A briefing has been published to help the UK Automotive Industry move up a gear with social media delivery.
In 2015, the IAB reported that the Automotive Sector had the fifth largest share of UK advertising spend totalling £1.3bn. This has led to much debate about the channels in which investment is made, as the sector grapples with the digital revolution, seen to be driving down the number of visits to car showrooms from 4 per purchase in early 1990s to just 1 today.
Traditionally, the sector is celebrated as having strong print promotion roots, built on the heritage of campaigns such as the ‘Think Small’ campaign by Volkswagen launched in 1959, described as the best advertising campaign of the 20th century by Ad Age. Like many, Volkswagen today have suffered turmoil with their brand at the hands of digital channels, empowering people across the globe to connect and debate the issue of emissions.
This ‘loss of control’ is leading those tasked to market automotive products and services to invest differently in their marketing approaches, reinforced by research which shows that car buyers are likely to have taken at least one digital action in their customer purchase journey. This means that customers have the upper hand in the showroom when engaging with sales teams, empowered with greater information, peer reviews and a higher level of expectation than ever before.
As a result, car manufacturers and dealerships are focussing their investment on social media channels to influence the purchaser online long before they hit the showroom. With content designed to encourage those most favourable with the brand to share positive comments to influence others, whilst acting quickly to respond to complainants through customer service channels, to reduce the risk of long term reputation damage. The early pioneers are seen to be manufacturers such as Jaguar Land Rover, who have redistributed their marketing investment, shifting their investment from print media to new digital and social media channels.
As a result, there was a 51% increase in investment in social media during 2015 and this growth is predicted to continue as the sector moves to deliver not only brand building and marketing promotion activity but respond to the increasing demands for customer service response across their social media channels. Digital campaigns will also span greater age profiles and whilst digital channels were once widely used to target ‘millennials’ aged 18-30 with a natural disposition to digital, this is set to change driven by the growth in the number of 35-44 year olds with active social media accounts, along with the boom in silver surfers.
James Leavesley, CEO of CrowdControlHQ said:
“We have launched the social media briefing to help the Automotive Sector to innovate their approaches and tackle the issues of digital influence within the purchase journey. The publication comes at a time of significant change across the sector as marketing teams grapple with the challenges of influencing the British public before they hit the showroom, or purchase online.
With the publication of the FCA guidelines around the promotion of financial products, highlighting the compliance issues at stake, there is big pressure on the automotive sector to get the delivery of social media right for both the brand and their bottom line.”
CrowdControlHQ is the UK’s leading social media risk management platform, used by major enterprise organisations to underpin their social media management approaches. The CrowdControlHQ team will be supporting the launch of the briefing with a series of automotive workshops to be held across the country in February.