How is your status regarding the corona crisis? You are still relatively short.
Jasper van der Bijl: “Yes, that’s right, we have been working since 2016 and our focus is 100% automotive. We now work for a large part of the Dutch car importers and some international customers. At the beginning of this year we moved to a new building in Vianen. After the announcement of the lock-down, we put the festive opening in the refrigerator and went to great lengths to support our customers where we can. The impact of the corona crisis is very significant for all car brands. At the same time, it has accelerated our relevance to our customers and ensured that we have now developed and launched new digital product content concepts. “
Do you see notable shifts in customers and why?
“We see that there is more innovation and guts to test new digital content concepts and bring them to the market. Traffic to physical showrooms has fallen sharply and is not expected to return to its old level anytime soon. The function of the online platforms that manage car brands (including YouTube, website) will have to accommodate this shift in purchasing behavior with cleverly designed mid-funnel journeys, so that consumers can find the product information they are looking for. Maintaining contact between the car importer and their dealer organization is also essential in these times of uncertainty and business pressure. Because physical gathering is not desirable, multiple importers use our studio facilities to hold virtual live stream meetings. Dealers are very enthusiastic about this. There is less travel time, live questions can be asked via chat or WhatsApp, while all ins and outs of the latest car model are presented in a qualitative way. In the long term, it is expected that a mix of digital but also physical meetings will arise. That is why we are looking forward to hybrid events with our customers. With the 2,200m2 available at our new location in Vianen, we are very well prepared for social distance proof meetings. “
In the mix of experience and expertise, we looked for new hybrid propositions that respond to the new normal
Have you developed any initiatives yourself to get customers / clients / colleagues through this crisis?
“We entered into discussions with companies from adjacent disciplines that had a high impact from social distancing (eg training, events) and also worked for the same automotive customers. In this mix of experience and expertise, we looked for new hybrid propositions that respond to the new normal. The result is that we have now presented the first proposals to several customers where, by working together on our own initiative, we are able to create more impact and synergy for our joint customer. “
What do you currently see as the biggest challenge for marketers, especially with regard to the corona crisis of course?
“We are now seeing two things shifting very rapidly due to the corona crisis. First of all, the customer wants to be able to find all the information online more than before and to arrange the next steps here. This also applies to the introduction of new car models: where the car buyer used to go to an introduction to the showroom, he is now more open to a digital presentation where his questions are answered directly online. For a number of brands, we have now provided these kinds of “virtual live” introductions. In the online search for a new car, we see that the content that the car buyer really needs is very limited. They are either expressions of campaigns from the head office or conversion banners that are usually composed dynamically. There is practically nothing, while just now – in a time of huge budget cuts on media – content should make the difference in impact and really help the car buyer in his / her online search. We call that accountable mid-funnel content: in the middle of the purchase funnel – where you get the most time from a car buyer as a brand – show product videos that really help consumers with the right information, such that it converts into an online sale. A good example is the price list; now often a boring pdf with lots of small print, crosses and dots. We make these interactive for several brands and then supplement them with explanations for videos and photography. The great thing is that we use the data (based on click behavior) to continuously optimize the information and can even make proposals to shape the new action model with the most clicked and viewed options in the price list. “
Right now – in a time of huge budget cuts on media – content should make the difference in impact and really help the car buyer in his / her online search
What do you think the world of advertising and marketing will look like in 5 months’ time?
“We will face a time when the economy is struggling and impacting advertisers’ resources. The time of cheese slicing and a little left or right is over, sharper choices will be made. And the great thing is that ideas that were always too daring or too much different are now starting to see the light of day, precisely to answer the extremely fast digital shift that is taking place in our market. “