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Reinventing The Marketing Wheel To Define The Future Of Mobility

With constant change and consistently evolving times, marketing-led initiatives are now playing a more important role in brand reinvention for automotive manufacturers.

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With constant change and consistently evolving times, marketing-led initiatives are now playing a more important role in brand reinvention for automotive manufacturers. Global megatrends and disruptions are shaking up nearly every aspect of the automotive industry. Established industry players and newcomers are already moving in quickly to seize any available opportunity to prepare themselves for emerging auto industry trends in today’s evolving personal mobility landscape. 

To keep up with these changing times, automotive marketers have moved towards a more customer-centric approach. With technology driving consumer behavior and the constant need of the consumer to explore new products, seasonal variant and product rollouts have become the bread and butter of customer retention and loyalty. Additionally, the pandemic has nudged the automotive industry to drive sales via digital platforms and keep things moving by making products virtually accessible to all their customers.  

COMMUNICATION IS KEY

Automotive companies have gone beyond positioning themselves as car markers. They are now selling their brand as a whole, projecting sensitivity, instilling a sense of familiarity and relatability, and making it known that they are cognizant of current affairs to stay relevant and retain loyalty among their customers. Positive message positioning and relevant communication are key in building this long lasting customer-brand relationship. For instance - Digital insurance policy provider, Acko General Insurance released #ParkedCarsCanRunFamilies digital campaign, which is a nudge to do the right thing during the Covid-19 lockdown. Through the medium of humor, the campaign encourages people to support their household staff and points to the fact that paying household staff is the right thing to do and is easily done from the savings of not running the car during this time.

 ‘VIRTUAL’ ACCESSIBILITY

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the global industrial landscape, nudging automakers to revamp their sales processes by transitioning to the virtual space. Taking cue from this dynamic phenomenon, several automakers have introduced end-to-end digital sales platforms that allow customers to purchase from the comfort of their homes, in turn portraying a more responsible stance by the OEM. While some feel this takes away from the touch and feel aspect of car buying, others feel this is the way to make products more accessible while adapting to the new norms of social distancing. In fact, major car companies are also adopting Augmented Reality applications to enhance the customer-buying experience with changing times – a prospect that could potentially offer a strong competitive edge in the market. 

MASTERING THE FLUX TO STAY RELEVANT

The auto industry is always in a state of flux, as new models and designs alter the shape and performance of automobiles. Ergo, companies roll out products in a strategic manner to stay relevant, keep up with evolving times, and fulfill consumer demands, which often plays a deciding role in determining the product pipeline. In fact, seasonal vehicle variant launches are a great example of initiatives that keep customers engaged and gratified across the year. Several automakers have also resorted to revamping their entire product portfolio, in order to represent a brand image that aligns best with the present industry landscape, while also promising to shape the future of mobility. An example of this is the unveiling of the ‘New Forever’ range of passenger vehicles by Tata Motors in January 2020. The company rolled out their safest range of passenger vehicles with BS6 technology on a single platform – a first-timer for any automotive brand. These products are redefining the brand as being ever-evolving, ever-adapting, and therefore, ‘New Forever’, in turn reinforcing the significance of state-of-the-art design, cutting edge technology, powerful performance, and customer-centricity in car making. The industry has also witnessed changes in brand design and logos that have depicted either an adaptation of emerging trends, the re-vamping of an existing product range or the launch of a new product portfolio.

WHERE ARE WE HEADED? 

Cars, which were once considered a luxury moved towards being a necessity a long time back, however, the recent events have taken them a step further by making them a person’s second safety net after his/ her home. With personal mobility and safety taking the front seat in the new normal, automakers are driving demand by leveraging current events and consciously communicating with their customers. Acting as a catalyst to this need of the hour, several brands are rolling out lucrative finance offers to ensure their products are more accessible and stand for low total cost of ownership, enabling personal mobility. Having said the above, the future of mobility in my opinion will be customer-centric and will keep automotive manufacturers on their toes as they gain pace with changing times in the race to stay relevant and on top of their customer consideration sets.


Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Vivek Srivatsa

Mr. Vivek Srivatsa is the Head - Marketing, Passenger Vehicles Business Unit for Tata Motors

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