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Julia Manoukian


February 12, 2018

How Top OEMs Drive Better Leads, From Auto Shows to Test Drives

Julia Manoukian

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Driving better leads is more difficult than ever with new experiential marketing tactics that compete for the time and attention of consumers with advanced technology, dramatic brand stories, and transportation options that most car buyers have only dreamt of.

Drive better leads by trading in your static online form for an interactive online experience

Customers want answers, and they are online looking for the information that will lead them to the car that will fulfill their needs and wants. In fact, only 32% of consumers know exactly what they are looking for when they start searching for their ideal vehicle. They'll spend 60% of the car buying process online.

Offering an interactive online experience with in-depth questions designed to help create a buyer persona for the dealership will also help the customer feel like they are filling out a buying profile as opposed to simply handing over their email address and cell phone number.

There's little value in static lead forms to car shoppers. Answering more in-depth questions like, "What is your budget?" and "What kind of vehicle would you prefer?" helps customers clarify their expectations while dealerships qualify the lead. Customers spend three times as long on websites with interactive content according to HubSpot.

Offering an interactive customer experience on the dealership website may be a departure from the traditional sales pitch, but it's a change that Internet-savvy customers want. Ontop of helping brands drive better leads, it also helps customers retain 60% more information.

Drive better leads by staying active on social media

Mercedes-Benz publishes social media posts over three times as frequently as the average auto brand. They consistently generate more than 400,000 engagements with users during any 24-hour period.

It's not just the frequency of their content that gives them an edge where lead generation is concerned. Mercedes-Benz offers information about where their brand fits in with current social issues like CO2 emissions and fuel consumption. Aligning their message with the record number of Americans concerned about the environment helps MB get the attention of leads they may not have been able to reach in the past.

BMW averages more than 30 posts each day to its various social media channels using high-quality beautiful photographs of its vehicles.

The brand showcases user-submitted photographs, as well. These are some of the most high-performing posts. Making the most of user-generated content helps BMW increase post frequency without making an impact on the marketing budget. It also creates a personal connection between the brand and its audience that helps move leads through the sales funnel.

Drive better leads by making the auto show experience unforgettable but on brand

Jeep offered one of the most compelling exhibits at the 10-day 2017 New York Auto Show at the Jacob Javits Center by simply staying on brand. Their outdoor arena, "Camp Jeep" centered around the theme of adventure and showcased their 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.

This interactive test drive that includes semi-extreme conditions offers future Jeep drivers the first-hand experience with the brand's superior handling that they wouldn't get at a test drive with their local dealership. It also speaks to the needs of 65% of people who say that live events help them better understand a product. People who get excited about experiencing Jeep's power for themselves are high-quality leads for the brand.

At the same auto show, Ford's goal was to grab and maintain attendees' attention for a long as possible. Their VR experience theme, the future of mobility, showcased their self-driving vehicles, features like enhanced park assist, a pursuit-rated hybrid police vehicle, electric Ford products, and a Ford bike.

A video game at their booth allowed participants to travel down a virtual highway by leaning in any direction while standing on a pressure-sensitive pad. The game included award points and was a big hit with one of Ford's biggest target demographics: kids.

Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Digital Auto Show Best Practices [Checklist]

Something Powerful

Tell The Reader More

The headline and subheader tells us what you're offering, and the form header closes the deal. Over here you can explain why your offer is so great it's worth filling out a form for.


  • Bullets are great
  • For spelling out benefits and
  • Turning visitors into leads.

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