CommentaryJan 2nd, 2018

Fuel Your Digital Marketing With Seasonal Data About Consumers


Seasonality remains an important factor for automotive marketers, with car sales hitting their peak during spring and fall while declining in the winter. Year over year, auto marketers lean in to peaks and valleys in consumer periods, and pivot marketing strategies to influence sales.

The path to purchase, however, is complex, with the average buying journey lasting 48 days, according to a report by market research company Millward Brown. Auto marketers are further challenged with forecasting based not only on season, but consumer interest in a particular make or model.

Actionable consumer insights can be found in seasonal data, which is crucial to influencing sales for upcoming quarters. Detailed seasonal data trends specifically related to consumer behavior can help manufacturers and their dealers compare relative website performance, visitor engagement trends over time, and lead volumes by car segment and region.

Carefully considering user-journey trends and consumer behavior enables auto marketers to make strategic decisions on where to invest their budgets to gain the biggest returns and increase sales. Valuable first-party data insights can reveal consumers’ interest, and unlock key moments in the path to purchase. This allows marketers to craft consumer-centric messaging, from nurturing prospects with personalized site experiences to closing the sale with a customized private offer.

Research conducted by Google noted that automotive shoppers have more than 24 research touch points before they make a purchase decision. Throughout the various touch points, marketers have the opportunity to harness actionable insights into a marketing strategy that counters seasonality and enhances the consumer journey. Based on diverse consumer needs and a myriad of touch points, there is no singular path to purchase.

Marketers need to focus on the high-value digital moments to engage consumers with the appropriate message and the right moment based on their interest and needs. Benchmarking website visitor trends in conjunction with analyzing consumer website behavior is key to planning and optimizing marketing strategies throughout the year.

Our company conducted a recent study based on first-party data gathered from 350-plus auto manufacturers and dealer websites across more than 50 countries.

Our quarterly report looked at global and car segment trends including website visits, visitor engagement, buying-intent signals, and cumulative leads. Also included in the report is our proprietary scoring algorithm that models and defines, both historically and in real-time, conversion propensity and user engagement by automotive brand and dealer site’s models and services.

The report closely examined lead-volume trends by global region and by car segment (midsize car, SUV, full-size pickup, compact SUV, etc.). The report showed that consumer behavior that occurs on your site today, like page views and model interest, is important intel into your next-quarter sales. With a longer purchase window, automotive marketers have the opportunity to make strategic marketing efforts to influence consumer behavior and purchases.

The digital transformation of transportation is changing the way auto manufacturers and their dealers think about constructing customer experiences, sales strategies, and their marketing plans. Understanding consumer trends based on actionable insights within millions of data points enables auto marketers to make strategic decisions on where to invest their budgets.

The insights we’ve seen in third-quarter 2017 punctuate the need automotive marketers have to make strategic efforts to leverage the immense amount of valuable consumer insight into focused, consumer-centric strategies to target true in-market buyers, rather than random, broad-based efforts. This data-driven approach will allow marketers to keep ahead in a highly competitive and complex space. Automotive brands and dealers that win harness data insights to boost engagement, increase lead volumes, and ultimately, sales.

Global director of strategic accounts with IgnitionOneRachel Pierson works closely with the marketing teams of major automotive manufacturers and their agencies to develop strategies and solutions to increase marketing performance. A graduate of Central Michigan University, Rachel has 14 years of automotive marketing and advertising experience. She currently resides in Detroit. 

Authored by

Rachel Pierson

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