fact, car dealerships have been directly impacted by the new car purchase habits of buyers. Today’s increasingly connected buyers prefer to search online rather than visit a physical store.
In this article, our experts explain the best practices to follow to implement your digital strategy in the automotive sector.
Overview of the Swiss automotive sector
The importance of the Swiss automotive industry can be seen in the fact that Switzerland is the most motorized country in Europe. On average, just under two people share a car. Having one’s own car is very important for the Swiss, even though the country has a well-developed public transport network.
As a result of the pandemic, the Swiss automobile trade association said that the Swiss car market dropped by 17.8%, recording the lowest level in 24 years. However, according to the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (FSO), despite this historic decline, the number of hybrid and electric cars on the road continued to rise sharply in 2020, with an increase of 49.8%.
This trend towards hybrid and electric vehicles is an additional opportunity for Swiss suppliers to propose an innovative value proposition that will allow them to stand out in a highly competitive context. This is why a well thought-out digital strategy will help the players in the automotive sector to stand out.
The best digital practices to adopt for your automotive digital marketing
- Understand your prospects needs
In order to put consumers at the center of your strategy which will allow you to gain relevance, establish a relationship of trust and develop a competitive advantage, you need to know and understand your prospects. Taking note of their needs, their consumption habits, their behavior on the web when looking for a car, etc. This can be done by analyzing your personas, you will be able to develop a marketing strategy adapted to their needs.
- Opt for an inbound marketing approach
Digital technology has changed consumer habits, and the automotive industry is no exception to this trend.
Before, a prospect used to visit a car dealership four times before buying; today, he only goes there 1.4 times before making a purchase. The rest of the time is now spent on the web, searching for vehicle information and reading customer reviews of dealers and salespeople.
In other words, when today’s consumers arrive at the dealership, they already have a clear idea of what they want. They are visiting to finalize a purchase rather than to get information on cars.
In this context, adopting an inbound marketing approach to capture the attention of prospects as early as possible in their buying journey has become essential, to reach them before their final purchase decision. It is possible to do so with the help of tools such as:
– Paid search
– Content marketing
– Social networks
Integrate your database into your marketing strategy
With changing habits of consumers, the automotive industry can no longer ignore the power of data. Collecting data on your leads and customers allows you to stay in constant contact with them, to follow them throughout their buying journey, and to maintain an interactive relationship with your clients. The ultimate goal is to retain them, but that’s not all; data also helps you gain predictive insights. For example, if your prospect is mainly looking for family car models and is inquiring about baby car seats, you’ll know right away what type of vehicle to offer them when they come to the showroom.
What marketing strategies and tactics can you apply to attract today’s automotive buyers?
- Stay relevant with influencer marketing
If used in the right way, influencer marketing can be very helpful in promoting your automotive company. For example, the brand can lend a vehicle for a weekend or a week to one or more influencers. This allows the influencer to have a real opinion about the car and to talk about it openly. They will have a real user experience with the product and will be able to highlight the vehicle and its assets in a context of daily life in which the public can identify with. This is what the Nissan brand did for its electric car Nissan Leaf, by organizing an operation with influencers who tested the car for several weeks, similarly Jaguar, lent its vehicles to influencers like Natoo, and invited them to the Paris Motor Show.
- Leverage social media
Nowadays, social networks are an integral part of consumers’ daily lives. Having a digital presence on these platforms is essential to promote your automotive brand effectively. In fact, more than 20% of buyers say they consult an automotive brand’s social networks before making a purchase decision. You must therefore leverage social media to attract prospective customers. Implement a well-targeted strategy and make sure you have an active presence on your social media pages to help you to boost your brand awareness and help your sales.
- Use Content marketing
Automotive content marketing is essential for automotive dealerships. It is an effective way to stand out from the competition. As for the format to be favored, video is the first type of content that car buyers expect to help them in their choice. Content posted on the brand’s website or social networks now plays the same role as advice given by a dealer in store. Therefore, having a digital presence with quality content and visuals helps to strengthen your brand image and can also contribute to your conversion rate.
Finally, be sure to keep up with the latest digital marketing trends in the automotive industry if you want to stand out from your competitors.
If you have any doubts, consider consulting a digital professional. At Eminence, our experts are available to discuss your objectives and help you implement your digital strategy in the automotive sector. You can contact us by clicking the link below: https://eminence.ch/en/contact-us/