Two key tactics that you can employ for network effects to work for your business to get the attention of car-buying consumers. 

1 – Leverage the bottom end of the funnel

2 – Build a brand

How do you leverage the bottom end of the car buying funnel?

Key factors to consider that will assist with leveraging the bottom end of the car buying funnel in the automotive industry.

Everybody knows that the sales funnel starts with consumers asking themselves some questions like: 

  • Am I in the market to buy a car right now?
  • Am I ready to make my final decision about buying a car?

Then there’s the bottom of the funnel, where consumers are saying: 

AutoTrader SA calls that in-market car buying (or in-market car shopping).

Autotrader SA operates squarely at the bottom of the funnel, it has done so for more than 27 years.

Therefore, the first key tactic is to try and get as much value as you can at the very bottom of the funnel by leveraging platforms like AutoTrader.

How do you build your brand in the car buying automotive industry?

Building a brand online is not the same as building a brand in the days before the internet. The car-buying world moves a lot faster online. 

AutoTrader SA has, in the last few years started to engage and advertise on YouTube. Before this, TV was where we advertised. While TV is a valuable brand-building platform, you’ve got to spend a lot of money to see results. Results are also not as trackable to your audience as it is on platforms like YouTube. The cost to reach your target then becomes high as a result of having to reach a wider audience to reach your target audience.

Building a brand is so important digitally, not just on TV, radio, or billboards but where over 32m South Africans have their attention daily, online.

What about the top of the car buying funnel? 

Building a brand is not about just doing one thing like putting out a pretty image. It’s also about protecting your reputation. 60% of people wanting to buy from you research your brand on social media before they buy. 

If you’re not online, it sends a negative signal. 

You have to be online even in organic form, and not just trying to sell cars. Give car buying consumers information that is useful to them without asking for a sale.

Can you sell cars on social media?

I’m not convinced that this is the place to sell cars. Social media is to me, primarily a place to building a brand and reputation. People are on social media platforms for reasons other than to buy. You have to do a much bigger selling job on these platforms to sell because in essence, you have to convince the consumer that the reason they are there is to buy a car, which is different from the reason they came to the platform in the first place. 

Car buyers will research your reputation on social media and continue bottom of the funnel shopping on platforms like AutoTrader SA. 

5 Key trends in digital transformation to become a digital business

There are five key trends that I am seeing in businesses that are serious about digital transformation:

  1. They are focused on becoming more of a subscription business.
  2. They want to build and become a platform business.
  3. They are now becoming far more social.
  4. They are becoming more employee and customer-centric.
  5. They are leveraging data and technology to their platform’s advantage using network effects.

Demand for electric cars

We know that the demand for electric cars is ramping up in the mind of the car buying consumer and that the industry is at risk if we don’t do something to help drive this transition even faster. 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you keeping up with these thought-starters?
  • What role are you going to play? 
  • What role are we going to play to leverage our existing platforms together?
  • How are you going to build your brand and use network effects to your platform’s advantage?
  • How will you take advantage of the shortening of the innovation curve?