Auto makers, especially, in the sub-continent are leaving no stones unturned to make their presence and their products felt on the already evolved social media. It is quite a stunner that why did automakers not sense the urgency to be on social media platforms earlier. Take India as an example. The sheer demographics should be a symphonic orchestration of a great pitch for marketing/pr/publicity departments of any auto manufacturer.
Let’s take a closer look. At present the average age group of nearly 50% of Indians is 25 while 65% border at 35 and by the year 2020 the average age group will be 29. This demographic itself is a clear indicator that auto manufacturers have finally realized that to hit the nail on the right head it has to be visible to this immensely potential and lucrative segment of population.
With the per capita income rising and the income bracket increasing in the Lower income and middle income group, helped along with easy and affordable financing options, demand for cars are growing like never before. That is why, the auto makers are increasingly looking for more marketing avenues, which were not explored before. Besides, social media is the most economical marketing outreach tool available in today’s “global market.”
In India, for the wait and watch consumer, the chance of a car purchase would be the feedback from family and friends. Today, with the increase in exchange of views, sometimes in great detail, with a quick cross reference check by the consumer, the decision making process for a car purchase is enhanced.
These sentiments are echoed by Maruti Suzuki India, Chief General Manager (Marketing) Shashank Srivatava who feels that it is certain that social media will play an integral role in his company’s marketing plans. Srivastava also feels that this medium assumes even greater significance as the age group of the potential buyer decreases. Srivastava is already looking at increasing the budget for online marketing to Rs.16 crores.
Arvind Saxena, Director, Marketing of Hyundai Motor India Ltd is in agreement. According to him the trend in social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook have seen remarkable flow of information as far as “auto knowledge” is concerned.
Undoubtedly today’s social media platforms give an outlet to age groups who are eager to share their knowledge with friends. Saxena is certain that it is essential to tap this segment by catching them young.
Increasingly social media platforms are being used by companies like Tata Motors to answer queries and get first hand feedback from their customers without having to rely on their dealer network. It is, therefore, relevant that consumers are increasingly relying on the Internet and the social media before making an actual purchase.