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EV marketing challenges status quo

News, 21 April 2017
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LONDON: The marketing of electric vehicles (EV) can point the way forward for a wider auto industry that is currently stuck in a rut with homogenous campaigns that are failing to significantly shift brands metrics, an industry figure maintains.

Writing in the current issue of Admap, Glenn Burchnall, Business Director at Manning Gottlieb OMD, argues that "the learnings and behaviours of leaders in the EV market are creating a blueprint for a new set of best practices within automotive marketing.

"They are challenging the status quo of bottom-up planning by capitalising on new data and ad technology to put the consumer journey at the heart of content and media plan development," he says.

This way of thinking, he suggests, will be useful as the industry considers its approach to innovations such as autonomous technology and online car buying.

For example, he notes that Renault, Vauxhall and Peugeot committed budget to delivering share of voice (SOV) more than five times that of the share of market achievement when launching their EV propositions.

"Brands committing over £5m per year of marketing investment to models selling less than 5,000 units per year is not a common practice in the car market," Burchanll observes. "However, it could unlock some key behaviours that deliver impact on softer traditional funnel metrics and harder digital and social engagement metrics."

Similarly, EV brands have demonstrated an over-commitment to core channels, especially video and linear TV – a strategy that "pays dividends beyond what is defensible to achieve adequate SOV or 'sufficiency' within the media".

Burchnall also highlights the need for audience-centricity and a focus on motivations and need-states, citing research that showed potential buyers were more motivated by practical financial concerns than any of the technological and design elements of the model offering.

If buyers aren't especially moved by the product innovation, they may be engaged by a different advertising approach, such as a platform that shows show a side-by-side comparison of what savings an EV would deliver against cash outlay, CO2 and annual fuel costs.

The above behaviours "have been shown consistently among EV market leaders and can be directly attributed to their successes so far," says Burchnall, and will be key to future automotive marketing as well.

Data sourced from Admap

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