Consumer attitudes and new technology are disrupting the automotive industry. Find out which seven automotive marketing trends are reshaping the industry.
Digital transformation is revolutionising the automotive industry as technology, organisations and consumers expectations evolve. New technology means that cars are close to being categorised as large smart devices. Cars are gradually moving into the expanding web of internet of things (IoT) as their capabilities advance.
Automotive marketing trends that keep brands up to date with consumer attitudes and expectations
The automotive industry has struggled with reducing CO2 emissions and managing the damaging effects it has on the environment for many years. However, protecting the environment is becoming more of a priority to consumers. 87% of consumers claim they would buy a product with social and environmental benefits if given the opportunity. Automotive businesses that want to retain customers and attract new prospects should be mindful of this change in social attitudes. As consumers are actively making changes to their lifestyle and buying behaviour, car brands that ignore this shift risk being left behind as progressive brands take the lead.
Safety is also at the forefront of consumers’ minds when buying a car. On average there are 3,287 deaths a day in road traffic accidents. The automotive industry has prioritised safety, a logical decision, especially with an aging population that demands an increased need for safe transportation.
95% of the time, cars are left unused due to the rising costs associated with owning a vehicle. Consumers are choosing other forms of transport for their commute to avoid congestion, the cost of running a car, and to reduce their carbon footprint. Although cars are sat unused, car ownership is still projected to grow. Automotive organisations that pay attention and implement automotive marketing trends can put themselves in pole position.
Consumers expect a digitally enhanced experience when going through the buying process. They expect brands to know about them at each touchpoint, making it essential for automotive brands to think about their digital transformation strategy to keep up with automotive marketing trends.
Automotive marketing trends that are driving digital transformation
1. The future’s green
Any savvy marketer will use digital marketing tools to closely monitor and measure their target audience’s attitudes. Considering the wider environment is just as important. The growing consumer concern for the environment predicts that hybrid car sales are set to rise dramatically. This product line is expected to generate rapid growth in the automotive industry and brands will need to assess how they’ll meet this demand. By 2025, 25% of cars sold are expected to have electric engines, with most cars being hybrid. Combining technology with a hybrid engine offers consumers environmentally friendly benefits with the traditional diesel or petrol engine.
Due to the increased consumer demand for greener and environmentally friendly cars, several well-known household car brands have developed a range of electronic and hybrid vehicles which cater to the needs of those consumers. To position themselves in this green-market, automotive businesses will need to adjust their content and search marketing strategies. Ensuring that their brand is visible online for paid and organic search results. Creating topical content that targets relevant keywords is a great start to capitalising on this automotive marketing trend. In addition, brands that tailor their social media strategy to target trending themes around hybrid and green vehicles put themselves in the forefront of prospect buyers’ minds.
Some leading brands have developed automotive marketing campaigns that demonstrate green initiatives being implemented into their electric vehicles. Sharing video content on their social channels to reach a wide audience for low cost.
2. Augmented reality
Augmented reality (AR) has become a popular automotive marketing trend that brands have started to implement into their digital strategy. Porsche and BMW utilise AR in marketing to give prospective buyers the opportunity to visualise the design of cars. AR technology offers a range of benefits to the automotive industry, new trends allow consumers to:
- Experience a car through the driver’s seat, without leaving home
- Place a 3D life-size version of a car on a driveway
- The customisation of car models: colour, finishes and alloys.
- Engaging brochures
- Servicing a car by a virtual technician
By providing new ways for prospective buyers to experience cars will ensure increased leads, engagement and conversions for automotive brands.
3. Autonomous cars
Self-driving cars were once considered science fiction but are soon to become reality. The competition between brands to build the first self-driving cars is fierce. Fully autonomous cars are being tested on roads and the first commercial semi-autonomous car could be on the road in the next few years. Safety is a huge factor that has prevented autonomous cars coming to market. It’s critical that not only the passengers are safe, but pedestrians and members of the public are too.
Google are one innovator that’s rewriting the rules of the road by creating driverless cars. The technology Google is developing for autonomous vehicles is being tested on roads across the world. Their driverless car has been in development for a few years, but with the strict road safety laws it will have to be 100% safe for it to be available in the market.
4. Maximising video content
Visual content drives the highest satisfaction rate for car brand websites amongst shoppers. 72% of online users prefer video over text if both are available to them, making it a highly lucrative advertising space for marketers. Automotive brands have been exploiting visual content to evoke emotional responses and influence prospective buyers for decades, however this has often been through traditional media channels (print, television).
YouTube is the largest search engine after Google, boasting 3 billion views each month. Car brands that have heavily invested in TV commercials could repurpose their content to turbo their reach, easily measure their engagement and see great SEO value. Video content marketing is an ongoing automotive marketing trend that doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon.
5. New movers and shakers in the market
Consumer technology companies are taking the leap and moving into the automotive market. Google have already started to make a leap into the automotive industry, with the development of driverless cars. The internal resources of technology organisations mean they have the skill set to adapt and learn. Global leaders Google and Apple have already started to develop new innovative technology. Google are already in testing stages of their autonomous car, this demonstrates that consumer technology brands are keen to transform their organisation based on future trends.
6. The internet of cars
IoT projects have proven that connecting everyday devices to a network, can transform what we can do with them. Connecting cars and communicating with each other will reduce accidents and ease traffic. Insurers have started to implement technology that monitors driver behaviour and rewards good drivers. Connecting cars though IoT aims to increase in consumer satisfaction and customer loyalty. 50% of respondents said they would prefer to listen to music, talk on the phone and browse the internet while travelling by car.
7. Emerging markets
With the demand for cars constantly evolving, automotive brands must re-think their global growth strategy. Mature markets like Western Europe demonstrate signs of stagnation in car sales volume, leading automotive manufacturers to invest into emerging markets. China continues to attract the largest share of new global auto investment, with both India and Russia following closely behind with an increased share. By 2025 emerging markets will reach a level of growth that will create demand for smaller cars with decreased prices and decreased operating costs. Ambitious brands planning to target new audiences should consider their website solution and the need for multilingual websites or multinational websites.
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Kagool is a Sitecore specialist digital agency and our teams are experts in helping leading enterprises with their digital strategy. Our team of Sitecore and digital marketing specialists follow all the latest trends. We keep track of how big brands use them and manage the benefits.