A high degree of personalisation is key to capturing the attention of used car buyers online, a dealer webinar heard this week.

Valuable insights and perspectives came from industry leaders taking part in the “Maximising Revenue Through Outstanding Customer Experience” panel event organised by automotive warranty specialist Assurant.

Loic Perusset, marketing and partnerships manager at Samsung said: “I don’t work within the automotive industry but I would expect it is the same as others where it’s getting harder and harder to capture your audience’s attention. There’s so much noise out there and making your brand and marketing message stand out is very, very tricky.

“The key solution is personalisation. Customers are now really expecting greater relevance when it comes to the digital ads and the e-mails they receive. Your messaging needs to be less generic and more focused on what they actually need.

“There’s also a growing trend towards user generated reviews – especially video content – either created by consumers or influencers, and as a younger demographic such as Gen Z gets to an age where they start to spend a lot of money within the economy, it’ll get more and more important in capturing their attention.”

Ben Mills, digital marketing specialist at FOW Car Supermarket, agreed that videos were becoming more significant: “Video is a really important tool for optimising the user experience. We have found that 43% of consumers are more likely to buy when presented with a video and we now do this in multiple ways including personalised videos for a specific customer. This is particularly important if it’s a used car because it helps with getting the transparency message across.”

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Jeremy Evans, chief executive at eCRM and social media agency Marketing Delivery, added that an important post-pandemic trend had been that open and reply rates for dealer e-mails had improved, largely as a result of increased numbers of customer touch points resulting in better data.

He said: “There are now more data points available and if the material you send out is more relevant and personalised as a result, customers will engage with it.”

Damian Tyler, European business director and commercial director at Assurant, said that those digital touch points were often best integrated into an app format.

“We’re about to launch a new app and it’s important because our research tells us that 60% of consumers who are looking to purchase a motor warranty see it as highly important to have an app and web portal to manage the product in-life.

“Those customers are looking to facilitate a whole series of touchpoints – service reminders, MOT reminders, repair bookings, claims management, warranty expiry reminders and more. Our new technology delivers that.”

Harsh Singh, associate vice president of user experience and design at Assurant, added: “Previously, customers might only have contacted us if they wanted to make a claim, so this enhanced level of interaction through the app is good for them and also for the dealer, providing the potential for increased brand loyalty, customer retention, higher revenue and ultimately, improved profits.”