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After the EuroCar Seminar on 20 January 2010, we posted the top ten questions asked by OEM and OES delegates in attendance. Today I will answer the three marketing questions. The remaining questions will be answered by Tanja Linken and Thomas Mawick.

1. If you could only do one thing with respect to marketing in this environment, what would it be or in what area would you focus?

We must optimize automotive marketing both for new vehicle sales and aftersales. That said, aftersales marketing has been an area that in my opinion has not received an appropriate level of attention. There are numerous opportunities to better communicate effectively with customers during their ownership period. These efforts have strong impacts on the customer experience at both a OE and dealer brand level.

2. You have covered a great deal of ground, what type of automotive marketing has been most effective/impactful?

Programmes that focus on customer loyalty and retention with demonstrable ROI are perhaps the most effective marketing initiatives given the efficient use of precious marketing resources. In a difficult sales environment, long term loyalty really matters.

3. Are there any other marketing challenges that ‘keep you awake at night’?

One marketing challenge that keeps me awake at night is the reliance on incentives in order to sell new vehicles. This poses a dilemma when incentives aren't always available yet sales targets need to be met. By and large, OEMsrecognize this challenge, yet many struggle with breaking the cycle of providing generous incentives.
I hope this answers your questions. Feel free to comment on this blog if you have anymore questions or insights. Watch the blog for the upcoming responses to the network planning and hybrid related questions in the next few days.

Posted by Norm Marks, Vice President, Sales & Client Services; Managing Director Northern Europe, Polk (02.04.10)

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