Like all sectors, the automotive industry is dealing with a rapidly changing social media landscape.
In 2019, automotive marketing has one of the highest Cost-per click rates in comparison to other industries.
Organic reach is decreasing and CPC costs just keep rising, so how can automotive brands keep costs down while identifying and growing customer segments?
Auto brands need to rethink, and understand, the entire buyer journey right from the start to reduce the significant costs of CPC - and in particular, get their top of the funnel strategy right.
Integration and analysis of their audience data, creating marketing personas, and careful management of personalized touchpoints all the way down the funnel is essential to optimizing advertising budgets later on.
If you’re targeting the wrong people with the wrong content in the wrong way, it’s only going to get tougher and more expensive to get the results you want.
A large percentage of brands are struggling to maintain their audience growth - their content strategy isn’t as effective as it could be - and fan numbers are flat-lining. Again, that’s what happens if you don’t build strategy from the top of the funnel.
How the Customer Journey Impacts CostsWith personalized marketing fast becoming standard, great customer experiences are paramount to serving a frictionless customer journey. Over time, this gives the best chance possible of making a sale, and allows companies to create social media strategies that are smart, dynamic and save loads of money.
A recent Deloitte study showed that 80 percent of consumers said interacting with a real person and being able to ask questions was the reason for visiting car dealerships. A personable and knowledgeable sales assistant who already has the customer’s details and preferences will be able to close the sale and make the customer feel empowered.
Automotive companies still have a long way to go to implement the same level of detail into their digital customer journeys. Customers are seeking positive contact with brands, human interaction and a tailored customer journey and if they do not get it, they’ll go to another dealer.
With such a long customer journey, it’s crucial for automotive brands to start connecting with customers in the right way from the very beginning, and on each touchpoint, or risk building their entire strategy on shaky ground.
How Smart Automotive Brands Are Creating Frictionless Customer Journeys95% of car buyers begin their journey online with Facebook being the preferred research method. There are many aspects to getting the automotive customer journey right, and here’s some of the most crucial:
- Integrate offline, web and social media data in one place (data integration)
- Analyze audience behaviors and affinities (advanced data analysis)
- Identify and target customers (create marketing personas)
- Use influencer campaigns to reach new audiences (influencer identification)
Integrated Data for the Bigger Behavioral PictureIt’s only when brands connect their data that they can analyze it and put the whole picture together and discover who their customers truly are - what they like and how they behave. So it’s absolutely vital to integrate omnichannel data onto one platform to best leverage data learnings.
This is how auto brands can begin the process of identifying their true audience - the ones who are most likely to make a purchase further down the line, and it's an essential step in tightening up your sales funnel.
Audience AnalysisResearch is key to finding who your customers are but for many automotive brands traditional market research is time-consuming and expensive. It’s also not dynamic, so by the time research has been completed it’s often already out of date.
Car manufacturers need to access the most dynamic, up-to-date audience insights so their learnings are current.
Socialbakers solution is an Audience Analysis tool which harnesses the power of AI to analyze unified omnichannel data and deliver clear up-to-date audience insights as campaigns evolve.
Where interests and affinities overlap brands can zero in on the right campaigns, content and influencers.
Car manufacturers can gain the deepest understanding of their audiences’ affinities and behaviours, tweak their strategies when needed, and prepare the ground for defining their marketing personas.
So auto marketers can create marketing personas (a representation of audience segments to help marketers visualize their perfect customer) - and market directly to their audience in a personalized way.
Automated AI now takes care of creating personas - there’s no more accurate way to make sense of all that data from all those systems - and it makes the workload smooth and manageable too.
Because connecting customer data is such a huge job, AI is really is the only way to accurately build a persona that evolves with time and stays up-to-date. It’s vital to gathering, connecting and analyzing all that data and getting actionable insights.
The marketing personas help brands define their content strategy. You have to know who you’re marketing to, to serve the right content at the right time, and build a loyal community.
Spreading the Word: Matching Marketing Personas to InfluencersContent strategy is where customers can be nurtured - building real awareness, loyalty and buyer intent. Auto brands have been using action-packed videos with great success but to amplify their brand voice and social credibility, brands should be collaborating with influencers.
So, once A.I. has defined your marketing personas, they can easily be used to identify the right influencers (creating conversations around your key brand topics) to grow audiences. AI can now match marketing personas to influencers - and use them to reach new audiences with personalized on-brand content.
The TakeawayAutomotive brands can really cut down their CPC costs by managing the customer journey from the top of the funnel. Using martech solutions to integrate and analyze all their data gives them key insights into audience behaviours. This can be managed easily by A.I. analysis.
AI then defines their marketing personas and matches them to influencers so they can grow loyal engaged audiences - the right audiences - and manage their customer journey carefully from beginning to end. It’s a better option than throwing advertising budget at the wall and hoping something will stick.
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