Analysing content attribution
As stated previously, one important goal for the digital marketing team at Nissan is to increase the number of customers who visit dealerships when they are ready to purchase a vehicle. Nissan analyses the customer journey leading up to a purchase, finds winning patterns and takes actions to reflect that knowledge in marketing activities.
“There are some people who visit the website out of curiosity and there are others who look up dealerships and get payment estimates, indicating that they are one step away from purchase,” says Mr Kudo. “We look at the metrics at each stage of the funnel to decide what measures we can take to improve conversion. Then we create a hypothesis and test it.”
For example, Mr Kudo notes that by analysing digital browsing history of customers before and after they visit a dealership, Nissan can start to visualise the sales funnel. “We can see if there are any differences in web activities between a customer who visits a dealership and signs a contract versus a customer who simply visits the dealership,” says Mr Kudo. “If we know what type of content corresponds highly to both visits and contracts, we can determine the efficiency of content and plan for next steps.”
Wider data utilisation
The next big challenge for the digital marketing team at Nissan is utilisation of wider datasets. The first step involves consolidating distributed data from all internal systems. By connecting the data held by each system, Nissan can turn points of data into information that clearly shows an overall view of customers.
The most striking example is the integration of data held by headquarters and the dealers. “Dealers have data that they have been able to gather because they are dealerships,” says Mr Kudo. “There is also a variety of rich data that can be gained strictly through digital marketing. By linking both types of data, we should find many complementary areas.” Dealers and headquarters already share a certain amount of data, but Nissan is currently looking into the next step of how to best analyse and utilise this data.
Furthermore, Nissan is also looking into how it can use external data, not just data gained internally. Recently, the number of datasets available for purchase have increased. By combining third-party data with internal data, Nissan anticipates that it can create new value.
“One of the challenges for Nissan is the lengthening of customers’ purchase cycles,” says Mr Kudo. “As a result, there are many instances where the customer will contact Nissan for the first vehicle inspection, but then there will be silence for the next five or ten years. However, there is still information that the customer might want during that period. If we can approach customers at the appropriate times, we can increase both satisfaction and trust in Nissan and its dealers. If we provide useful and relevant data to customers during the long period after a purchase, we believe that this will help to improve overall service.”
The organisations that have this information are service operating companies or communications carriers. Using this data to understand changes in a customers’ lifestyle, such as marriage or childbirth, Nissan can provide even better suggestions. Mr Kudo is exploring the best ways to broaden horizons and utilise both internal and external information.
Driving long-term trust
Customers are visiting dealers fewer times, thus reducing the opportunities for a vital touchpoint. Nissan is looking to the digital world as the new place where consumers make purchases and where Nissan gains opportunities to learn about customers.
Nissan is using information about customers’ individual needs, their desired timing and their optimal touchpoints to send useful information to customers. Nissan’s marketing teams handle the full customer cycle, from gathering information about vehicles, to purchasing, to after-sales service. It’s not just about selling cars. It’s also about building long-term trust with customers.
“If we can understand each customer’s needs, we can provide infinite options,” says Mr Kudo.
Nissan has high expectations for Adobe Experience Cloud as the platform to accomplish these goals. The company decided to also deploy Adobe Adobe Experience Manager to manage content on a global level.
By using Adobe Experience Cloud as an integrated platform for marketing, Nissan gains an understanding of customer behaviour, deep analytics, personalised content and management of content across the company.
Nissan will continue to build long-term trust with its customers while leveraging its many years of expertise with the solutions and the collaboration with Adobe to its fullest.