|L-R: Sophie Raworth, Kia Motors’ Amy Rodricks, John Bache, Kim Wiggins and Auto Trader’s Sharon Randall|
A new addition to the awards, this accolade’s shortlist is compiled from the winners of Best Dealer Website, Best Social Media Campaign and Best Manufacturer Digital Initiative.
The category was created to recognise the growing importance of digital technology in the effective running of dealerships – in particular how dealers and manufacturers, often combined, use it to win customers and their loyalty.
Digital Initiative of the Year
The three winners considered were Tates Motor Group, winner of the best website category; Mercedes-Benz Retail Group, best social media campaign; and Kia Motors UK for its partnership with Reevoo.
Kia’s campaign, although not unique, was selected by the judges as the digital initiative of the year. The depth of the brand’s commitment to transparency of customer experience acknowledges that consumers’ search journeys will often start before they are ready to go through the normal channels of the manufacturer or dealer website and that the opinions of people ‘like me’ are most sought after early in the search funnel.
Kia knew that opinion would find its way online through established social media channels, but it wanted to know what was being said and to keep people on its site.
Importantly – this being very much a people business – Kia extended its interest beyond its cars to include its dealers.
All of this combined helped to portray Kia as a more open brand, gave it a means of uncovering both positive and negative customer care and encouraged dealers to provide expected levels of service.
The massive volume of reviews is now helping to build brand credibility – the kind traditional marketing would take generations to achieve. Kia has been given a goldmine of ‘don’t take our word on how good we are’ capital. It is exploiting that capital to the full in its dealerships and in its television advertising campaigns, constantly guiding people online, notably to mobile-optimised sites.
The judges were also pleased to see clear evidence of positive, measurable results that show Kia’s strategy is no fleeting success.
Also shortlisted: Mercedes-Benz Retail Group; Tates Motor Group
Previous winners: New category
Category sponsored by Auto Trader.