The digital evolution is in full swing. Consumers anticipate outreach in real time, interactions that predict their needs, personalised offers, both online and offline. But for Automotive Marketers, using digital information to create meaningful experiences across the entire customer journey remains a difficult goal to achieve.

Technology is advancing at speeds we never could have imagined. Texts, tweets, and technological gizmos are making communication ever faster and it's even causing many of us to speak quicker (up to 20% quicker than 10 years ago) in our everyday lives to keep up with it all. We’re even walking faster than we used to. A recent study of pedestrians in 34 cities around the world showed that the average pedestrian clips along at almost 3.5 mph - roughly 10% faster than they did a decade ago.

The ecosystem in which marketers operate has become a lot more complicated a lot more quickly. It comes as no surprise then, that the growing demand and expectation of customers can weigh heavily on a marketer’s mind.

Meeting consumer needs using data and technology is the new battleground for growth in the automotive industry, so what’s stopping so many brands and retailers putting this into practice?

Our experience gained whilst working with some of the world’s largest automotive brands and their retail networks have highlighted five key factors that successful companies have in place that enable them to navigate the digital marketing transition, and seize the benefits with both hands firmly gripped on the steering wheel.

1. Connected Digital Insights

Effective marketers link their digital information to better understand and reach their customers. Automotive brands can no longer afford to treat ‘brand and communications’ as distinct entities. It’s increasingly difficult to execute in one of these areas without a reasonably in-depth understanding of the others. There’s no point planning a launch event if you can’t also plan to promote that event across social media and email too. Connecting digital channels and information is key to marketing effectiveness.

2. Automation and Digital Tech

Automotive brands and their retailers need an array of marketing technology tools that permit automation at scale. A good place to start is ensuring you have integrated web analytics and retargeting capability, a CRM platform, and sophisticated automation tools for hyper-personalised messaging and creative that leaves the consumer feeling that they’ve received a communication specifically created for them.

3. Actionable Measurement

In an industry with such an incredible number of touchpoints along the customer journey. automotive marketers need to be able to identify the value of each touchpoint to inform KPIs, and then link these engagements to business outcomes such as sales and profit impact. Effective automotive marketers know what their customers are thinking, where they stand on the purchasing journey and why they buy what they buy.

4. Strategic Partnerships

Few businesses have the marketing capability to go it alone. The key for marketers is to collaborate effectively with agencies who understand their brand, their industry and their customers. Stop pouring budget into your leaky marketing bucket. Plug the gaps with agency expertise and become more cost-efficient with your marketing effectiveness.

5. Specialist Skills and Inventive Thinking

It’s one thing to identify, hire and train technical talent, but in order to really capture the benefit of digital marketing, these people must be integrated with other members of your marketing staff to produce indispensable cross-functional teams.

Successful businesses behave as living entities, constantly adapting to change. With invention at their core, they continuously redesign their business to generate new sources of value for their customers. Winning is about fostering inventive thinking to create what comes next.

You can no longer afford to stand still. Automotive Marketing’s growing reliance on digital marketing is cruising at an electrifying pace. Investing time, energy and money into developing your digital marketing capabilities clearly has its advantages. Mastering multi-touchpoint marketing lets you achieve personalised campaigns at scale, build customer relationships, increase customer loyalty and ultimately income.