Global major Dassault Systemes is at the forefront of augmenting the digital experience in the automotive industry. Its key 3DEXCITE software is all about driving key marketing transformation with automated content and connecting the engineering and designing segments to the marketing and sales campaigns.
Connecting the online engagement with the physical experience is a strategic tactic that successful brands have mastered. Dassault Systemes’ 3DEXCITE provides digital continuity and seamless experiences to connect the brand to the consumer at every touchpoint, whether it be online, through mobile devices or in-store. And it believes it can make a huge difference in the automotive industry.
Dominic Kurtaz, CEO, Dassault Systèmes 3DEXCITE says, “The future of automotive retail is extremely exciting. The car is no longer a mode of transportation, it is a connected product.” He was one of the panelists at Autocar Professional’s virtual conference titled, ‘Future of Automotive Retail – Inspiring Digital Experience For Virtual Engagement', which also included:
- Veejay Nakra, CEO, Automotive Division, Mahindra & Mahindra
- Tarun Garg, Director, Sales & Marketing, Hyundai Motor India
- Vivek Srivatsa, Head – Marketing, Passenger Vehicles Business Unit, Tata Motors
- Ashish Kale, President, FADA
Dassault System most known for its product line-up. With over 20,000 employees, 12,600 partners and 270,000 customers across 140 countries with nearly 25 million users, their 3DExperience platform with the 3DEXCITE is looking to combine art, science and technology towards more sustainable end.
Kurtaz pointed out that the, “The entire journey of a product from conceptualisation to real-world introduction and later on interactions between customers, companies and dealers, today rely on a balanced mix of real and virtual experiences.”
He explained the role of technology providers such as Dassault Systemes in this entire endeavour of the automotive industry to switch to the digital platform, and mentioned the company’s 3DExcite software suite that plays a key role in offering digital product experiences. According to him, being able to modulate and simulate the product is no longer good enough and highlighted the need to modulate and simulate the bigger picture and not just the product.
Kurtaz feels, “The principles of 3D experience go from initial concept to being able to visualise the exact virtual representation. It needs to also build behavioral elements into this visualisation.”
Digital experience- triggered by the customer, for the customer
In the course of his presentation, he highlighted how the, “Digital experiences can help really bring about a greater understanding of the product details.” A quick lowdown of the six key trends likely in the future of automotive retail brings to fore an interesting aspect. As we move from top to bottom, it begins and ends with the customer. The virtual world in its ability to extend and improve the real world springs from the customer’s expectation about creating memorable experiences. This is what leads to a chain of events, which results in the product undergoing exponential growth in complexity and impacting everything the ecosystem connected with it. This is what then triggers the channels with a need for hyper-personalisation.
The intelligence of the innovator comes to play in knowing what’s important for the customer and this he feels is how the “digital experience is a real enabler of initiating greater awareness for the customers.” Kurtaz sees real opportunity to bring the virtual experiences and the physical experiences closer to the customer and make it a seamless journey for them and that in turn makes the customer not just a fan but also the marketer of the product.
This is exactly why Kurtaz feels we are seeing: “New ownership models, new connectivity models, new powertrain designs are emerging in the automotive world. None of us have the crystal ball to see how the endgame looks like. We can use virtual experiences to create a community of followers and go through the process and achieve greater experiences.” As we see OEMs increasingly taking the digital route to drive up demand, it is a crucial aspect to introspect on.
But the key question to focus at this juncture, according to Kurtaz, would be, “Where can digital add value to the physical experience?” He pointed out that, “The digital aspect of the car buying process will no doubt become more important but we need to look at how well we industrialise and scale up this digital experience alongside the physical experience.”
Leveraging digital capabilities
Dassault Systemes claims that with 3DEXCITE Marketing Content Creation, artists, agencies and OEMs can efficiently create multi-channel marketing assets in a collaborative business environment. This in the current context can be leveraged uniquely. This is exactly why Kurtaz sees the “potential of the digital experience being engineered as the physical car is being engineered.”
Kutaz echoed the other speakers’ perspective on the growing importance of data and how that can help adapt to the enhanced digital focus in the automotive world. As innovators increasingly try to bring the virtual and physical experience into one seamless journey for the automotive customer, Kurtaz’s concluding thoughts focused on the role of data. According to him, “Data drives the kind of experiences we deliver and the data feedback allows us to take forward a constant evolution of experience.”
Automotive retail: The digitally augmented physical experience
M&M's Veejay Nakra: ‘Once you get the taste of convenience, it is difficult to go back’
Hyundai Motor India’s Tarun Garg: ‘We have to be empathetic with the customer’
Tata Motor's Vivek Srivatsa: ‘Thanks to digital space, OEMs can go anywhere in the country’
FADA's Ashish Kale: ‘Dealers are a resilient lot and we will adapt to new methods of selling’