The Australian automotive industry is pressured by the ever increasing threat of consumer empowerment. The opportunity to convert a sale used to rely on the strength of the dealership, but in the last 10 years, the average number of dealership visits has declined from five to just 1.6. Greater ‘at home’ research means that consumers only visit the dealership of the car they’re most interested in, to seal the deal.
This has resulted in greater upstream pressure for marketing activities aimed at converting consideration into active intent prior to a dealer visit.
Increasing competition from entry-level marques, Hyundai’s youthfulness and staid “cheap” perceptions meant that the brand was falling outside of the top consideration set. Without the opportunity of the traditional dealer visit to prove its worth, Hyundai’s sales were starting to suffer.
Two trends exposed the insight that fuelled agency Ansible's approach:
1. When consumers were in the market for a car, they would only test drive cars they had more or less already decided on.
2. 60% of all car shoppers use mobile devices to conduct a large chunk of their research.
Given the high-involvement nature of an automotive purchase, it knew that people were using their phones to compare vehicles and prices during dealer visits.
The crucial insight was that; consumers viewed their smartphones as a tool for negotiation in dealerships. The agency therefore opted to harness mobile’s capabilities given the consumer’s reliance on the device throughout the path to purchase.
The strategy was good in theory; after all, the use of outdoor to combat competitors on site was a well-trodden path in the automotive category BUT motivating consumers to leave the car that they’d mentally already bought, and consider the Hyundai brand, was a different challenge altogether.
In dealerships, consumers viewed their smartphones as a tool for negotiation. They would search and compare prices and even show the dealer the offers they could secure from competitors. So the opportunity was to both get the Hyundai brand on their radar as well as serve competitive prices in context of the deal they were in the middle of negotiating.
At the heightened moment of consideration (in dealership) the agency used hyper-targeted mobile tactics to disrupt the consumer’s path to purchase and entice them to visit a Hyundai dealership instead.
Standard geo-fenced targeting wouldn’t be enough to deliver the depth of engagement the brand was after, so Ansible identified multiple proprietary technologies that could be fused together to inject Hyundai into the consideration set and disrupt the purchase cycle at the crucial moment of intent.
Firstly, it was able to digitally map Mazda, Toyota, and Hyundai dealers across Australia using hyper-targeted polygon mapping to connect with the phone’s GPS. This allowed the agency to target the advertising to people who were physically in or had been into a competitive dealership.
Then, it built a simplified drive away calculator into a mobile ad unit to minimise the steps when comparing prices and ultimately booking a test drive. The ad unit also featured an inbuilt API that directed consumers to the nearest Hyundai dealership. The ad unit was designed specifically for mobile devices, relying heavily on UX principles to create a seamless and visually pleasing experience.
The agency collected the individual’s unique and anonymous device ID allowing it to display hyper-targeted deals to people who were in-market for a Mazda or Toyota and push consumers away from these competitors into Hyundai dealerships. It then continued to monitor the location of these devices, identifying if they later appeared in a Hyundai dealerships and re-targeting them again with appropriate mobile ad units.
Finally, using a third party mobile GPS tracking provider, it was able to track the movement of users between dealerships, allowing it to truly measure the ad unit’s impact on converting a user across to Hyundai from a competitor dealer.
This solution was less about being in market at the right time of year, day or week, but the right moment in the consumer’s personal path to purchase.
“Dealer Stealer” was an industry first technology stack that took competitive advertising to a whole new level in Australia.
By disrupting consumers in competitor dealerships with Hyundai’s value for money pricing, it put Hyundai into consideration at this crucial moment in the path to purchase. It was also able to shift the perceptions of Hyundai as a second choice brand and enable it to be viewed on par with competitors.
The post campaign media results were extremely positive. By mapping the locations of 115 Mazda, 282 Toyota, and 152 Hyundai dealerships, it achieved:
• A click-through-rate 50% higher than the industry average.
• 815,000 unique eyeballs viewing the ad unit.
• 41,000 people reconsidering Hyundai as an option.
Year-on-year operating conditions were similar. This strategy was deployed amid a price promotion and media buy that reflected the previous two years but results were markedly different.
By hitting consumers in the most crucial decision-making step, Hyundai was able to steal 11,000 people from its key competitors – Mazda & Toyota.
This solution not only overcame the brand issue of getting on the consideration set but the category issue of declined dealer visitations, forming a truly innovative and business orientated solution.