Targeting Millennials in the Automotive Sector with Big Data
As technology marches on, so do the aspirations of automobile manufacturers to be the first to tap into the “next big thing.” The next big thing is Big Data.
Although it is a healthy industry, there are still challenges facing the industry players. Competition for market share, rising costs to promote product differentiation, and a flourishing frontier of digital advertising has left automobile manufacturers and dealers alike searching for ways to gain competitive advantage in a crowded atmosphere.
With this shift, a considerable amount of focus is being directed towards reaching today’s must have demographic.
Using Big Data to Acquire New Millennial Customers
A report published earlier this year drove home (pun intended) speculations that the automotive market share of Millennials was predicted to blossom. The report projected that millennial consumers, those born between 1980-late 1990’s, will purchase roughly 4.24 million cars and light trucks in 2015. Thus, producing $135 billion in total revenue. Furthermore, 35% of millennials (compared to 25% of U.S. adults) indicated that they are likely to purchase a car within 12 months.
Because of this immense buying power, auto manufactures have been gearing campaigns to this particular generation. They have visibly rebranded vehicles in attempts to appeal to the younger audience. But behind the scenes, they have been using a very important tool to aid their success in attracting the new market: Big Data. It is proving to be far more powerful and successful than the rebranding flare and advertising gimmicks.
Big Data is especially useful because of the context and target market. As the most digitally interconnected generation, Millennials are constantly leaving behind a virtual trail, leading straight to their next purchase. All auto marketers have to do is find it.
Data service providers comb the internet for verified indicators that imply imminent purchase. These indicators could be anything from searches of competitor vehicle brands to social media statuses expressing interest in or inquiring about purchasing a car. Many Millennials are still nursing their 10 to 20 year-old college cars and every trip to the shop leaves a trail of data that indicates how much closer they are to taking the next step in purchasing a new vehicle.
By pulling information from various sources, businesses can access prospect lists of in-market, millennial consumers who, whether or not they are even aware of it, are already virtually primed for the purchase. Data mining is used to trace the vehicle purchasing process, beginning from the first search term, all the way to pulling up to the dealer lot. Studies show that more than 50% of consumers across all generations base their final purchasing decision off of digital channels such as web research, reviews, social media, and community forums, and each digital interaction leaves a footprint of the purchaser’s journey. Therefore, utilizing this as an information, marketing and sales source is vital.
Increasing Brand Loyalty with Customer Data
Once a prospect has transitioned into a customer, auto dealers leverage quality data to increase customer retention with personalized campaigns that solidify customer relationships and ensure that they are positive relationships. For example, a customer who purchased a sports car has now begun leaving a purchasing and social data trail that now indicated he or she is a soon to be parent. This would certainly be a good time for a sales team member to give the customer a call and see if they’re interested in trading the sports car in for a safety conscious minivan.
The good news is that not only is this information available, consumers are becoming more accustomed to their information being used to construct personalized outreach. A recent study shows that the majority of consumers are more likely to engage in a personalized ad than a general ad. In the case of Millennials, a personalized ad is expect.
With data intelligence services, businesses can maintain and utilize customer data to create the custom, personalized experience that Millennials require. This provides the framework for a positive experience that can ultimately lead to brand loyalty; this is the ultimate gold mine for customer retention. Although Millennials aren’t very loyal when it comes to employment, nearly all appreciate when brands actively reach out to them and the great majority practice brand loyalty.
The saying rings true that the easiest customer to sell to is one you have already sold to. Data services are being used to create comprehensive customer profiles giving insight to unprecedented aspects of buying behavior.