The Role of Marketing in Promoting Electric Vehicles and Sustainable Transportation
The increasing popularity of electric vehicles and sustainable transportation options presents both challenges and opportunities for automotive marketers. On one hand, electric vehicles are still a relatively new technology, and many consumers are not yet familiar with the benefits and features of these vehicles. Additionally, electric vehicles often have a higher upfront cost than traditional gasoline-powered cars, which can make them a harder sell for some consumers. Finally, because electric vehicles have different maintenance and charging requirements than traditional cars, marketers must work to educate consumers and build trust in these new technologies.
However, there are also many opportunities for marketers in this space. Many electric vehicles are highly customizable and offer a range of new features and benefits that traditional cars do not, which marketers can lean on in their campaigns. For example, electric vehicles often come with advanced safety features, better acceleration, and lower operating costs. Additionally, electric vehicles are highly compatible with smart home technologies, which can help marketers target environmentally-conscious and tech-savvy consumers. A survey done by CAA showed that many of the concerns that consumers had before owning an EV were significantly diminished after owning, “Worries about range fell 37 percentage points to 30%, cold-weather performance concerns dropped 25 percentage points to 33%, and fears about battery degradation fell 41 percentage points to 13%.” showing that marketers in the auto space need to ensure that education is integrated into their campaigns as many of the preconceived notions on EV’s are not reflective of the actual performance.
How to approach the strategy
To successfully market electric vehicles and sustainable transportation options, marketers need to use a range of different strategies. One approach is to focus on building brand awareness and educating consumers about the benefits and features of electric vehicles. This can be done through targeted advertising campaigns, content marketing, and social media engagement. According to recent research by Nielsen, “Once a brand’s new EV hits the showroom, marketers who set up a feedback loop to process and measure engagement, consideration and purchase intent will be better positioned to accelerate sales. Keeping tabs on the entire purchase funnel can provide a marketer with a better read on their brand’s halo.”
Another effective strategy is to focus on creating a personalized and engaging customer experience. This can be done by offering test drives and in-person events that allow consumers to interact with electric vehicles and learn more about their benefits. A Twitter poll found that 62% of respondents who had a test drive in their electric car of choice were more likely to buy one. Marketers can also leverage data analytics and customer insights to tailor their messaging and outreach to different target audiences.
Overall, the key to successfully marketing electric vehicles and sustainable transportation options is to stay agile and innovative in response to changing consumer preferences and market dynamics. By leveraging a range of different marketing strategies and staying attuned to the unique challenges and opportunities in this space, marketers can help to drive the growth of this important and rapidly evolving market.
Case Study: Audi’s e-tron GT Release in Canada
Audi set their goal of being the number 1 OEM luxury brand in Canada and did so with its very first electric vehicle: the E-tron. In Winter 2021, the Covid-19 lockdown was full-steam across Canada and the global unveiling of the new e-tron GT was looming. With the uncertainty in the marketplace, a new digital approach was required in order to keep audiences safe, but engaged, while still creating buzz around a definite launch that would define the DNA of Audi and cement them as category leaders. One of the main challenges was the launch happening 4 months before the cars became available.
To keep consumers engaged, from February to July, new content was regularly released, showcasing tech features, design and aspirational messaging, all highlighting the e-tron GT’s new dominance in the EV category and leading towards submitting online e-reservations to place a deposit on. Using Twitter and Twitter Spotlight Trends as well as content marketing, Audi kept the conversations going around their new EV to spark interest and lead consumers to their offerings.
This campaign was a resounding success: more than 1000 leads were generated just before market introduction, and more than two thirds of the GT units were sold before the car’s release. From a mass market perspective, a brand lift study measured an increase of 6pts from a recall standpoint amongst those who have been exposed to this campaign, and an astounding 14 points amongst those who engaged with the units at any point along the campaign.
The partnership with Twitter was key to the operation where Audi owned 70% of overall mentions within the auto conversation during the campaign. The mentions of Audi Etron increased by 742% and video viewers drove a 13% lift in brand awareness, allowing Audi to make an explosive launch into the EV category.
https://t.co/v9oEP2NVrO pic.twitter.com/MhF7sNjJQp — Audi (@AudiOfficial) February 1, 2021
The shift towards electric vehicles and sustainable transportation is not only driven by environmental concerns but also by technological advancements and changes in consumer preferences. Marketers in the automotive industry face both challenges and opportunities in promoting electric vehicles, with a need to educate consumers and build trust in these new technologies. By leveraging a range of different marketing strategies and staying attuned to the unique challenges and opportunities in this space, marketers can help to drive the growth of this important and rapidly evolving market. And as Canada invests heavily in electric vehicle production, the role of marketing will continue to be crucial in promoting and growing the market for electric vehicles and sustainable transportation options.