I’m passionate about marketing.
As a marketer yourself, do you see what’s happening? A conversation is going on. Right now, at this very moment, people are talking about your product (idea) online 24/7. You can’t start it or stop it. You can choose not to engage, but that’s really like sticking your head in the sand while a competitor jogs by to grab your customers. Much better to welcome the conversation, understand it, and be part of it yourself.
The conversation is multi-direction between marketers, friends, strangers, blogs, websites
– they all have a say about our product (idea).
In 2012, Google did a study to learn where influence takes place as shoppers moved from undecided to decided. They studied 5,000 shoppers across 12 categories, cars being one of the categories.
What they learned about car buyers can help us!
The data from the study revealed that the average consumer in 2010 engaged with 5 pieces of content before making a buying decision. In 2011 that number doubled to 10. That number doubled in one year! This shows just how tough it is for marketers to grab the attention of consumers today.
What we also learn is that car buyers are being influenced by many sources of information. Following is how the top information sources used by car buyers stack up:
It’s also important to consider what Google learned in their study about the average purchase cycle for car buyers.
23% of car buyers began their search for content 4-6 months in advance of their car purchase!
It’s not mind-blowing news that car buyers like to do advance research. Car buyers have always talked over the back fence and looked into car products on their own. In the past, they even used resources like Consumer Reports. Today though there are no barriers to information. Fresh and detailed information about a given vehicle used to be the exception. Today, the exception is now the rule.
Be the source for information
Every automotive direct mail marketing strategy should consider the following facts:
- The buying decision journey has changed. It’s no longer a funnel. The buyer will buy when they have the information they want. The more they learn, the more options they consider.
- What was once a message is now a conversation. Car buyers find and share their own information about cars, in their own way, on their own time.
- There is power in helping car buyers make great decisions. Your automotive direct mail campaigns should help the customer solve their problem.
- You are competing for attention. Make your message stick!
- Be findable. Is your online content helping your direct mail marketing strategy? It better. [/sws_blue_box]
Article Resources and References
Google/Shopper Sciences, Zero Moment of Truth Macro Study, U.S., April 2012
Chip Heath & Dan Heath, Made to Stick – Random House, 2007