SAN FRANCISCO--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--As the busy U.S. auto show season fast approaches, the marketing experts at Jumpstart Automotive Group today outlined five tips to help auto marketers generate buzz with new car shoppers—online and on the show floor.
“Stay focused on the core strengths of your product and create key takeaways that are on-point with who you are, that resonate both offline and online, and that last long after the show is over”
The tips are based on U.S. market and auto show data from Jumpstart’s recent Post-Auto Show Roundup Report and its Online Car Shopping by U.S. Region Study that evaluated online vehicle shopping trends across the company’s portfolio of sites, including Car and Driver, U.S. News Automotive, J.D. Power Autos, and NADAguides, to help marketers more effectively reach new car shoppers—79% of whom turn to the Internet to research their vehicle purchase.*
Following are Jumpstart Automotive Group’s five key auto show marketing tips:
1) Know the audience.
Compacts and electric vehicles unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show last year, for example, drove the most online shopper interest across Jumpstart’s sites, while luxury vehicle unveilings in New York generated the biggest online interest among shoppers there.
From fuel efficiency to in-car technology, auto show season showcases the latest and the greatest the auto industry has to offer. For example, the Connected Car Expo at the LA Auto Show this year promises to include some major global technology announcements. Should your message be the same at every show? You may decide to highlight your product’s connected dash technology at the LA Show then switch gears and play up your product’s luxury features at the New York Auto Show.
“Our studies show a direct correlation between vehicle interest based on specific U.S. markets and the auto shows held within those markets,” said Libby Murad-Patel, Jumpstart’s senior director of strategic insights. “Smart marketers use this data to tailor their messages within particular regions, to create online and offline campaigns that resonate best with the consumers who live there.”
2) Challenge conventional thinking.
Numerous unveilings during limited windows of time make it challenging for marketers to cut through the clutter. It’s not appropriate for every show, but for a big launch Jumpstart suggests marketers challenge conventional thinking when revealing their latest products. Make a bold statement by staging a memorable off-site event or a dramatic on-site event—one that connects with human emotion (e.g. Daniel Craig’s drive through Midtown Manhattan earlier this year to reveal the Range Rover Sport) versus one that attempts to cram an hour’s worth of vehicle details into 30 minutes or less.
3) Remember your online followers.
Because auto show content generates traffic surges to Jumpstart’s portfolio of auto sites, the company’s experts say it’s important for marketers to remember a brand’s online followers—many of whom never attend the show—to create offline experiences that successfully translate online.
“Marketers should pay attention to how an ‘on-the-floor environment’ translates with online shoppers,” said Laura Schooling, chief marketing officer of Jumpstart. “Are video clips of the unveiling readily available and worth watching? Are digital assets quickly accessible for online consumers eager to learn more? And can you use those assets in a media campaign to get more scale? Creating an offline experience that gels online is always the best approach.”
4) Turn online enthusiasts into influencers.
Nick Matarazzo, chief executive officer of Jumpstart, cites Ford’s 2011 Explorer reveal—an auto industry first performed exclusively and solely on Facebook—when demonstrating just how critical online enthusiasts are to influencing in-market car shoppers.
“Ford used videos, photos, and live chats between enthusiasts at Facebook and various Ford employees to generate hype about the Explorer months before it was available on dealer lots, to increase build-and-price app completion prospects,” Matarazzo said. “This is an excellent example of how an automaker’s enthusiasts can become its greatest brand ambassadors among in-market car shoppers.”
5) Stay true to your brand.
Matarazzo also says that no matter the event, campaign, or collateral, marketers need to stay true to their brand.
“Stay focused on the core strengths of your product and create key takeaways that are on-point with who you are, that resonate both offline and online, and that last long after the show is over,” Matarazzo said. “The show may draw them in, but it’s the product that gets them to buy.”
*2012 J.D. Power New Autoshopper Study
About Jumpstart Automotive Group
Jumpstart Automotive Group, a division of Hearst Magazines, offers high-impact and performance-driven marketing and advertising solutions that achieve optimum results. Jumpstart is an industry thought leader known for its True Market Impact™ brand reports and in-depth shopping trend insights. Exclusively representing automotive digital publishers, Jumpstart reaches consumers at all stages of consideration and provides in-market scale. JumpstartAuto.com, @JumpstartAuto
Jumpstart is: Car and Driver, LeftLane, NADAguides, CarGurus, EveryCarListed, Overstock Cars, U.S. News Automotive, J.D. Power Autos, ConsumerGuide Automotive, CarSoup, hybridCARS, plugincars, Road & Track, and Autobytel.