Technology has evolved exponentially in the last three decades. Right from the production of goods and services until the final sale stage, we see continuous improvement in products, processes, and services. The automotive sector is no exception to this growing trend. It has always prided itself on innovation and experimentation. It is a major contributor to the GDP and a macro-level generation of employment. From OEMs to auto component providers, the industry provides great opportunities for direct and indirect employment to skilled and unskilled labor.
The industry has also benchmarked its spending on marketing activities based on the trends of consumer’s purchasing patterns. GfK conducted a study among large eight cities – Syndicated Auto Monitor, to understand the road ahead for the Indian automotive market in next 1 – 2 years and key emerging consumer trends.
Decoding buyer’s behavior
The buyer’s journey typically includes three stages that a buyer cycles through before making a purchase: awareness, consideration, and decision. The buyer’s purchase journey is more complex than ever today given their exposure to multiple touch points. Providing a rich digital experience and personalised engagement makes for a potent consumer mix. The reason why ‘digital experience’ is imperative owing to the fact that today’s consumer does not shy away from searching and purchasing a car online.
Gfk Syndicated Auto Monitor reveals, out of all consumers planning to buy a new car, every second consumer want to replace their current car, 40% of them to buy additional, while only 1 out of 10 could be first-time buyer.
There is brand affinity with 4 out of 10 consumers as they plan to be loyal to same brand with their new purchase. However, larger share of consumers seems to brand switchers and plan to buy from wide variety of options available between various models from types and brands of Cars.
As per our study, consumers are spending slightly less than 4 months on an average researching the features and specifications of different cars. Around 42% of urban Indian consumers spend from 1 to 3 months researching for a new intended car.
This observation leads us to our next question of what factors contribute to the decision-making of consumers when selecting a particular vehicle brand.
Marketing for millennials and GenZ audience
A 360-degree marketing campaign includes promoting the brand on social media, developing and pushing review-led content, a strong SEO, a fully developed brand website, and brand visibility across offline channels. Automakers today have mobile-based virtual showrooms, live webcasts of launch events, pre-launch digital campaigns, contests on social media, and video-based short teaser campaigns to spike the customers’ interest in new products.
These elements contribute significantly as they form the source of information for consumers while making a purchase. The campaigns developed by auto manufacturers are digitally driven in today's era. It is fascinating to learn that 64% of the surveyed respondents read consumer reviews and blogs on the internet that establish their consideration towards the car they have searched for. About 62% of the respondents are also influenced by the brand website which makes it imperative for the brands to develop/design content-heavy and visually appealing websites for consumers.
Tech Innovation in auto industry is revolutionary
The automotive industry is always on the verge of technology disruption with technologies including IoT (Internet of Things). IoT is inevitably becoming a key pillar of the success of any organisation, regardless of its size or structure. As auto industry players are making the best use of artificial intelligence and digital innovation to its core, incremental technology is shifting its consumers online.
This stream of change is expected to disrupt and revolutionise the automotive industry. Since we are looking at the world through a ‘digital prism’, the future of cars will be surprising.