Social marketing and the automotive industry
I just found this interesting article discussing the move of the automotive industry toward direct marketing, particularly online marketing.
Timeliness and depth of information are the major constraints faced by advertisers in the automotive industry. These constraints are easier to break when using online marketing channels. Not surprisingly the tourism Industry, which to some extent faces the same constraints, is one of the most active online.
The article could have highlighted two important online channels – social marketing and search engine marketing. While the “conversation” has moved from the “brand” to the “consumers”, we find it crucial to offer product reviews, service centres reviews… and all actors in the industry should listen to the conversation and “manage” it when possible, be it on Facebook, Myspace, blogs or forums. The brand just doesn’t have the monopoly of the communication anymore, and consumers are increasingly making purchase decisions based on peer reviews.
Timeliness sometimes is so hard to manage that pushing the information to the consumer becomes far less valuable than being there when the consumer needs products / services. Search engine optimisation and search engine advertising are the brand’s best weapons to answers consumers’ enquiries online.
Overall, the author emphasises this, one channel is not better than another, they all have their specificities (price, audience, information, tracking capabilities…). What really counts is the choice of the information the marketer wants to convey via each channel, and the mix of channels that she or he chooses to use.
At CarbonBlack we’re using all possible channels to engage a relationship with consumers looking for tyres and servicing. Whilst consumer acquisition is one thing, we also need to make sure we’ll be around when the consumers need new tyres in 2 or 3 years.