Almost 70 per cent of automobile sales — translating into transactions worth about $40 billion — in India would be “digitally influenced” by 2020 from the current $18 billion, a report today said. The report by Facebook and Bain & Company sought to examine the impact of digital technologies like social media and Internet of Things (IoT) on the automotive industry. Social media is expected to become a major influencer, driving sales of about $23 billion by 2020. Also, most people do a significant part of their research before purchasing a car online now, which makes it important that auto makers make digital media an important part of their marketing strategy.
Also, many post-purchase activities are now happening online. By 2020, up to 40 per cent of consumers are expected to book repair and maintenance services online, while about 30 per cent will go online to purchase vehicle accessories, up from 14 per cent and 8 per cent respectively today. However, most Indian auto makers are behind the curve in digital investments, spending just 10-11 per cent of their total marketing budgets on digital media in 2016.
“Automotive OEMs should redefine their marketing and customer engagement efforts to reflect the current behaviour and usage patterns of automobile buyers,” Bain & Company Partner Yaquta Mandviwala said. Facebook India Managing Director Umang Bedi said companies will need to step up efforts to create deeper and personalised relationships with customers. They also need to invest in a strong analytics backbone, an area where Facebook can help with its tools.