Marketers often talk about employing strategies that are “digital first” or “mobile first.” At Acura, we believe that the best approach puts the customer first.
The Acura brand has always been a technology leader in the luxury space. But we see the purpose of technology as helping people. This philosophy has never been more important than with digital and mobile media, which represents the use of technology to enter a customer’s personal space.
Connectivity has changed the path to purchase fundamentally and forever. Consider that the average person now spends 15.5 hours shopping for a car, with 12 of those hours involving use of digital media. They still spend an average of 3.5 hours in the showroom; but even during that time their mobile devices are at the ready, and so is the ability to build their dream vehicle with a tap or a swipe. Don’t have the right color in stock? The customer can quickly search inventory to find another dealer that does. Mobile technologies have truly put the power in the hands of the customer.
“NEVER BEFORE HAVE (MARKETERS) HAD THE ABILITY TO TAILOR OUR MESSAGE TO THE SPECIFIC TIME AND PLACE OF A CUSTOMER’S BUYING DECISION.”MIKE ACCAVITTI
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER, ACURA DIVISION, AMERICAN HONDA MOTOR COMPANY
Every consumer’s journey to the car they eventually buy involves exposure to multiple automotive brands through a range of TV, print, radio, online and mobile messages. Breaking through the clutter requires a strategic marketing approach that flows across all media channels. We’ve found that cross-media exposure can result in double-digit increases in familiarity, consideration and favorability.
Connecting with a consumer through their personal device requires delivering messages that are appropriate in context and content.
Mobile video, for instance, should be short and impactful, while online sponsored content can weave a longer story. I recently had to watch a one-minute commercial on my phone to get to a 45-second video I wanted to see. Some marketers might consider that a success. I think it’s abusive.
We develop dynamic 10- and 15-second ads that are more appropriate to be placed in front of short-form mobile video content. More people watch the shorter ads all the way to the end, so you have a better chance of getting across a message. More importantly, more consumers are pleased by their experience with your brand.
Mobile is particularly powerful in reaching consumers. The vast majority carry smartphones today. We’ve developed guidelines that make sure the personal, one-to-one marketing that arrives in their pockets is both effective and respectful.
This includes carefully choosing key partners who can help us create a revolving arsenal of video content so we stay fresh to potential customers; making videos “bite-sized and bold.”
Digital and mobile media present marketers with incredible opportunity. Never before have we had the ability to tailor our message to the specific time and place of a customer’s buying decision. By putting the customer first in our strategy, we hope to transcend that single transaction and foster a lasting relationship with the Acura brand. ◆