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Understanding Global Differences For Effective Digital Marketing

Digital marketing today extends to every corner of the globe and businesses are using it in new and innovative ways to change how customers are served.

The automotive digital marketing space — an industry I’m particularly familiar with — provides a good example of the myriad of ways people now buy, sell and market cars around the world. The age-old scenario in the U.S. would typically involve consumers browsing inventory at a car dealership, getting input from friends and uncomfortably negotiating the price after a test drive. Today’s buyers have shifted direction and are using online resources to their advantage — with the goal of getting the best selection at the best price and value with fewer trips to the dealership.

Progressive automotive dealers are adapting to engage more effectively with this new breed of customer. But what works in one country or geographic region doesn’t necessarily work in another one. In fact, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution because digital marketing is evolving at various speeds and in unique ways around the globe.

For example, with the emergence of rideshare business models, the digital revolution has altered how we approach automotive transportation. This dynamic is significant, in part, as a result of the skyrocketing cost of living in dense urban areas, where parking commands an increasingly greater share of disposable income. It has also come about as millennials appear to hold less of an emotional attachment to car ownership, which is simply not the status symbol that it used to be. In fact, since 1983, the percentage of people with a driver’s license has steadily decreased, with less than 25% of 16-year-olds in the U.S. now licensed to drive.

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Despite these changes, automotive sales are still big business and, for the many individuals looking to purchase a car, there is more access to information online than ever before. When it comes to the car buying journey, consumers spend 59% of their time performing online research before ever visiting a car lot to speak with a salesperson.

Online Shopping Experience: Opposing Approaches

In the U.K., car buyers typically order their cars with the specific features they want before even venturing to a dealer. This dynamic allows U.K. dealers to accurately predict car inventories months ahead of time, which plays well with their business model to keep fewer cars on their lots than their counterparts in the U.S.

As such, in my experience, automotive marketing is performed differently in the U.K. than in other regions. There, automotive websites focus on configurations that allow for maximum feature customization. In addition, dealer groups may have multiple contiguous stores, meaning the dealer group is marketed first, as opposed to individual store locations within the group.


Gurjit Singh is Microsoft Certified IT Professional. He likes to write about Computer Network, WordPress, Blogging Tips, SEO, Make Money Online, Computer Tips and Creating Tech Tutorials.
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