How to Change Marketing Ideas under the New Automobile Consumption Trend?

By Wang Lin-Industry Channel Sep 03, 2019

It is undeniable that China's automobile market has changed from incremental market to stock market and from seller's market to buyer's market, which means that "users" have become the most important "strategic resources" of major vehicle companies. The question is how to obtain more users in intensified market competition? On August 19, at 2019 "Global Auto Industry Innovation Conference" sponsored by Autohome, many vehicle companies and consulting organizations shared this topic in depth. The solutions given by the leaders are surprisingly consistent, which is to change the marketing concept and mode, reach the users deeply and occupy their minds.



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1. China's automobile market is still in a downward trend, and the overall environment of automobile marketing has also undergone drastic changes. Almost all the mainstream vehicle companies are carrying out automobile marketing reform; 
Each mainstream vehicle company has its own unique view and thinking on automobile marketing, and can form a marketing methodology in line with its own conditions; 
Marketing methodology eventually needs to be landed, and Wechat Official Account, video App, e-commerce App has become an important entrance to brand marketing, automobile marketing shall not only change the way, but also pay attention to the change of thinking.

Automobile marketing environment has changed quietly

"From 1999 to 2003, I worked as a salesman in Audi. But at that time sales were not sales, they were called car-dividing up, which meant that all the dealers lined up to ask me for a car. But now the situation has changed, the marketing team of the major vehicle companies have to racked their brains to do innovation, how to predict the market, how to insight into the user, how to make their own marketing strategy better than others. 


『Ma Jun, Professor of School of Automotive Studies and College of Design and Innovation of Tongji University』

Ma Jun, professor of School of Automotive Studies and College of Design and Innovation of Tongji University, made the above remarks on"New Consumption Trend: The Second Half of Automobile Marketing" at the sub-forum of the 2019 "Global Auto Industry Innovation Conference". The implication is that in the boom period of the Chinese automobile market, vehicle companies can sell their cars without marketing efforts. But when China's automobile market enters the downward stage, the quality of marketing will determine the quality of life of vehicle companies.

And the persons in charge of the vehicle companies that participate in sub-forum also hold similar view. For example, the founder/CEO Liao Bing of GAC-NIO said, "China's automobile market is no longer as high growth rate as before, from the second half of last year, automobile sales have entered a bottleneck period"; Another example is Xiao Mingchao, founder and CEO of Trendforesee Consulting. "From last year to this year, a lot of manufacturers are saying that vehicles are very difficult to sell, which means that the marketing environment for automakers is unprecedented".


『Automobile Marketing Faces Many Challenges under the New Consumption Trend』

Whether industry scholars or heads of vehicle companies, or the third-party consulting organizations standing outside the automobile industry, almost everyone thinks that the marketing environment of the automobile industry has changed a lot, how to use marketing to establish long-term relationship with the users has become an urgent problem to be solved by the major automobile enterprises under the drastic change of the marketing environment.

■Technology/Scene/Emotion/Ecology Become Key Words in Marketing

Of course, the recognition of "marketing change" in the automobile industry is the same, but there will be different paths to implement the strategy of each enterprise.


『Qiu Liangping, Deputy Minister of Planning and Marketing of GAC NE』

For example, Qiu Liangping, deputy minister of Planning and Marketing of GAC NE, believes that in the intelligent age, "technology" is the core element for reaching users and capturing their minds, and that technology is ultimately to be implemented on products. Therefore, GAC NE still focuses on making good products, such as building exclusive platform for pure electricity, automotive network system equipped with 5G/AI technology, adopting customized production mode of C2M, and setting up user-exclusive APP, etc.


『Yu Jingmin, Deputy General Manager of SAIC Passenger Vehicle Branch』

In a nutshell, Qiu Liangping said that through product as a medium, all the production, sales, after-sales and other business related to products can enhance consumers' brand awareness and brand stickiness of GAC NE. However, Yu Jingmin, deputy general manager of SAIC Passenger Vehicle Branch, is similar to Qiu Liangping in some ways. He still takes products as the core, and wins consumers' expectations for SAIC passenger vehicle brand through different scenarios and IP-based communication.


『Xin Yu, Head of Dongfeng-Nissan Marketing Headquarters』

But for Xin Yu, head of Dongfeng-Nissan Marketing Headquarters, product is important, but more important is how to explain their own products. In Xin Yu's view, communication with consumers should be emotional and "human-like", so that consumers can understand what these skills/technologies are used for, and the simple way is to let consumers experience through a variety of scenarios.


『Liao Bing, Founder and CEO of GAC-NIO』

In the view of Liao Bing, founder and CEO of GAC-NIO, the future of automobile marketing shall have Internet thinking. Liao Bing believes that the second half of automobile marketing is to establish a user-centered "entrance thinking", in the future, car is not only a simple means of transportation but also a carrier connecting all things, it shall also be a main entrance, what we really want to do is to become a travel lifestyle creator. "All car-related production/channels/products/ services form an eco-industrial chain, i.e. eco-marketing. "Liao Bing explains.

How to realize the landing of marketing theory?

Of course, from the sharing of the major vehicle companies, we can find that the product/technology/scene/IP/ecology has become the key word in the second half of automobile marketing. Each company has its own methodology, but any methodology needs to be landing.

For example, some observing organizations outside the automobile industry have their own views on how to landing for the automobile marketing theory. Xiao Mingchao, founder and CEO of Trendforesee Consulting, believes that today's auto consumption market has changed from convergent consumption to personalized consumption, from mass consumption to minority consumption, and from functional consumption to experience consumption. Therefore, there are still five steps to achieve the landing of automobile marketing, namely brand positioning/consumer positioning/younger/new experience contact/new technology empowerment.


『Xiao Mingchao, Founder and CEO of Trendforesee Consulting』

Xiao Mingchao believes that the future of automobile marketing shall not be self-talk marketing, but really understand where your users are? What they're thinking, what they're doing, what are their links with the brand, and so on, and then use the power of new technology to create contact between the brand and consumers.

The understanding of Chen Weiyu, president of the Newrank, is more practical. Chen Weiyu thinks, at present Wechat Official Account, App for short video, e-commerce App and Xiaohongshu are all the important carriers for brand marketing. But the carrier is just exists, how to use them to communicate with consumers deeply and cohesively is the pain point in automobile marketing.


『Chen Weiyu, President of Newrank』

"When a potential customer enters 4S store, we want him to pay follow the brand official account, but have we ever thought about what you want customers to do on it every day after users follow it. The KPI we set for the official account may only be how many fans are added every day, but these are fake stickiness. "If the company can keep providing him with good content, it can actually reduce the cost of customer acquisition and customer maintenance." Chen said. 

Editor's comments:

If the previous automobile marketing is only related to the product while now the automobile marketing is not only related to the product, especially in the era of increasingly developed Internet technology, automobile marketing also needs to get rid of the old mentalities, and the changes of ideas should be fully and thoroughly. In the second half of the automobile marketing, who has mastered the new marketing concept, new marketing methods, new marketing path, who will be able to take the lead in the competition. (Text/Autohome , Wang Lin)

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