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3 Insights for automotive marketers in 2017

Auto marketers understand that what consumers want is an ever-evolving product. That’s why certain organizations are rebranding themselves as mobility companies and changing the ways they engage and connect to buyers.

In February, DRIVE 2017: The Automotive Marketing Summit, brought together the automotive marketing industry’s most cutting-edge brands, agencies and ad-tech companies to talk best practices and the newest trends on the horizon. 

“This year’s DRIVE theme was the art and the science of a data-driven strategy,” said Arianne Walker, Sr. Director, Brand Strategy, Oracle Data Cloud. “We shared vital, actionable tools and insights from top thought leaders across the industry that empowered automotive marketers to make more informed campaign decisions.”

DRIVE centered on areas of the advertising and marketing landscape currently rife with change and challenges, but also filled with great excitement and opportunity. These include data unification, the future of mobility and AI and connecting data-driven marketing with great creative.

”It’s a fantastic time to be in automotive marketing thanks to all the available data and information on consumer patterns,” said Joe Kyriakoza, VP/GM of Automotive, Oracle Data Cloud. “Using the types of tools available today, in tandem with the artful mastery of auto marketers’ creativity and content creation, audience planning is more efficient than ever before.”

Here are three key takeaways from DRIVE 2017:

  1. Regardless of your industry, mobile continues to be a focal point and a challenge for marketers  

“Our mobile devices are the remote controls to our lives, they facilitate the path to purchase,” said Terence Kawaja, Founder & CEO of LUMA Partners, on the DRIVE stage.

The key to marketing on mobile is modality—what works in advertising on other channels like TV and display won’t automatically work for mobile device users.  Linear TV deploys full programming takeover, but giving that same experience to a person connecting with a brand on their iPhone impacts the consumer in a negative way.

In fact, according to our DRIVE panelists, 26 percent of users enabled ad blockers in 2016. That is a problem marketers cannot ignore. 

  1. Auto brands are embracing artificial intelligence  

DRIVE also showed attendees the impact of AI on the automotive industry. At this year’s CES, both Volkswagen and Ford announced they are in early stages of integrating with Amazon’s Alexa.

Kia also is exploring these types of integrations, in addition to using AI to engage directly with consumers on a chat module for their new hybrid SUV Niro through Facebook Messenger. Dubbed the “NiroBot,” this chat functionality lets consumers research the car’s features and functionality powered by AI.

  1. A unified view of data assets is still the Holy Grail for marketers 

Our final insight from DRIVE is one that impacts the entire industry: the problematic nature of data silos.

Data silos remain the enemy of efficient marketing strategies. Auto marketers do all they can to gain a unified view of their customer using data. Marrying data from CRM to social, customer loyalty and third-party data assets, then closing the feedback loop with analytics, seemed key for everyone in attendance at DRIVE.

The consensus? Bringing together the right technologies, combined with a marketing leadership strategy that encourages collaborative data practices, is how organizations achieve success.

If you missed DRIVE 2017, not to worry. Our thought leadership journal contains all the insights you need to stay current on vital automotive industry trends this year. Download and read the journal now to discover the strategies you need to win.

Want even more insights from DRIVE 2017? Access The Center for the Digital Future’s latest study on the future of transportation.

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