How can the automotive industry leverage marketing automation to redefine customer experience and drive growth?
While the pandemic hit the automotive sector pretty hard, the last two months have shown some strong signs of recovery. And with the traditional September peak of new ‘71’ registrations in Britain just three months away, there’s plenty of reason for the industry to be more optimistic.
That said, the industry has been the subject of significant change in recent years, not just from COVID, but from disruptive, electric-only manufacturers, online-only retailers, and new ownership / purchasing models. All of these changes are driving and responding to evolutions in buyer behaviour which de-emphasizes the traditional showroom-led sales model and puts ever-increasing importance on online activity.
A marketing-driven customer experience is critical for both manufacturers and dealerships to not only survive these challenging times, but to thrive in an ever-changing competitive landscape. Central to this is leveraging marketing automation to extend the experience beyond the showroom and proactively engage customers across every stage of their lifecycle.
Attracting New Buyers
Today, most buying journeys start on your website. This is where marketing automation delivers its first point of value by serving up appropriate online content and encouraging browsers to complete simple forms to turn them into known contacts.
Once known, you can track and cultivate interest. Every time that potential buyer steps back to your website, you are able to track what type of vehicles they are looking at and even gauge their propensity to purchase through the pages visited and the content they engage with.
Armed with this information, you can leverage marketing automation to nurture this interest, proactively sending them additional information, tempting them with promotional offers, and securing a test drive.
This level of online engagement enables you to redefine the showroom experience. You can simplify the process of booking a visit, collect insights into the customer’s preferences before they step foot in the showroom, and tailor their experience to their specific needs.
Driving Lifetime Value
Managing the customer’s after-sales experience is key in generating both lifetime value and customer loyalty. This is another area where marketing automation can streamline processes while taking customer experience to the next level.
Seamlessly integrating your marketing platform with your customer data enables you to automate and be proactive in your engagement. Communication can be triggered by customer events such as a pending service or MOT, by seasonal promotions such as a winter vehicle check, or by leveraging what you know about the customer to target offers or events such as a new model launch.
Marketing automation can also play a key role in offering a digital experience, allowing after-sales services to be booked online and leveraging SMS to deliver the clever touch of reminders and updates.
Progressing the Next Sale
By utilising marketing automation and what you know about your customers, you can get smart in predicting when they may be getting close to their next purchase. Trigger points such as an impending end of a lease or finance, the average time span between purchase, or the release of a new model can automatically trigger cultivation activity. But where this gets even smarter is being able to track when the customer starts looking at information on your website or engaging with your communications indicating they are starting a buying cycle.
Other sectors have clearly shown the power of marketing and the customer experience in driving both lifetime value and loyalty. The same benefits can be gained in the automotive sector.
Deliver Amazing Customer Experiences With Act-On
Act-On has already assisted a number of organisations in this sector with streamlining customer management and driving growth with our growth marketing automation platform.
If you’re ready to talk shop and want to see our platform in action, schedule a personalized demo with one of our marketing automation experts. They would love to show you how you can “drive” better customer experiences.
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