“Turning Social Feeds into Business Leads” will explore the personality profiling and social media analytics capabilities of car and parts manufacturers, automotive dealers, aftermarket retailers, as well as auto service and collision repair centers. It will look at strategies and techniques currently being embraced by a selection of automotive brands and dealer partners to determine their effectiveness in using social media for lead generation, reputation monitoring, consumer segmentation and profiling, market intelligence gathering, product development, customer service, word-of-mouth, as well as promotional engagement and loyalty building.
The CMO Council is initiating this thought leadership push in association with the Digital Marketing Performance Institute and hoojook, a new cloud-based social media lead generation provider. hoojook is focusing its initial marketing and business development efforts on the U.S. automotive sector. This market includes some 16,000 car and truck dealers selling some 16 million vehicles annually.
A recent PwC report on “Looking Ahead: Driving Co-Creation in the Auto Industry”, the consulting group notes that auto makers are now implementing new co-creation strategies to engage customers in interactive, ongoing dialogue through social media to increase the efficiency of product design and bring a brand to life before it hits the market.
PwC points to three underlying consumer trends that are creating opportunities for innovation and driving change in automotive retailing:
- Millennials, defined as 18 to 30 year olds, make up 40 percent of the total available car buying population, contributing $200 billion to the US economy annually.
- The acceleration of social media usage, with 70 percent of consumers using social media to learn about other customer experiences when making car-buying decisions.
- Proliferation of connected mobile devices, such as smart phones, provides integration and connectivity for OEMs to develop cross-platform apps to enhance the driving experience. Each factor is connected to the car buying experience, ultimately molding the strategies of OEM’s marketing program.
A Capgemini study released early this year observes over 56% of customers find a dealer online. According to the study, over 60% of new car buyers have relied on positive comments posted on social networks about a car model, dealer or a manufacturer before making a decision and the trend is evolving in the emerging markets as well.
Digital Trends recently reported that, “Unmetric, a New York-based social media analysis company, earlier this year released a report rating car companies’ social media prowess. Analysts looked at data from companies’ Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest pages from October 1 to December 31, 2012, and assigned each brand a score. The highest achiever was the Volkswagen Group. Audi had the highest combined scores for Facebook and Twitter, while the Volkswagen brand took top honors with YouTube and Pinterest. With a score of 64, Audi had a clear lead over Mercedes-Benx (46), Ford (42), Lexus (39), and Chevrolet (38) on Facebook. For Twitter, its score of 74 beat Lexus (63), Chevy (58), Kia (53), and Ford (49). Volkswagen’s Youtube score of 84 beat Chevy (68), Honda (67), Kia (63), and Hyundai (58). Its Pinterest score of 69 gave Wolfsburg a narrower lead over Honda (66), Audi (46), Cadillac (33), and Nissan (31). Ford has the most Facebook fans (8,715,176), and the second most Youtube channel subscribers (102,704) but it scored lower overall because it hasn’t substantially grown its fan base. The Blue Oval’s Facebook growth was insignificant, while Infiniti grew its fan base by 82 percent. Cadillac and Lexus were able to expand their Pinterest networks by 229 and 240 percent, respectively.”