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Julia Manoukian


November 1, 2017

How Automotive Brands Grow Leads With Marketing Automation

Julia Manoukian

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What is the easiest way to sell more cars? For automotive brands, the answer is simple: put people in the driver’s seat.

Consumers want to experience the car. Rev the engine and take it for a spin.  

This consumer experience is why ride and drives, track days, and other experiential events have proven to be one of the best ways to activate, gather and nurture quality leads. They bring your highest quality leads into one physical space where consumers can interact with your brand (and cars).

Best of all, many of these attendees are already existing customers or brand enthusiasts. These advocates or individuals are already in close purchasing horizons, often looking to buy a car in the next 6 months.

However, most automotive brands face the same major problem: seamlessly capturing and qualifying leads in real-time, personalizing communication throughout the buyer's journey and measuring return on investment (ROI), all while creating an outstanding end-to-end consumer experience.

Brands need the ability to deliver an experience that’s as premium as they are.”
– Jonah Midanik, Founder & CEO, Limelight Platform

The Challenge in the Automotive Industry

When it comes to experiential events for automotive brands, there is no holistic approach or process in place. Many brands turn to rudimentary paper waivers and sign in lists, take that data back to HQ and eventually upload it into the system to slowly drip out generic email campaigns.

Statistic: 6% of marketers say they can obtain complete views of their customers from available data sources (CMO council and RedPoint Global Q1 ‘17 Survey).

This outdated process comes with a high chance of human error. There's usually a major time lag between the event, inputting information into a CRM and delivering communications to attendees. 

Kristina Monllos, Senior Editor at Adweek, highlights the importance of moving from a passive approach to an active one. Brands that take a passive approach hope an experience is so impressive that people act based on it. An active approach includes “data points and tracking as part of the experience,” to “guarantee that [marketers] will have the analytics they need to justify the expense of experiential.”

Statistic: Businesses that use marketing automation to capture and nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads (B2C)

The Risk of Not Changing 

You risk opportunities. You risk sales.

Without the ability to capture and qualify leads in real-time, or the right information in place to deliver hyper-targeted, personalized communications, automotive brands are risking relationships with leads, hand-raisers, and current customers.

Statistic: Stat image: 2x-3x increase in post-ride and drive purchases when filtering content delivery based on consumer interests and interactions (limelight statistic)

With live marketing automation, automotive brands can take advantage of progressive profiling. Progressive profiling is the process of separating data capture into smaller, more manageable increments.

Progressive profiling can reduce form abandonment, reduce information requested at any single engagement, and spread data capture across the sign-up, onsite experience and follow-up engagements.  

Statistic: 3x-5x increase in engagement when using progressive profiling for ride and drives (Limelight statistic)

When you’re running several campaigns in multiple locations, you need a piece of technology that can aggregate all your data. You need to be able to look back at that data through a holistic lens to understand what cities, events and days worked best.  

It’s crucial to your brand’s success to look back and understand what strategies produced the most leads, engagement and sales, all while minimizing potential risks.

Risks of not using a centralized system include data loss, data security (or lack thereof), paper trails and so much more. There are other possible processes that involve moving towards a digital solution, such as using Google Forms, but then you run into issues of data security.

The Bigger Picture 

There are many fragmented tools in the marketing landscape that have finite capabilities. When running a live experience, they only cover one small component of the big picture. As a result, there’s more of a disconnect between strategy, execution and measuring.

Statistic: 5% of marketers report they can determine the bottom-line impacts of engagements in real-time, and only 3% content there’s alignment across technology platforms with regard to data, metrics and insights. (CMO council and RedPoint Global Q1 ‘17 Survey)

Having one system of record that brings all the functionalities of your tech stack together under one umbrella is the best way to create, execute, optimize and measure every live experience that your brand invests in.

According to Marketo, 91% of best-in-class marketers say marketing automation is "very important" to the overall success of their programs.

Clearly, brands are turning towards solutions that aggregate all their data into one place. Leveraging live marketing automation enables them to better capture data, prove ROI, and ultimately, deliver a premium consumer experience.

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