Auto and editorial marketing, incompatible? False. The automotive sector quickly invested the Internet, from there to practice “real” digital marketing. Here is an overview of missed opportunities and good practices …

The automotive sector is one of the promising sectors in which editorial marketing has yet to find its place. Advertisers are certainly marketing … and editorial, but not integrated. So, they don’t editorial marketing, also called content marketing.

Storytelling and storymaking, experience content, community platforms… Automobile advertisers have a lot of possibilities to engage in conversation with their (young) audience and accompany them, throughout their decision-making journey, in choosing a (first) car. For example, when we know that young people today consider the car as a convenience, no longer as a personal good, we see the possible resonance with the functioning of online communities.

Instead, however, the sector still produces, not to say exclusively, promotional items on the latest models of the Salon or barely editorialized presentations new models tested by the handful of journalists who have access to the paddocks.

Automotive sector: a conventional marketing practice

Astronomical sums are always invested in print, advertising, television, events … and the picture is still there : plunging neckline of hostesses at car shows, and so on. For example, have you seen Renault’s latest TV spot with Bob Sinclar as a guest star? So original that it was directly parodied by the Petit Journal. Fortunately, the leading French automotive advertiser has announced that digital will ultimately concentrate half of marketing resources.

Editorial marketing, an opportunity to seize

Whether it is Renault, the local dealer or an e-commerce spare parts site like piecesauto24.com, inbound and content marketing is probably the best opportunity to seize in the coming months. Differentiation, reputation, content service, traffic and sales … there are not many good practices: this would be an opportunity to strengthen your value chain.

Examples not to follow and avenues of work

Bad practice: the phrase “Find a dealer near you”

What does a dealer remind you of? A drug dealer, we agree … In English, however, “dealer” also means dealer. And for most of our Belgian customers who tend to use unscrupulous anglicisms, it’s the same. But … if the average Belgian consumer is looking for the dealer closest to him, he will not type in the search engines “dealer near you”. However, most dealers use the expression on their site! Most have the same pages, the same message, the same way of presenting the cars…

Good practices: mobile application, storytelling, “laboratory” …

  • The mobile application “I am Jeep” offers its customers useful content (gadgets, list of appointments made for interviews, lists of nearest dealers) in exchange for some personal data relating to their Jeep vehicle;
  • Peugeot storytelling, with a digital graphic novel, ingeniously presents all the technological advantages of its new hybrid engine;
  • The showroom of the future, Audi City, is based on a perfect balance between digital content, user experience and revisited online point of sale.

And you, what good editorial marketing practices have you identified in the automotive sector?