Three things we learnt in 2020 and how it impacted our 2021 marketing decisions


If 2020 taught us anything, it was that brands in the automotive industry need to be more agile and meet customers where they are, which is online.

Because buying a vehicle is so personal, and such a high-value purchase, the automotive industry has traditionally relied on face to face and in-store marketing which wasn’t possible in the pandemic. So, we created our largest data-driven, digital video communication to launch our new Range Campaign (our latest marketing campaign that showcases the depth and breadth of our vehicles) and focused on providing an engaging digital experience when interacting with our campaign online.

Here are three things we learnt in 2020 and how they shaped our 2021 Range Campaign.

1. Small-business owners want to do their research online

Our showrooms were not fully accessible for an extended period in 2020. When buyers weren’t able to visit showrooms, people began shopping for vehicles online and looking for new ways to preview their purchases.

So when we thought about the best way to reach our customers in 2021 we knew we needed to focus on something that would be digital-first, bringing to life the full story of our products so that when customers went into our showrooms they were more informed about what we offered and the people we support through our products.

2. Small-business owners want to know what they buy is being used by businesses like theirs

Owners of small businesses share tips on everything so we knew the best way to show them how our range of vans can help their business is to tell a story of businesses like theirs using our products.

Video is a great way to do this. With a digital-first campaign, we were able to demonstrate the variety and flexibility not only within our range of vans but also through the matching range of diverse characters we support through our products.

In the pandemic, businesses needed to keep running and in some cases at unprecedented levels. Our vehicles were relied upon to keep Australia running in many ways: as Australia Post delivery vans, as front line Ambulances or as service technician vehicles just to name a few. The digital strategy was a way for us to reinforce that our products are not just white boxes on wheels and we don’t just sell vehicles. We offer a versatile range of solutions to our diverse range of partners and what we do supports the community.

3. Small businesses need the data to back up their decisions

We know small businesses have a finite amount of money to spend on marketing and want to make sure the money they are spending is having an impact. From our own digital campaign, we’ve already received data that’s helped us plan our strategy until the end of the year.

So far we know our digital strategy is working and we can track it easier than we were able to track our in-store marketing. We’ve reached 4.1 million Australians so far and we know that complete video views are 514,978 more than the forecast which is due to strong performance. We have seen the biggest lift from our connected TV ad buys (eight per cent) which has validated our decision to buy TV ads digitally, we now know it’s more measurable and less expensive than linear TV buys. Finally, we know the ad has increased campaign recall by 6.1 per cent.

If you’re struggling with how to market your business in an increasingly online environment, building your brand story through digital provides you with the opportunity to be more targeted with your communications, tell your brand story in more detail and understand if the strategy is working much faster.