ACROSS the automotive industry, it’s easy to see great changes in the way car buyers shop.
No longer are consumers visiting lots and lots of showrooms – instead, they’ve largely done their research before venturing on to a forecourt. And the rise of digital – including video – is huge across the piece.
But how can you keep up with the changing behaviour of car buyers?
If you’re unsure, automotive video specialist CitNOW’s keynote on the Live Stage, alongside a workshop on how to engage with consumers, are both must-see sessions at this year’s CDX.
CitNOW – one of our four headline partners – will be discussing the contents of a fascinating White Paper it’ll be publishing at Farnborough on June 12, and dealers will discover that the digital world isn’t as complicated as it might seem.
While CitNOW is keeping tight-lipped about the contents of its all-important document, Carol Fairchild, commercial director at the firm, told us that despite the rise of digital and the evolving nature of car buyers, consumers still want to visit dealerships.
‘There’s a lot of fear in automotive at the minute. People are saying the dealership is dead but the research we’ve done and the White Paper we’re revealing at CDX go to show that, yes, people might be looking at different channels and using different devices, but for the most part, they still want to talk to dealerships,’ she said.
Fairchild’s keynote – entitled ‘The evolution of the car buyer’ – is on the Live Stage at 9.45am, and will put the emphasis on looking ahead to the future of consumers and how they will interact with dealerships.
CitNOW also has a complementary workshop called ‘How to engage with the customer of today’, which runs in Workshop Room 2 with Gordon Grant, global sales director, and Oliver Parsons, head of sales and client services UK, at 2.30pm.
This session will look at why mobile optimisation is so vital for dealers, and the need to bridge the online and offline experiences.
The workshop will explore some of the OEM initiatives CitNOW is involved with – with the firm being a leader when it comes to automotive video – as well as looking at the number of manufacturer apps that help to engage with consumers, such as Mercedes Me, MyVolkswagen and FordPass, and how these fit in with the customer journey.
Grant said: ‘A lot of the OEMs are embarking on initiatives to engage the consumer and bring them in and control their journey. If dealers don’t engage with that, they could potentially be losing out on substantial opportunities, because the control of the customer journey could bypass them.
‘We’re hoping dealers can walk away from our workshop with an idea of what they can go back to their dealership with and what can be done to make a difference to their business. We believe that video communication is a big part of that.’
Grant added that he wanted dealers to learn from CitNOW at CDX. ‘Stepping into this world of digital media and communications is not as daunting as it might seem,’ he said.