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Digital Marketing in Automotive

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Digital Marketing in Automotive

  1. 1. Marketing & Sales Digital marketing in automotive – revolution ahead Digital marketing is not entirely new to the automotive industry: Facebook and other social media, YouTube, and further innovative online activities are well established. However, looking at the extent to which OEMs are leveraging them vis a vis the potential changes digital marketing can bring about, we feel that only the tip of the iceberg has been uncovered. In this context, automakers still have a lot to learn and exploit from more integrated and compelling digital marketing strategies.
  2. 2. 3 Already today, changes are visible along the entire automotive consumer decision journey (CDJ) – consideration, evaluation, purchase, and experience. In automotive, for 60 percent of customers, digital channels are the primary source for information gathering in the consideration phase and about 50 percent of customers would consider making the actual purchase transaction online if it were possible. And buying behavior is changing drastically. Previously, customers made an average five dealer visits before purchasing a car – now they come well informed for only one visit. Hence, digital is leading to fundamental changes, and OEMs need to speed up to fully grasp the opportunity. To build the comprehensive knowledge needed to tackle these questions, McKinsey & Company wanted to gain a better understanding of the true potential of digital and its impact on OEMs, so we conducted a multifaceted empirical research effort. The heart of the research is a survey on digital usage among 600 car buyers in the US, the UK, and Germany, covering the entire consumer decision journey. In addition, representatives of more than 50 car dealerships in Germany were surveyed to understand their current usage of digital technologies and gauge their plans for future digital usage. Finally, interviews were conducted with a wide range of industry experts. The research was structured along a holistic model of the CDJ (Exhibit 1). The insights gained from this course of study reveal the tremendous potential of a systematic, strategic digital approach and highlight the key factors for implementing it successfully. This document is organized along seven core beliefs that summarize the findings from our market research, followed by learnings from other industries and implications for the three most important OEM opportunities. Digital marketing in automotive – revolution ahead Capturing the full digital opportunity means addressing the consumer decision journey holistically SOURCE: McKinsey Create brand awareness and promote traffic, e.g., through online advertisement Strengthen the relationship with consumers and create brand activists Strengthen online channels for sales and/or use them to steer sales to offline channels Engage consumers in the search and buying process, e.g., by providing comparison tools Buy Advocate Evaluate Consider Experience Bond, service Strategic objectives along the consumer decision journey (CDJ) Leverage digital to stay in touch with consumers beyond purchase, e.g., via social media communities Exhibit 1
  3. 3. 4 Seven core beliefs From our market research with consumers and car dealers, seven core beliefs emerge (Exhibit 2): 1. The survey asked customers about the biggest influence on their car purchasing decisions. Here, digital information channels are already the no. 1 influencing factor noted. At the top of the list are dealer visits and OEM Web sites – both named by 52 percent of respondents as important information sources. These are followed by dealers’ online offerings. Consequently, OEMs should ensure a state- of-the-art Web presence with a continuous improvement process in order to adapt to technology development. 2. Digital has given rise to a new type of customer. Today’s car buyer is extremely well-informed and turns to digital platforms to gather pre-purchase information, e.g., seek advice and compare prices. Car dealers themselves report that only 5 percent of their customers are not extensively informed upon their first dealer visit. Therefore, the purchase process needs to be adjusted to capture the far-more specific customer requests. 3. More than half of the customers surveyed said they would consider buying a car online if it were possible and if some preconditions were met. Two-thirds stated the necessity of a test drive, but nearly half indicated that some other way of experiencing the car might suffice. At the moment, no OEM has proven success in selling cars online, but a transition to more online sales is inevitable and car makers will need to properly test and prepare for this development. 4. Digital has also brought about a change in the role of the retail outlet. As showroom visits continue to drastically decline, dealerships will need to contend The digital revolution – 7 core beliefs SOURCE: McKinsey Digital is becoming the no. 1 customer-influencing, information, and transaction channel Digital will turn the existing retail model upside down Digital sales is a matter of prerequisites and of a value proposition OEMs and dealers are opening to digital but have not yet fully grasped the digital opportunity The true digital revolution is still in front of us, with last challenges to be addressed Digital has given rise to a new type of customer The way to digital is a joint journey that both OEMs and dealers need to be taken on 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Exhibit 2
  4. 4. 5 with the reality that their outlets no longer serve as prime information sources in the customer’s consideration stage, with respective consequences for their sales approach (i.e., the need to “connect” with the customer in digital pre-purchase channels). In addition, the variety of retail formats will increase to address new customer needs, e.g., city store formats, pure test-drive centers. 5. Dealers are slowly opening up to the ways digital enhances the customer experience. Three-fourths of them believe that tablets for sales staff, lifesize display screens, and interactive model displays are helpful. However, they also express concerns about “overdoing” the tech angle, as they believe their customers aren’t tech-savvy enough and still require personal interaction. This skepticism needs to be taken seriously when creating a digital strategy that both involves and onboards the dealers. 6. While the shift toward digital sales in automotive is certainly under way, it’s still in its infancy. From the customer’s perspective, an incomplete physical experience and data privacy concerns are hurdles to a real optimization of digital and offline customer experiences. 7. OEMs and dealers are still missing out on the full digital potential that is only possible through greater cooperation. An overwhelming majority of dealers cite their support of OEMs in their digital marketing efforts, but barely half of them pass on their customer information to OEMs. This level of information-sharing would certainly improve CRM and offer mutual benefits, but competitive concern limits the flow of information. Lessons from other industries While OEMs and dealers are not in totally uncharted territory when it comes to digital and the consumer decision journey, the focus thus far has been primarily on marketing and less on sales. In this context, other industries are much farther ahead. Banking, retail, and consumer goods are solidly on this journey, and best practices from these industries are applicable to automotive (Exhibit 3). We compiled more than 200 relevant case examples during our research efforts, and we observed valuable best practices at each stage of the CDJ. Some examples follow: Consideration. A leading retail bank leverages data on customer Web searches – including elements of customers’ online journeys such as how they arrived at the company’s site and their geographical locations – to estimate customer-group risks and present segment-specific offers, i.e., different customer groups get directed to different Web sites. This type of customer segmentation could also help OEMs tailor marketing messages toward the different customer needs. Evaluation. A sportswear retailer extensively uses digital equipment in the showroom. Large, interactive touchscreens allow customers to research technical information and visualize the shoe of their choice in real-life perspective, as well as to tune in to social media buzz on its products. Product co-creation can generate marketing attention and also provide new customer insights to OEMs.
  5. 5. 6 Purchase. A leading retail player successfully established itself in a new market with ­a digital sales approach meeting the needs of the market’s urban population. Posters  in key traffic areas of subway stations advertise the retailer’s most popular products. QR codes on the posters allow customers to get more information on the product, purchase it, and have it delivered to their homes with a simple scan of their smart phones. These codes allow for customer interaction between the sales and service touchpoints, which are often very rare and limit OEMs’ customer interaction after the initial purchase. Experience. A motorcycle manufacturer created a novel customer experience by holding a special online sale for the first 1,000 units of a newly launched bike. The bikes sold out in less than an hour, and the campaign created high visibility for the company within the motorcycle community. This was a successful first step in promoting online sales. Digital in action – OEM opportunities The bottom line of the digital opportunity for OEMs is enhanced operations and increased revenues. At a more granular level, McKinsey research reveals three primary opportunity areas for digital implementation: digital lead generation, co-creation, and retail innovation (Exhibit 4). Lead generation OEMs get millions of potential leads from Web sites, car configurators, search engines, and Facebook likes. The question, however, is how to determine who among this vast number of prospective customers has an actual intent to purchase (Exhibit 5). Then, how can OEMs get their hands on the contact details of these would-be purchasers and link them to existing customer data? To follow potential Players in other industries demonstrate how best practices translate into higher earnings SOURCE: McKinsey A leading sportswear retailer creates an unrivaled customer experience using cutting- edge visualization technol- ogies in its digital store A leading consumer goods company systematically digitizes retail experience and tests innovative formats integrating on- and offline A leading retail bank exploits digital data to automate and enhance customer segmentations A technology company has a sophisticated training concept for employees that become digital brand ambassadors and a state-of-the-art social media listening command center A chemicals player conquers new customer segments with a digitized low-cost channel for value buyers A motorcycle manu- facturer leverages online channels to create attention for newly launched motorcycles Buy Advocate Evaluate Consider Experience Bond, service Exhibit 3
  6. 6. 7 customers through the Web, many retailers use re-targeting. If a customer shows interest in a product but does not buy it, an advertisement for exactly this product is placed on Web sites that the user visits afterwards. These types of techniques and a smart link between online and offline CRM data can help OEMs leverage much more of the terabits of generated lead data. McKinsey has developed a systematic approach that is based upon digital customer segmentation and provides guidance on how to cluster and follow online users. Digital experts from retail and consumer goods industries can also support implementation of these approaches. Co-creation This next digital opportunity capitalizes on the increasing bidirectional nature of media communication. While traditional advertisement “pushes” brand messages to the audience, digital has empowered customers to interact with other customers and with OEMs, e.g., to share their thoughts on attractive product features. The opportunity for OEMs here is to use this wealth of consumer insight to improve product and service design. A successful co-creation project starts with a clear scope and target for customer involvement informed by external best practices. The second step identifies the cus- tomer segments most appropriate for the effort and the channels (e.g., Facebook, Twitter) that will serve as the co-creation platform. Next, OEMs will enlist their marketing departments to create content and institutionalize the interface between consumers’ ideas and the engineering department’s efforts. The final step is the launch of the campaign, ensuring usable and prioritized outcomes. The core beliefs translate into 3 types of digital opportunities SOURCE: McKinsey Core beliefsOpportunities Digital lead generation Generate high-quality contacts online and transfer them to real leads Digital retail innovation and sales Revolutionize the way of selling cars with innovative retail formats Digital co-creation Involve customer in product/ service design and devise products/services closer to customer needs Digital is becoming the no. 1 customer- influencing, information, and trans- action channel Digital will turn the existing retail model upside down Digital sales is a matter of prerequisites and of a value proposition OEMs and dealers are opening to digital but have not yet fully grasped the digital opportunity Digital has given rise to a new type of customer 1 2 3 4 5 The true digital revolution is still in front of us, with last challenges to be addressed The way to digital is a journey that both OEMs and dealers need to be taken on 6 7 Exhibit 4
  7. 7. 8 Retail innovation Car buyers are already conducting significant portions of the consumer decision journey digitally. Despite the remaining concerns, many even consider making the final purchase transaction online as well. This “new openness to digital” means considerable opportunities for OEMs to fundamentally reimagine their distribution/retailing approach. By digitizing dealerships, OEMs can take advantage of customers’ comfort with digital methods and market their models in a customer-oriented and cost-efficient way. OEMs are already beginning to test online car sales, e.g., Dacia tested selling limited editions online in Italy. For dealers, test-drive simulators and life-size configurators save showroom space, reduce the test-drive fleet, and boost upsell potential. Customers will be able to visualize the increasing variety of car options produced by the current mass- customization trend and receive much better information about the models they are interested in. Beyond the advantages from dealership digitization, digital paves the way for innovative retail formats that optimally address new requirements from evolving customer traffic, geographic development, company resources, and customer needs (Exhibit 6). There is no one-size-fits-all format for the evolution of retail. In fact, depending on the OEM, one might decide to set up a digital online channel for a specific car model, while another might fundamentally restructure its retail network and substitute retail outlets in suburbs with highly-digitized “city center stores” and a full-service “test-drive center” nearby to reach an increasingly urban population. Digital marketing efforts should clearly focus on those users that are most likely to buy SOURCE: McKinsey ▪ So far, strategic focus is mostly on the dimension availability of contacts and efforts to identify the users ▪ True challenge and key to a focused digital marketing approach is to understand which leads have a real purchasing intent and should therefore be the focus of efforts and investments Available Not available Availability of contact details at OEM Possible purchase Probable purchase Purchasing intent Explore Known fly-bys Unknown surfers Unknown potential buyers Can’t failLeads Priority conquest Exhibit 5
  8. 8. 9    McKinsey’s comprehensive course of research among automotive consumers and key industry players points to major changes in the way people shop for cars. An increasing comfort with digital technologies and a growing reliance on Internet-based research has created a more independent and highly-knowledgeable customer. OEMs have an opportunity to capitalize on this shift, turning it into buyer leads, better products, and more relevant retail formats. SOURCE: Car dealer survey; McKinsey team analysis Dealer digitization and new customer needs open the door for new approaches to retailing cars Purchasing transaction Brand experience Concept pop-up stores ▪ Stores set up at changing, high-traffic locations to advertise a specific product and create buzz Car super store ▪ Large stores at city outskirts with extensive range of vehicles for buyers interested in having a car on the spot, staff answers all kinds of questions ▪ Ability to settle purchase, financing, and insurance agreements Potential new retail formats Brand experience centers ▪ Larger concept stores in central locations exhibiting a selected number of flagship products ▪ Focus on conveying brand image and product experience OEM online channel ▪ Online sales shop providing enhanced and easy-to-use configuration, visuali- zation/simulation tools for buyers who want to take most purchasing steps online ▪ Complemented by offline channels, e.g., test drive center Small city center stores ▪ Small stores in prime, high-traffic city center locations exhibiting products either physically or through visualization technology (e.g., 3D screens) ▪ Focus on conveying brand image, product experience, specialist questions Independent intermediary online channel ▪ Digital presence of third-party providers, e.g., online platforms bringing together buyers and dealers/OEMs ▪ Facilities in central/easy-to-reach urban locations with broad range of cars for test drives, staff answers all kinds of questions ▪ Attached sales office facilitates purchase (including financing, insurance) Test-drive centers Exhibit 6
  9. 9. Marketing Sales July 2013 Designed by Visual Media Europe Copyright © McKinsey Company, Inc. www.mckinsey.com Contacts Gianluca Camplone Director Phone: +39 02 72406-210 E-mail: gianluca_camplone@mckinsey.com Dr. Jan-Christoph Köstring Principal Phone: +49 89 5594-8308 E-mail: jan-christoph_koestring@mckinsey.com Dörte Hahn Associate Principal Phone: +49 211 136-4293 E-mail: doerte_hahn@mckinsey.com Liza Kerschbaumer Engagement Manager Phone: +49 211 136-4339 E-mail: liza_kerschbaumer@mckinsey.com