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Saturday, January 28, 2006

 

Gaining Market Share - One Formula













(graph courtesy of Daily Game Plan News)

Something has been bothering me. Standard formula for fixing market share in the Domestic Car Business (ok, I over-generalize and I will try to keep this short...but stick with me, it's worth it). Also, I ask for your indulgence as I deliver some of this with tongue firmly planted in cheek:

  1. Call multi-disciplinary meeting involving marketing, sales, product
  2. Discuss why vehicle isn't meeting plan volumes
  3. Whine about lack of "budget" - note to domestic car companies -- You're outspending the retail market share leaders.
  4. Solution set involves mix of the following cake mix ingredients:
    • Consumer Incentives...lower price
    • Dealer/Sales person incentives...that's invested in more newspaper and local marketing dollars and balloons at the dealership to create a sales frenzy
    • Change product mix (make more cheap ones in the colors and options that sell)
    • Switch advertising...instead of showing car lovingly navigating down a wet road, surrounded by lush vegetation, advertise the deal (see Chevy, "An American Revolution")
    • Convince Dealer Associations to run the same deal as national so that the mass media consciousness is wall-papered with the same message over and over and over and over and over and over and over...until the shopper is literally, verbally bludgeoned. The problem? So far...this tactic has lost the domestic car industry 20% marketshare since the 90's.
    • Whine about lack of budget
So, you say...what's wrong with this picture? Instead of pursuing the same tired formula I'd recommend a different approach:

  1. Talk to those who bought your car and find out why they bought it/liked it...and still like it
  2. Find out what they didn't like...and fix that. And when it's fixed, tell your owners...as well as anyone else that is in market.
  3. Find out why your owners bought your car instead of your competition
  4. Talk about that directly to both your owners and competitive owners...and focus on 2 segments:
    • In-market shoppers...waste not one single penny on mass media until every in-market shopper has been exhausted. Only 10-15% of all US households will actually buy a new car in the next 12 months. So...why are you talking to all households with 90% of your budget? Trust me...they hardly remember your message now...much less in 1 year, 2 year or 3 years...when they actually enter the shopping phase.
    • Opinon leaders...those whom we trust to advise us in our purchase decision.
  5. The best way to reach in-market consumers is with internet leads...talk to them! They are shopping now! You can call them personally and learn about their shopping process. You'll be really surprised by what they tell us. If you're not sure what to do...call me.
  6. The best way to reach opinion leaders is via P.R. Involve opinion leaders early in the product development and launch of a car/truck. Listen to them. Follow their advice. Forget advertising. The best ads reflect trends...they rarely create them.
  7. Finally...in the car business...if the product is 90% of the story...that still leaves 10% for the smart marketer...the marketer who knows how to market more effectively and help dealer and salespeople to be more successful. Because car companies don't sell cars. Dealers do.

Comments:
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