Dealers need to change their mindset when dealing with customers in a digitally disrupted world, according to Jardine Motors Group head of digital Alex Brown.
He is to take the stage at AM’s DigiTech conference to deliver insights into the group’s digital approach.
Taking place at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry on April 27, the event explores how digital and advanced technologies are driving the operations at today’s dealerships and ways in which consumer behaviour continues to evolve as the off and online experience continue to merge.
Brown will draw on the experiences of Jardine Motors and highlights the role of disrupters and ways in which dealers can both embrace these new ways in which consumers are buying their next vehicle, how to meet the challenge and overcome issues.
He said: “Our view has shifted more towards embracing digital disrupters over the last 12-24 months.
“We’ve started to re-engineer sales processes and teams to meet the different customer demands and expectations of customers coming in from these channels.
“We have also looked at how to reset expectations internally in terms of what constitutes a ‘lead’ and what we need to do to compete in a disrupted marketplace.
“In terms of the incremental versus existing business, I’d say firstly it’s a mix; and secondly it depends very much on the channel. Some disrupters we’re seeing bring in customers we wouldn’t previously have dealt with. In others we’re seeing existing customers with the potential risk of eroded margin.”
The group is continually revising its digital strategy to both keep pace with the ever changing digital environment and consumer behaviour which includes testing out new campaigns and channels, monitoring, measuring and tweaking.
“We try to focus on innovation right across the digital mix. Better to trial, understand and fail than not to trial. On our own website, paid and organic search is a huge focus, a changing mix of classified partners, disrupters and affiliates, plus digital innovation and internal product development to improve the sales process and customer experience.
“Social media, PR and content innovation have formed a large part of our focus from 2017 and we are seeing leverage from some of our prestige brands and unique content as a result.
“Disruption in the new car space is clearly with us right now, I’d guess this will continue to grow and expand into finance (new and used) and additional products. Disruption in aftersales seems as yet fairly untapped, there’s more to come for used I suspect, and in the long term we’ll need to consider the impact of connected and then driverless cars.
“I don’t think dealers need to necessarily always become a disrupter, but they need to think and act like a disrupter. Put the customer first, give them the information they need, make their lives easier. Making the customer’s life easier should be the aim of all of us – not just the disrupters’ prerogative.”
> Tickets are available to dealers and manufacturers and bookings are already being taken, please visit https://amdigitech.am-online.com/
Ricoh Arena, Coventry CV6 6GE