The type of car a person drives can say a lot about them.
There are the all American truck drivers, cruising through the Texas desert with American flags flying high. There are hippies who travel across the country in their big vans, with curtains over the windows and peace stickers decorating the bumper.
So what does a luxury European car say about someone, especially driving in America, where foreign cars can have a stigma attached to them?
Trying to market a luxury European car can be difficult, but there are plenty of ways to sell them if you get creative.
From the special features to beautiful exteriors, to the longevity of many of the cars made in Europe, there are plenty of ways to market luxury European cars, and we'll explore them below.
There are luxury cars for every type of person, and if you want to sell your brand, you're going to want to have a variety of models to choose from. BMW, America's top-selling luxury car company, had only four models in 1975. By 2015, BMW had one hundred different models in The US.
In a Fortune article about BMW, they quote BMW's North American CEO Ludwig Willisch as saying "We don't ever want our customers to grow bored." Marketing variety is a great way to catch every possible customer's attention.
Luxury cars have become a harder sell in recent years because of the soaring popularity of SUVs and crossovers. These types of vehicles not only offer better storage options but also boast comparable gas mileage. However, there are some luxury European cars that are embracing the crossover and utility trend, such as the DS 4 Crossback.
In an article by The New York Times about the decline in luxury car sales, they explain how SUVs and crossovers are dominating the market. According to William Fay of Toyota North America, trucks, vans, and SUVs make up nearly 65% of the market now.
Marketing segmentation is a strategy in dividing your customer market into sub-sections, based on a number of different variables. In the case of luxury European cars, the segmentation recommended is dividing by age.
Mercedes-Benz used this strategy to market their luxury cars to a younger audience with great success. They created an online community called "Generation Benz" to learn more about the preferences and buying habits of the 20 to 39 age range demographic.
Through targeted ads, Facebook and other social media marketing, and a video series created by influencer Casey Niestat, Mercedes-Benz new CLA series became their most successful new product launch in the last 20 years.
Why do people want luxury European cars?
For some, it's the longevity and craftsmanship of the vehicles. For some, it's the fancy features inside. But for many, it's that feeling you get when you roll up to a party or a date's house in that fancy new BMW or Mercedes Benz and feel like you're on top of the world.
Status is a driving force behind luxury European car sales. While it may seem obvious, it's important to market this towards your potential customers. Make your customer seem like they need that car to feel important. Market your car as not just an automobile, but an extension of the person themselves.
While status and the outward appearance of the car may be one of the driving forces behind European luxury car sales, you want to make sure that car looks just as good when you step inside.
Every luxury car has different features, and it's important to find a niche feature that you can market to your customers. There are quite a few exciting new features hitting the road in this coming year.
Lexus and Volvo are both incorporating new steering features in certain brands of their luxury lines that will automatically steer you clear of a pedestrian or animal in your path while still staying within a clear traffic lane. This feature keeps yourself and others safe on the road.
Another unique feature comes from BMW, helping you to find parking as you drive to your destination. By partnering with smartphone app Parkmobile, BMW can help you locate parking. The feature gives you several options and keeps you updated as you approach your destination.
One thing that every customer looks for in a car is the quality of the manufacturing. What's the point of a flashy car with fancy features if it's going to break down three months down the road, leaving you looking good on the side of the highway.
Quality is a great way to market luxury European cars because it's something that is usually already in the back of the customer's head. European manufacturers have always prided themselves on the longevity of their vehicles. My Volvo has nearly 200,000 miles on it and still runs like a dream.
Show your customers what's under the hood, and why your car will last years longer than the one at the dealership down the street. Even if they don't fully understand all the moving parts that drive the car, they'll appreciate the comfort they get from knowing that the car is going to get them safely from point A to point B.
When it comes down to it, no single strategy is going to immediately move that luxury European car off the lot. You have to employ multiple strategies to really win over that customer.
The first step to selling that car is to get your potential customer into your dealership in the first place, and oftentimes that's done by using the internet. It's important to make sure that potential customers wind up at your site, rather than your competitor's, but making that happen isn't always easy.
Employing search engine strategies is vitally important to driving traffic to your website, which will, in turn, lead them to your dealership, where you can employ all the strategies we went over to sell them that luxury car.
Keep doing your research. Good luck, and happy selling!
Search Engine Marketing Columnist
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