New Winterberry Group Research Accelerates the Future of Automotive Marketing

Research synthesizes insights from global automotive manufacturers, focused on how the industry is applying data-driven design to build, market and sell vehicles in a digital, customer-centric world

NEW YORK, Aug. 19, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Winterberry Group, a specialized management consultancy with deep experience in advertising, marketing, data, technology and commerce, today released new research: “The Drive for Data: The Future of Automotive Marketing in a Customer-Centric World.” The research provides a comprehensive look at how automakers are using data in new and innovative ways, both pre- and post-pandemic, setting the tone for how brand management, promotions and digital experiences are to be orchestrated in a customer-centric focused future.

Based on interviews with more than 30 automotive marketers in North America and Europe representing global brands including BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, General Motors, Hyundai, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota and Volkswagen, Winterberry Group’s research found:

  • COVID-19 is accelerating a shift to digital retailing. The auto industry’s embrace of e-commerce as a platform for new car sales, as well as aftersales functions, has intensified; online channels now represent the centerpiece of the auto marketing and sales effort.
  • Poor online experiences are undermining the full potential of the “digital shift.” Lackluster digital retailing experiences may stunt burgeoning consumer interest in online buying.
  • Fragmenting paths-to-purchase are shining a new light on the importance of marketing attribution. Many automakers remain steadfastly committed to TV and other traditional media, even as customers migrate their attention, interest and buying activity to digital channels.
  • Data is plentiful, but siloed approaches to managing it are inhibiting insights and activation. Manufacturers and dealers maintain a bewildering array of distinct repositories for the customer, transactional and marketing performance data at their disposal – undermining its usefulness.
  • Current disruption is challenging auto marketers to rethink their approach to… everything. The pandemic-sparked economic crisis has intensified the impact of systemic changes that were already upsetting long-standing norms governing how consumers buy and use cars.

“The automotive industry has long maintained a complicated relationship with the internet. Today, automakers have accelerated at unprecedented speed to leverage data to build, market and sell vehicles digitally,” said Michael Harrison, managing partner of Winterberry Group. “The industry has made a paradigmatic shift to digital retailing, powered by data, which represents the new showroom for auto marketing and sales.”

“Digital retailing in the automotive vertical has long been a focused topic of discussion and roadmap planning, but now it’s no longer simply an innovation element of a long-term strategy. Rather, it is the expectation of customers across all buying segments,” said Andy Arnold, EVP of Ansira Channel. “The release of this research further amplifies the transformational power that the right data insights can provide to an automotive brand, and their dealer network of partners, and how they must develop a data-first approach to ensure successful automotive marketing.”

“To stay competitive, manufacturers and dealers need a full view of the automotive consumer journey so they can reach and engage buyers at critical moments of consideration,” says Charlie Martin, head of global strategic partners, Treasure Data. “A customer data platform (CDP) addresses many concerns manufacturers and dealers bring up in this research, like unifying valuable customer data across silos, and then enabling marketers to deliver personalization at scale.”

“The Drive for Data: The Future of Automotive Marketing in a Customer-Centric World,” is available for download at: Premier sponsors of the research are Ansira and Treasure Data. Supporting sponsor is Equifax.

About Winterberry Group
Winterberry Group is a specialized management consultancy with deep experience in advertising, marketing, data, technology and commerce. Winterberry Group’s proven methodologies address the needs of firms in its core industries, enabling brands, publishers, marketing service providers and technology developers to understand emerging opportunities, create actionable strategies and grow their value and global impact.

Steve Stratz
for Winterberry Group