Illustration: Sandra Kuan
To monitor the latest news in the automotive industry on the social and email side, I created a fake email address a few months ago in order to receive all the e-Newsletters from the big European car brands. I also used the same email address on Facebook to get as many international automotive friends as possible. The process itself took a couple of hours, but what resulted is a real-time, e-CRM and social lab of up-to-the-minute happenings in the automotive industry. Here are some of my initial findings:
Contest time is over in email marketing
A couple of years ago all e-Newsletters were loaded with contests. Marketers have started to understand that a database full of prize-hunters has little value.
Preference for a Facebook friend over email permission
The social share buttons on car websites have become more important than the email grabbers. Marketers seem more eager to have Facebook friends than qualified email permission.
Un-segmented email outpaces segmented email
About 75% of car brands asked me if I am the owner of their brand, but only one brand talks to me as an owner!
Car marketers seem blinded by the “likes” metrics
A lot of energy is put into pumping up the “likes” figures, although this metric is not sales related.
Automotive FB postings are mostly just copies of press releases
Sometimes the content ends with a questions to stimulate interaction, but generally it’s just PR copy repurposed. It usually has a strong focus on motorsports, motor shows and car nostalgia.
Two exceptions must be mentioned: MINI and Audi both create specific social content.
Mixed languages give a messy feeling
Threads and postings in 10 languages leave the pages looking disorganized. Most international brands try to resolve this issue by referencing “sister” pages in the left column.
Real-time monitoring seems really necessary
It’s quite interesting to see how, and with what frequency the community manager interferes with the threads. The most active brands, such as Renault, have someone dedicated to checking-in and commenting every hour. And judging from the tone, it’s likely not a trainee.