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Client Challenge Blog Series: Innovative ways of finding new customers

In this edition of our ‘client challenge’ blog series, we look at acquisition and how to discover new customers. 

For car manufacturers where data is sparse, acquiring new customers is a challenge, they know lots about the few and little about the many. 

This makes identifying and targeting the best prospects a minefield and hence marketing communications can often be blanket in their approach. If we contact thousands of people, surely some of them will buy our brand! 

This approach is not only a waste of spend. When a car can be such a functional purchase, it is important to speak to the customer in the right way especially when there’s a variety of brands vying to be first choice.

This is a regular occurrence in the automotive industry as there is a car for everyone. High-flying business director? Well you can have a BMW M3 or an Audi A6. Family-focused and looking for a school runner? Look no further than the Kia Sportage or the Volkswagen Tiguan. Want to feel smug and make everyone on your street feel guilty about their environmental impact? Buy a Tesla. 

Simple. 

Except for one minor issue, the market is oversaturated. If you want a small city car, you’ve got the Ford Ka, Toyota Aygo, Vauxhall Adam, Honda Jazz, Volkswagen UP! Audi A1 and Kia Picanto all fighting for your pick.

And that’s just to name a few of the cars we can see from our office window.

All car manufacturers are vying for your vote and fighting each other in every category from hot-hatches to over-sized SUV’s. Carmakers need to distinguish the differences between the audience of a Ford Ka driver and an Audi A1 driver, but also look internally at their own range of cars. 

Car manufacturers need to find innovative ways to reach potential customers for their range that are not currently seeing their message. They are looking for customers that fit the bill but have not been spoken to in the right tone, right message and on the right channel.

The client’s challenge

Starcount was recently approached by a UK based car manufacturer with a challenge. 

They were offering an extended test drive, free of charge, to customers and wanted to ensure they had the best and most suitable prospects for one of their cars. Available only through the direct mail campaign, they wanted to identify those customers who would be receptive to this promotional offer.

But the only problem was that they had no idea how to find them.    

The client had already been experimenting with targeted mail and a door drop service as a new marketing channel post-GDPR. You will have encountered this new technique if you have received a promotional offer from a broadband provider who have recently installed fibre-optic in your area. 

Our client wanted to trial this, but the current targeting capability was built primarily off demographic data, which was neither a reliable or an extensive source of data. It also was not sophisticated enough for car sales. We suggested they use geodemographic and passions data to narrow down the targeting method to reveal unique groups of prospective postcodes. 

What we did

We took a list of all the cars in their range and a list of all of the client’s customer postcodes. We mapped them to our passion profiles to find out what they like and what they are passionate about. Using the logic behind our audiences platform we were able to identify lookalike customers across the UK. Our results found over 20,000 postcodes that would be ideal for our client’s message and promotion.

By overlaying 3rd party demographic filters, our client decided to take the top 15,000 that were closest to their existing customers. They then sent their direct mail to all the addresses in those postcodes with their communication. 

Results

Of those 15,000 that received the mail, they got the opportunity to book an extended test drive for the afternoon in the car that matched their passion profile. They were treated to an hour-long overview of their matched car, where an expert showed them the full capabilities. Customers then got the rest of the day to spend some quality one-on-one time with the car, all for free. 

Within a few days, a number of the dealerships, reported that they were fully booked.

As a result of our innovative direct mail campaign, we had found new customers for our client and got them their most susceptible customers sitting in not just one of our client’s cars, but in the car best suited to them. 

How Starcount can help find new audiences 

Starcount was asked if it could create a new and innovative way to find and acquire customers that are similar to a clients existing ones, but are hidden across the UK. By combining our client’s customer data with our 19 million social user data, we were able to find hidden lookalike customers and communicate the client message. 

This is just one example of how Starcount can create new ways to help you find your customers.  If you are looking to find your hidden customers, get in contact to see how Starcount can help you. 

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