Auto Shows Are the Modern Version of Traditional Open Air Markets
Bringing buyers and sellers together in an open market place is an ancient form of commerce. Today automotive manufacturers have not strayed too far from that original format; where the flashiest display of goods combined with telling the best story makes a difference in bottom line sales results.
Organizers and promoters of today’s auto shows in Canada use the latest technology and sophisticated marketing techniques to reach their target consumer. The collective goal remains the same. Get as many people as possible to see the goods and services your tenants have to offer. In most instances automotive manufacturers have dedicated millions of dollars to design and install complex displays, train professional staff and participate in every major auto show in Canada. In today’s business environment every expense is highly scrutinized and benchmarks are often set to measure the return on investment. New technology delivers lots of highly useful information which allows automakers to maximize their investment and gives consumers added value by aligning their preferences to the right products.
“The key to realizing a return on the significant investment manufacturers make in auto shows”, explains Zone Marketing Group president Dennis Pitselis, “is to maximize the engagement with consumers both at the show and after the show.
What is highly evident is that auto show attendees are keenly interested in making a vehicle purchase in the next few months. Zone Marketing has surveyed well over 150,000 Canadians during the 2010 auto show season. Those completed surveys indicate almost 50% of all consumers attending an auto show intend to make a vehicle purchase within 10 months. In fact, some shows in Canada attract an even higher percentage of active buyers.
Much like the open air markets of yesterday, automotive manufacturers work closely with show organizers to stake out space in the high traffic areas. If a brand is seeking to gain market share, they have to work harder to get attention and stay on a consumer’s shopping list. When a brand is looking to protect market share, they must attract their owners first to reassure them that their brand is still relevant and active. Auto makers are eager to measure their ability to capture sales from other manufacturers, as well as determine loyalty among current owners. It’s a game where a smart strategy backed up by an effective display can make a real sales difference.
According to Mr. Pitselis, “While on the outside, the event itself is in the style of an open market, the processes behind the scenes are powered by the latest technology. For instance, we know that consumers attending the auto show in Toronto are very interested in vehicle performance which earns the highest score of all the attributes we evaluate at 18%. We see quite a different response in Montreal, where fuel economy is the number one attribute at 16%. We also see that reliability and comfort earn higher scores in Montreal than in Toronto. While fuel economy is seen to be a highly rated attribute for most consumers, we have not seen it translate into widespread interest in hybrid vehicles yet. We plan to monitor this trend closely for 2011.”
What is common to all auto shows is that you will find lots of giveaways, attractions and strategies deployed to ensure that each manufacturer gets their fair share of the show traffic. For the consumer it is the most efficient, cost effective way to do some vehicle