Bold Predictions About the Future of Automotive Marketing

4Marketing Strategies

It’ll be here before you know it. The future of automotive marketing is coming. Like a sophisticated driving machine accelerating as it weaves through hairpin turns with ease, it’s rapidly approaching.

Decades of innovations with regards to safety, performance and rider experience have forever changed the way consumers perceive vehicles and transportation. The amenities now available with a vehicle would’ve been unimaginable to past generations of automakers, and this innovative spirit has helped the retail automotive industry enjoy steady annual growth during the last 50 years.

In an industry where the primary constant has been changed, though, it’s not easy to predict what the future of automotive marketing looks like for dealerships. When you peer into your crystal ball, you visualize both an exciting opportunity and apprehension-inducing uncertainty. Just how can your dealership develop the foresight necessary to flourish in the future?

Here are four bold predictions pertaining to the future of the automotive industry and its marketing strategies:

1. Digital Will Dominate the Car-Buying Process

The Internet already plays a supporting role in the car-buying process, yet it won’t be long before it serves as the lead actor. While certain aspects of vehicle purchasing will remain offline (namely, test-driving), expect the process to increasingly revolve around the Web rather than your showroom. As the Millennial Generation continues to come of age, these tech-savvy young adults will prefer utilizing the Internet not only to conduct automotive research and partake in online car shopping but also to secure financing, complete vehicle transactions and pursue resale opportunities. Consequently, your dealership must adapt to this evolving Internet-based consumer landscape by creating an engaging digital experience with your automotive marketing efforts that ultimately wins over the longterm business of young car-buyers.

2. Car-Sharing is More Than a Passing Fad

Car-sharing services —enabling people to reserve quick access to a vehicle from a personal mobile device —have taken the transportation market by storm. This trend will only grow in the coming years, as consumers increasingly prioritize convenience over ownership, opting to only pay to use vehicles as needed rather than assuming the longterm benefits and responsibilities associated with possessing a car. As a result, dealerships will need to adjust the values they afford their customer bases. While some consumers will still seek to own or lease a vehicle, it might be worthwhile for dealerships to explore implementing a consumer mobility package tailored toward those customers who wish to have access to a range of vehicles without actually owning any of them.

3. Go Green or Go Home

Environmental awareness will continue to grow in the coming years, and dealerships must take note. When product and service offerings prove somewhat comparable, Millennials will align themselves with those brands that convey a true understanding of environmental friendliness. Failure to demonstrate adequate concern for the environment could result in the discovery that your car-buying customers aren’t so loyal after all. In addition to offering a wide selection of low-emission vehicles, your dealership must succeed with automotive marketing that effectively conveys the eco-friendliness of your business. If your dealership has incorporated energy-efficient lighting in the showroom, recycling of automotive materials in the service area and use of paint that’s waterborne rather than solvent-based in the body shop, then your customers should be made aware of your green initiatives.

4. Autonomous Vehicles: Coming to a Road Near You

Although driver-less car technology remains in the early stages of development, there will come a time in the not-too-distant future when the streets will be occupied by vehicles that are fully autonomous and don’t require accelerating, steering nor braking on the part of the rider. Larger corporations like Google and Tesla have already devoted significant resources to self-driving vehicle research and testing. From an automotive marketing standpoint, autonomous vehicles will shift the consumer experience from driving to riding, placing increased emphasis on rider amenities. Those dealerships that can successfully market the perks of forgoing driving will enjoy capitalizing on this innovative wave of the future.

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