Automotive Customer Journeys: Accelerating Value

Automotive ads have gotten creative.

A creative ad by volkswagen that features their adaptive lighting
A Example Volkswagen Ad. Caption reads: Find danger before it finds you. Adaptive Front-Lighting System (Image retrieved from:

From catchy jingles in holiday sales events to product placement in TV shows, and well as those high-priced sports campaigns, there is simply no shortage of content and messaging from automotive dealers. Advertising spending is rising and forecasted to cross 15 Billion dollars in the US alone. But while ad spend is up across many industries, there is still a massive opportunity for automobile companies to save money and deliver better experiences.

The automotive industry is one where customer journeys can have a dramatic impact. While all industries and businesses benefit from delivering better customer experience, in automotive, people are faced with making big purchases that will affect them for many years. When the experience is excellent, then repeat revenue is a strong possibility. To get value faster both to and for their customers, automotive businesses need to invest in customer journey orchestration. Below are a few examples of how automobile companies can get enormous value.

Getting In Gear: Journey Discovery

much like gear shifting in a car, the smoothest ride is now automatic, with powerful journey orchestration capabilities available from tools like KitewheelThe customer journey is defined as being every interaction a customer has with your brand. Every branching path represents a new opportunity for them to experience your business and for marketers to influence their behavior. Identifying where branches in the road occur can be particularly impactful for automobile companies. With most customers going online for initial research, finding their routes to conversion activity will allow your business to tailor future interactions to your customer base. When tied with inventory management, potentially gives the option to forecast future production requirements, not as the only input, but as an additional one.

Consider Ford Motor Company, who used listening, social profile augmentation, and on-site to digital synchronization to build increased relevancy for their customer outreach. By connecting information from on-site activities with digital activity, Ford was able to increase engagement on the email channel an astounding 48x and achieve a 24x higher click-through-rate on paid ads. These lead to conversion activities, which resulted in higher conversion from their events. By listening, to the most crucial customer information in real time, your business too can deliver the right content to the right person at the right time. It all begins by discovering the best routes based on people’s real behavior.

A Well Oiled Machine: Sales Enablement

It can take tweaking the customer journey live in real time just like tweaking the undercarriage of a car - it takes effort to get it right, but journey management makes it easierThe relationship between automobile manufacturers and dealerships can be complicated, but customer journey orchestration can help both thrive. While dealerships are their own business, they inevitably represent the brand for the final purchase to consumers. By providing the dealerships with the most relevant information, automobile manufacturers can close deals faster, make the experience better, and move a higher volume, increasing overall revenue.

One business that did this with startling efficiency was Volkswagen. One of the most influential, high revenue automobile manufacturers in the world, Volkswagen has a reputation for being a car of the people. Even so, Volkswagen was leading in ad spend, even as they achieved incredible revenue growth.  Today, however, Volkswagen spends less on ads than almost any of their top competitors, but still gets better revenue results.  What changed?

journey orchestration is the future, it's the clear path to faster customer experience successVolkswagen adopted a journey-focused mindset that included a customer journey orchestration tool.  Volkswagen decided to model its approach on digital leaders, delivering a more personalized experience across their website to ultimately improve consumer engagement and drive consumers along their journey.  By making their website react and change to customers in real time, and delivering targeted ads through Kitewheel’s advanced decisioning capabilities, they were able to double conversion of online activity to purchasing behavior, handing more customers off to dealerships and ultimately earning more revenue for dramatically less cost. By providing dealerships with the tracked information, and ensuring that each customer went to a dealership with their perfect vehicle, customers, the dealership, and Volkswagen all benefited.

Journey Automation: Cruise Control For your Brand

Cruise control doesn’t replace the driver, or mean that you can look away from the road. (usually. Note, Kitewheel does not endorse driving without both hands on the wheel). Similarly, customer journey orchestration isn’t a magical tool to solve every marketing problem. But it can be the difference between a good experience and a great experience for your customers. By automating personalization, discovering new journey paths, and enabling the sales journey, automotive companies and many others can see incredible value through journey orchestration.

an image of the real-time interaction management guide, courtesy of kitewheelOne of the key ways that journey orchestration can benefit any industry is through real-time interaction management. Also called RTIM, this is a critical capability for businesses that want to personalize in real time, deliver next best experiences, and integrate real-time and historical data into decisioning. If you’re interested in how to bring RTIM to your business, read Kitewheel’s Guide to Real Time Interaction Management. It’s full of practical tips and strategic advice backed by our real-world know-how.