Last August, Brian Solis, Principal Analyst at Altimeter, spoke with Dean Evans, the CMO of Hyundai Motor America to debate how quickly evolving customer behavior has motivated Hyundai to change their method to promoting automobiles.
The interview with Evans was carried out for a research titled, Digital Experience Innovators: How Leading CMOs and DMOs are Modernizing Experiences and Brands for Digital-First Customers. The research reveals that prime manufacturers like Hyundai are investing closely in know-how geared toward modernizing the customer journey.
The evolution of customer behavior
The conventional automotive gross sales mannequin includes the customer visiting the vendor and negotiating round worth factors that they’re not absolutely conscious of, however this mannequin is altering based mostly on the availability of data that informs the customer journey. Solis requested how this has affected Hyundai’s method to reaching folks at essential moments throughout the buying cycle.
“We’re getting good at understanding in-market buying intent which is tells us we need to spend more of our media dollars putting our value proposition in front of people that are shopping,” explains Evans. “As audience identification gets better, we get better at reaching people at the right time.”
Hyundai is reinventing the automotive buying mannequin by ensuring that essential info similar to worth is accessible to prospects up entrance on their web site and elsewhere. Consumers can now store at web sites like TrueCar and Cars.com to get an concept of what is a good worth, basically skipping the preliminary go to to the vendor.
Simplifying the procuring experience
Hyundai has a product known as Shopper Assurance, which allows consumers to get clear pricing, remotely schedule a take a look at drive, buy a automobile from any machine and even trade a car inside three days in the event that they’re sad with it.
“Shopper Assurance is a better retail experience for car buyers. It offers transaction prices up front, a test drive, a more seamless purchasing experience and a money-back guarantee,” Says Evans. “We’re trying to walk away from immediately pushing a car or feature or price incentive to an in-market audience and instead offer a better retail experience as the value proposition.”
Hyundai has added ecommerce layers to all their vendor web sites so customers can do extra pre-shopping up entrance. They can see what their credit score rating is, perceive lease and buying choices and do what historically took hours in the showroom with a salesman. Now when a customer enters the showroom, they’ve the info packaged for them they usually can get proper to the most vital a part of the dealership experience—the test-drive
The Shopper Assurance program is actually customer centered and gives a money-back assure, one thing unprecedented in the auto trade.
Getting government buy-in
Solis questioned Evans about how he was capable of persuade Hyundai executives to introduce these new shopper packages in such a longtime trade.
“Some of the ways that we convinced stakeholders to test this process was through customer surveying,” explains Evans. “We brought everyone to the table and said we don’t have anything to lose by merging what we think is the best of both worlds—customers and salespeople. We have technology tools that can help the customer along the way and a brand that can support them.”
Once Hyundai launched this method in pilot markets, they surveyed prospects who stated it was a greater automotive retail buying experience than they’d had earlier than. They have been getting scores of 75 % or extra with prospects saying it was the finest experience they’ve ever had. “The knowledge confirmed that buyers have been choosing experience over make and mannequin.
“This is the best competitive advantage possible,” Says Evans, “because the features and technology across today’s automotive brands are very similar, so what differentiates brands is the retail experience. It takes a long time at a company like Hyundai to convince shareholders and stakeholders that this is something we need to do. Customers and customer data helped push this whole idea through the system.”
Marketing as the income driver
Per Solis, analysis exhibits that for related merchandise, prospects can pay upwards of 25% % extra for a product in the event that they know they’ll get a greater experience all through the buying journey and in the product lifecycle. When requested how advertising might help ship nice customer experience in addition to act as the a driver for enterprise progress, Evans indicated that it was all about knowledge.
“Modern Chief Marketing Officers are really Chief Revenue Officers,” Evans defined. “Marketing has gone from a creative exercise to being extremely data-driven and performance-based.”
In in the present day’s data-driven surroundings, a click on equals a lead which equals a sale. Marketing has come full circle. Hyundai leans in on this phenomenon with their company father or mother in Korea, with sellers, and with all related stakeholders together with the CFO. The extra they spend money on advertising up entrance, the extra gross sales they get out in contrast to the outdated days the place a TV spot could have labored about half the time (or much less).
“In Automotive, it used to be the sales chief was the revenue generator,” says Evans. “We’re finding that we can affect conversion by getting our retailers to close those leads better, but it takes the marketing department to get a customer into the dealership to begin with.”