Automotive Digital Advertising Case Studies

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Automotive Digital Advertising - Activation Points

Creating meaningful relationships with consumers via social media post-purchase to inspire aftersales, creating engagement using consumer-focused digital technologies, routing shoppers from third-party sites to the brand's homesite, using online video to guide purchase decisions are some common activation points within digital advertising of major car/automotive brands.

CREATING MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS WITH CONSUMERS VIA SOCIAL MEDIA POST-PURCHASE TO INSPIRE AFTERSALES

  • Digital automotive marketing expert A. J Joseph notes that the automotive market is becoming more competitive due to slowing demand and therefore brands should seek to "engage their customers beyond the point of purchase, to inspire loyalty and upsell potential."
  • He suggested reaching existing customers on public social media sites like Instagram to drive consumer engagement, which he says ultimately leads to revenue as well as creating a public buzz around the brand.
  • This activation point can involve different elements depending on how a brand wants to carry it out. Some key elements used by major brands are creating personalized experiences based on the consumer's lifestyle, incorporating hashtags in digital campaigns which allow users to tag both the manufacturer and the local dealerships thereby creating a more seamless experience for post-purchase engagement and using posts on social media to educate existing consumers about aftersale products such as customization and car care.
AUTOMOTIVE BRANDS USING THIS ACTIVATION POINT
  • Ford Motor Company gave 100 vehicles to influencers on social media for six months and had them document their journies using the car.
  • Ford later relied on a similar tactic again by having users attach GoPro devices to their cars.
  • Honda launched a social media content in partnership with National Geographic asking travellers around the world to share photos of their adventures using a specified hashtag. Over 57,000 pieces of content were tagged.

CREATING ENGAGEMENT USING CONSUMER-FOCUSED DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES

  • Many automotive brands in the U.S. are "making significant investments in a variety of consumer-focused digital technologies", according to Deloitte in 2019.
  • These consumer-facing digital technologies can be things such as tablet optimized digital product guides or creating virtual showrooms using VR applications.
  • Overall, the purpose of this activation point is to update the sales process while simultaneously improving the experience for the consumer.
  • Deloitte notes that the best place to focus these technologies is in the "upper-to-mid funnel where consumers are still researching a potential purchase online", especially considering findings from the 2018 Deloitte Global Automotive Consumer Study which shows that brand/dealer websites play the biggest role when it comes to influencing a consumer's decisions.
AUTOMOTIVE BRANDS USING THIS ACTIVATION POINT
  • In 2018, Hyundai announced the launch of its digital showroom.
  • Audi has more than 1,000 virtual reality showrooms globally which allow users to "strap on a headset and can view detailed car models at life-size, with the ability to look at specific colours and configurations on the fly."

ROUTING SHOPPERS FROM THIRD-PARTY SITES TO THE BRAND'S HOMESITE

  • Third-party sites such as Amazon are used by major auto brands to help syphon customers to the brand's own website.
  • Traditionally, such profiles on third-party seller sites would keep prospective buyers on that site, so re-routing them to external web portals is a new move.
AUTOMOTIVE BRANDS USING THIS ACTIVATION POINT

USING ONLINE VIDEO TO GUIDE PURCHASE DECISIONS

  • According to research, online video influenced the purchases of 75% of auto shoppers with 40% saying they watched these videos on YouTube specifically.
  • Auto shoppers who reported using online video during their research phase said the videos they saw helped to educate them on their options.
  • Additionally, "60% of new car shoppers who referenced video during the research process reported visiting a dealer website after watching a video of a vehicle they were considering."
  • Forbes notes that such videos should be designed to help prospective consumers take some sort of action.
AUTOMOTIVE BRANDS USING THIS ACTIVATION POINT
  • Toyota's YouTube page has educational and instructional videos alongside commercial advertisements.
  • BMW's YouTube page features videos showing how to operate the various features on their cars.

RESEARCH methodology:

For this research, we focused on locating insights related to digital activation points specific to the automotive industry and then identifying major car brands that are well-known in the U. S who are using these activations. To locate these insights we first looked for digital activation point best practices and recommendations specific to the automotive industry from experts on this specific topic. For example, the Director of Social Commerce at Olapic, A. J Joseph who focuses on the automotive industry and "works with some world's leading brands" regarding their content development including consumer engagement and conversion, as well as insights from professional research organizations such as Deloitte and trusted media organizations such as Forbes. Examples of more than one brand using each activation and focused on car brands that can be logically assumed to be "household names" in the U. S was also included in this research.
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