By Deirdre Borrego
Keep Your Eye on Generation Y
Generation Y [currently estimated at 80 million and a huge retail automotive growth opportunity], also known as Millennials, are already starting to create a massive change in the way retail business is conducted.
Gen Y Consumers Gather Information
J.D. Power research clearly shows that Millennials have a distinctly different approach to finding information and making purchases. Rather than reading a newspaper, listening to radio, watching television, or paging through a phonebook to research their next purchase or find a local retailer, these consumers are more inclined to go online to gather information before purchasing a product or service.
Digital Marketing Becomes Key
In the automotive industry, this dynamic has already had considerable impact on how automotive marketers invest their financial and human resources.
As Millennials mature, become wealthier, and become an even larger proportion of the vehicle-buying public (they currently account for 18% of new-vehicle sales, and are expected to account for 22% by 2020, according to J.D. Power data) the digital space will become the single-largest opportunity for retailers to communicate and influence consumers during the purchase process. J.D. Power data shows that 87% of Millenials use the Internet in their vehicle-shopping process, compared with 79% for all new-vehicle buyers.
Dealers Must Engage Across Multiple Channels and Platforms
Gen Y consumers are utilizing all avenues of communication, which means dealers must have a presence there as well – effectively managing all inputs of reputation management, such as dealer rating sites, blogs, and social media.
To do that, dealers need a way to efficiently access and respond to consumer inquiries online and in social media—rather than trolling around on the individual sites—and be able to aggregate information and credibly manage their reputation online. Developing smartphone applications is one way dealers can more effectively communicate with consumer inquiries, as well as directly with customers.
Dealers, and automakers, have access to in-depth information about their customers. They need to leverage the information about customer sales, as well as service and vehicle history, to more efficiently manage the customer ownership experience.
Dierdre Borrego is vice president and general manager of global automotive operations with Power Information Network (PIN) and J.D. Power and Associates. Read the full article here.