The importance of a digital strategy in automotive marketing

The importance of a digital strategy in automotive marketing

Over the 21st century, the automotive industry has been growing rapidly. It sounds exciting, but do we know what is out there? It is vital to know your target audience and find new ways to create awareness through your brand’s online presence as an automobile manufacturer. A business can reach prospective buyers and increase conversion rates through tailor-made digital strategies.

The type of automobile a person owns is a lifestyle choice, a personal identity statement and a means of travelling from point A to B. High tech automobile manufacturers such as Tesla, Remac and Toyota focus on the next digital revolution to provide their customers with high-quality automobiles.

When it comes to top automotive manufacturers like Tesla and Mercedes Benz, they follow an effective digital marketing strategy to stand out from the crowd.

While Tesla is one of the high tech automotive companies, which is revolutionising the technology space, below given are some of the marketing tactics Elon Musk uses to stand out from the crowd 

  • Being Authentic –  Elon Musk’s novel tech ideas are one of the reasons Tesla is authentic. For manufacturers, this is an excellent approach since it helps you to understand your audience and find out what they think of the new product so that the manufacturer can modify and make necessary adjustments before production begins.
  • Word of Mouth/ Referral Program – We know that word of mouth continues to be a powerful marketing strategy, thus Tesla has a unique program where people who share their experiences with Tesla are rewarded. This is also a free promotion that encourages its audience to connect with the brand.
  • Use of Multiple Digital Channels for Brand Exposure – From Facebook to Instagram to YouTube, brands now have numerous ways to reach their customers by giving the correct message to attract the right target audience through the various channels available.

Let’s take a look at the strategies adopted by the German giant, Mercedes Benz.

Benz continues to build powerful “V” engines for its AMG division, and they adopt unique digital marketing strategies to gain traction for the brand.

  • Target Market Inside Out – For the debut of the new EQ series, Mercedes collaborated with a Grammy award-winning artist to create a powerful marketing campaign that targeted the youthful population. With the all-electric change coming in, it is important to target the younger generation because they tend to grow and identify with the brand, especially from a manufacturer who is currently using large “V” engines and transforming to all-electric vehicles.
  • Foreground Personality in Advertising – Mercedes focuses on innovation, and the new Mercedes A series has it all. The new ad, “Just Like You,” was created by Antoni Berlin and emphasizes on what makes the new automobile distinctive, including its capacity to contact individuals who live in the digital world and to understand their preferences, wants, and traits. This encourages the users to be more connected to the brand focusing on the key points which every buyer looks for in an “A Car Just Like You”. This strategy changes the whole game for the new A-series. (A series Ad).

Here are the top 3 methods to create brand awareness and user engagement for the automobile industry:

  •  Social Media Marketing
  •  Email Marketing
  •  Content Marketing

As per the joint research report on “how digital is transforming the face of the automotive industry in India”, which was released by Facebook, close to 70% of annual automobile sales (approximately around 19 million sales units) are influenced by digital. Social media alone can affect about 40% of sales.

 Social Media Marketing

When we look into social media marketing which is a heavily used medium for marketing, it could even be classified as a primary tool for marketing due to its unique features. Over 4.4 billion people in the world use social media, Facebook being one of the top used social media in 2021 with over 2.8 billion monthly active users (Source: Facebook Business).   

Social Media alone has the function of creating a custom audience or a lookalike audience to find people interested in the brand. In addition to this, manufacturers can conduct polls to identify what their users would love to improve. Then, they can further engage users to develop creative content on the products and repost them to increase overall user engagement. This helps to increase brand reputation and enhance user experiences. 

64% of the automobile shoppers and other parties watch online videos with the 360° video that would convince them to buy a car without a test drive. As we know  YouTube marketing is also an active marketing platform when it comes to the automobile industry. For example, when a new vehicle is launched or when a person is going to purchase a particular brand, consumers look for reviews and other related videos relating to the vehicle from top automobile channels such as Top Gear and Grand Tour. By using YouTube, you will gain additional exposure and increase user engagement.

Most of the automobile companies keep them under 1 minute long & 64% of creator and automobile reviews are over 10 minutes long. When it comes to posting a video on YouTube, it’s important to keep the video around 1 – 3 minutes as, on average, a user spends a total of 16 Min and 44 sec on YouTube. With YouTube, a brand can reach new users every day (Source: Nissan YouTube).

Email Marketing

Email marketing could also be an interesting platform for a manufacturer to tease their potential customer. It is found that around 25% of website visits are triggered by email marketing alone. Thus, email marketing can increase leads and improve customer experiences.     

(Source: Subaru Email marketing)

Content Marketing                                                                                        

This is where content marketing comes into play; just like encouraging people to use the configurator tool to personalise their vehicle, it’s also important to know what your audience is looking for in your brand. As a brand, it’s essential to showcase the primary information users are looking for to raise awareness of your product. This will then help a brand increase its credibility and drive additional traffic to the brand’s site.

Living in the 21st century, every automobile manufacturer must swiftly move into the digital space to reach more customers and increase sales transforming their marketing strategies. 


Written by: Mohamed Aaqil Yoosoof, Executive – Account Manager