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Mapping the Automotive Customer Journey

In 2016, UK automotive manufacturers turned over £77.5bn – the highest industry turnover on record, supported by an 8.9% increase in vehicle production (SMMT 2017).

To date, in 2017, more than 1.5m new cars have been registered – down just 2.2% from last year’s record high, showing dealership sales of new cars continue to back up manufacturing numbers.

Used-car sales continue to perform well too. More than 2.1m used cars were sold in Q1 of this year alone, up 3.4% YoY (SMMT, 2017).

So with the above figures in mind, how can you ensure your dealership events continue to promote this industry rise and make more sales for your business? The infographic below explains how an event supported by AlphaGraphics can increase your sales.



We look at how to map the customer buying journey in 2017…

The buying journey and how to map it:

Throughout the buying journey, the consumer will need a number of questions to be answered. Each one eliminates options to bring the consumer to the right make and model of car. As a marketer, it’s our job to make sure the consumer makes the right choice – making sure we answer all of the right questions to lead to a purchase made at ‘our’ dealership.

As the above graphic from Deloitte shows, it’s important to note that the current consumer market for cars cuts across a number of demographics. This means automotive marketeers must consider appealing to boomers, Generation Z and Generations Y/Z and their different needs throughout their campaigns and answering those key questions year-round by marketing on the most appealing and appropriate channels to each demographic.

Understanding how different consumers use these channels (which ones, how often, what information they are looking for) is critical to delivering successful personalised marketing campaigns – and this can only be done effectively by using data.

Taking the analysis of one consumer's car buying journey as an example, 900 digital touch points were made:

In this case, Stacy looked at 14 brands, considered six and decided between two, while conducting 139 Google searches, 89 image searches and watching 14 YouTube videos. We also know Stacy is in Gen X and lives in a suburban area, so perhaps we could find this data for all known customers in Gen X, female, suburban area and use it to personalise marketing, stay engaged with this segment and to learn how to attract new customers in this buyer demographic.

For example, by using the above behaviour data to inform marketing decisions, it could be worthwhile targeting this demographic through advertising on YouTube, sponsoring posts on Instagram and bidding on search terms to appear more prominently throughout the segment’s extensive search activity. And, by combining this with personalised, traditional print and mail campaigns that will capture the target audience's’ imagination.

The above car buyer journey example is, impressively, the tip of the iceberg when it comes to targeting automotive consumers through opt-in, captured data. The above graphic was created using nothing more than Google Analytics. Now, imagine combining this data with email campaign data, print data, in-dealership data, Facebook analytics, YouTube analytics, re-marketing campaigns – and the list goes on. It’s possible to build a four-dimensional picture of each of your target markets if you analyse all the data at your fingertips.

Or leave it in our capable hands – at AG Automotive, we specialise in helping automotive businesses big and small, by delivering innovative, multi-channel, data-driven marketing campaigns that include everything from direct mail to digital and prospecting. To find out how we could improve your lead generation, visit: