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Automotive Mobile marketing programs and related budget allocations by car companies and dealers are projected to increase in 2012. However, 37% of automotive marketers report that a lack of strategy inhibits their adopting mobile marketing, and 22% cite a lack of resources. Those results are according to [pdf] the “StrongMail Mobile Marketing Survey 2012,” conducted in April 2012, of more than 800 business leaders worldwide.
Car Company and Dealership Mobile websites (70%), mobile applications (55%) and QR codes (49%) are the most popular forms of mobile marketing, but less than half of automotive marketers are currently running any of them.
Of those who are, 57% have only been running them for a year or less. However, the opportunity is not lost with auto industry marketers, as 75% of car companies and auto dealers not currently running programs plan to within a year or more – and of those businesses that are, 70% expect to see their budgets increase over the same time period. The survey results also highlight a real opportunity for automotive marketers to embrace and integrate mobile with email and other digital channels to properly engage automotive consumers at various stages of the vehicle ownership lifecycle.
“With smartphones now accounting for nearly half of all devices in use by mobile users, it is more imperative than ever for automotive digital marketers to adopt and integrate mobile marketing tactics into email and their overall marketing mix,” said Kara Trivunovic, vice president of agency services, StrongMail. “Email marketers who are serious about garnering and maintaining consumer attention in this new era of mobile need more than just a solid strategy; they also need the right tools and resources to execute.”
Smartphones may account for nearly half of the devices in use by mobile users, but when it comes to actual sales automotive retailers are reporting, tablets outrank smartphones nearly two to one.
According to the 2012 Shop.org/Forrester Research Inc. “State of Retailing Online” survey, tablet and smartphone sales as a percent of retailers’ total web sales in 2011 were 3.2% and 1.5%, respectively. Some 49% of retailers say their average order value via a tablet is now higher than traditional web sales. Nearly three in 10 (28%) retailers say they are seeing about the same average order value from tablets as their website.
“Overall, we expect smartphone shopping adoption rates to stay low but fully believe tablet sales will continue to change how retailers garner the attention of new and current customers,” said Shop.org Executive Director Vicki Cantrell. “With tablet usage marching towards true ubiquity, retailers will continue to plan ahead by examining their customers’ behaviors and shopping patterns.”
Despite lacking a clearly defined strategy for how to get into the mobile space, respondents were clear about the expected benefits. More than 50% of respondents believed that a mobile program could help them increase sales and acquire new customers, while nearly 50% of respondents say a strong automotive mobile marketing program would increase brand awareness.
Forty three percent (43%) of businesses have achieved some level of integration between their email marketing and mobile marketing programs, but with mobile landing pages (32%), mobile number capture at email sign-up (25%) and mobile optimized templates (22%) being the top areas of focus, progress needs to be made in implementing more sophisticated programs. To that point, only 27% are running cross-channel, life-cycle marketing programs that include mobile messaging. Similarly, only 29% have used mobile response data to optimize offers in email or other channels.
When asked to identify the top obstacle to launching a mobile program, 37% of automotive related businesses cited lack of strategy, followed by a lack of resources at 22%. Mobile marketing budgets also remain a small fraction of overall auto industry interactive budgets, with 54% of car companies and auto dealers allocating 5% or less to mobile programs. Nearly a quarter of all businesses reported less than 1% allocated to mobile. On the positive side, 55% of automotive marketing professionals report increased mobile marketing budgets over the past year.
About the Data: The “StrongMail Mobile Marketing Survey 2012” was conducted in conjunction with Zoomerang. The poll, which gathered feedback from 802 business executives in a wide range of industries, was conducted from April 11 - 23, 2012.