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IBM Study Findings Illustrate Massive Shift To Consumer-Centric Marketing | DrivingSales News

IBM Study Findings Illustrate Massive Shift To Consumer-Centric Marketing

September 17, 2015 0 Comments

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A recent IBM study of 100 enterprise CMOs found marketers are shifting customer acquisition investment from the top of the funnel to distribute it more evenly across the customer journey. This shift clearly illustrates a maturation of the mindset of marketers. To now interface with buyers as they progress through the purchasing journey instead of simply trying to grab them as they walk by the store. It also clearly shows the evolution of buyers, as they discover and interact with brands across a multitude of channels and devices.

There’s no question car dealers have an opportunity to adapt to this changing landscape, to learn from other industries to help develop their own methods for improving their overall customer service. Data shows that 99 percent of car buyers expect their purchasing experience to be a hassle before it even begins, while 56 percent of car buyers delay their purchase because they dread going through the process. If auto dealers are willing to alter their approach to customer service to meet the ever-evolving expectations of modern consumers, they will have the opportunity to change the reputation of dealerships and achieve increased success.

“In the ‘Customer in Control’ marketing age, marketers are experiencing a renaissance within their discipline,” wrote IBM in its report. “It is already disrupting how marketing operates and is re-writing the rules for the future. To understand how marketing is evolving, The CMO Club in partnership with IBM surveyed 100 Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs). Then, we sat down with eight respected marketing executives to get their perspectives on the research, the marketplace and the implications.”

Overall, IBM’s study foreshadows a shift to consumer-centric marketing. These days, customers have much more control over the purchasing process than ever before. Many industries have embraced this change and recognize that allowing customers to have more control can actually lead to greatly increased engagement and flourishing sales. Unfortunately, many car dealers are behind many other industries when it comes to adapting their customer service to meld with this evolution, but hopefully studies such as this will inspire more dealers to reconsider their approach for the future.

Interestingly, IBM’s study backs up the concept that putting more control over the buying journey in the hands of consumers is a move that is happening across marketing in general. The research revealed that today’s CMO is much more focused on investing across the entire customer journey from discovery to advocacy, based on an understanding that purchasing journeys have changed dramatically in recent times. Overall, marketing budgets were reported to be up, either due to strategic funds or strong organic increases. At the same time, expectations are up as well. Impressively, CMOs are planning to increase their spending across every stage of the buyer journey over the next two years by an average of 50 percent.

Another interesting finding is that an increasingly large percentage of marketers are continually testing and innovating with their digital multitaskers. Marketers are becoming less interested in uni-directional tactics, such as television and print, and are instead moving toward multitasking digital tactics. Certainly, digital is taking over rapidly as marketers engage in much closer interactions with customers throughout the buyer journey.

Dealers should understand that we are truly living in a marketing renaissance. What was true in the past is not necessarily true today, and advertising concepts that worked wonderfully in the past may no longer be effective in the future. We’re in a remarkably exciting time for marketers, and those who embrace the changes as they happen will be best positioned to develop innovative and highly successful campaigns ahead.

About the Author:

The DrivingSales News team is dedicated to breaking the relevant and the tough stories affecting car dealers. Have questions for DrivingSales News? Reach the team at news@drivingsales.com.

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