As a global business, Nissan operates out of 160 countries and manufactures in 20 regions and countries. Each year the vehicle manufacturer manages a volume of 5 million vehicles.
To connect deeper relationships with so many customers, Nissan integrated a suite of Adobe Experience Cloud solutions – Analytics, Campaign, Target, and Experience Manager – that helped them achieve a 200% higher open rate and click rate with custom emails.
Marketing is one of the key forces behind the growth of Nissan, where they work on enhancing their brand power and boosting sales power – both of these requiring more elevated marketing power.
In order to fulfil these goals they had to:
- Develop a better understanding of the sales funnel
- Understand which content better encourages sales
- Enhance their knowledge of customers that were interacting less and less in person
- Begin appealing to their customers’ needs by marketing different aspects of the same car to different customers
As we have seen in the past year, consumer behavior can rapidly change in months. Even before the pandemic how consumers bought and interacted with brands was never entirely predictable, and that is particularly true in the auto industry.
This means marketing strategies should always be up for review and renovation.
“Previously, customers would visit dealers over and over again to research cars,” said Moyuru Kudo, head of Japan digital UX at Nissan. “But according to recent reports, customers visit dealers an average of 2.6 times. Now, consumers do their research on the Internet and only visit a dealer when they have a better idea of the car they want. As a result, automobile manufacturers have lost opportunities to talk directly with customers.”
Because of the less physical connection between the brand and customer during the pandemic, Nissan had to identify what customers wanted in other ways. “Websites can tip the scales for a consumer who is car shopping,” added Moyuru. “If we can predict the actions and thought processes that a customer will follow on the website and really understand the customer’s journey, we can determine the best strategy to engage customers.
“ If we do this, we can increase the number of customers who visit dealerships as they’re ready to close on a deal.”
The auto market has traditionally focussed on TV and newspaper advertising, which, while it reaches a mass audience, it’s only transmitting the same message.
“The simplest way to explain our X-TRAIL SUV model to a large number of customers is to always use an image of a tough car with two rows of seating,” said Moyuru. “However, customers are also interested in using the X-TRAIL SUV as a three-row car for big families. Through digital marketing, we can gain a greater understanding of our customers’ needs and create more tailored approaches to reach them effectively.”
The physical and digital
“The importance of digital continues to increase,” said Moyuru. “But that does not mean that physical touchpoints such as dealerships are no longer important. Previously, we asked our teams to name a time when they were emotionally moved. The thing that all of these experiences had in common was that they all involved other people.
“For example, rather than receiving a generic ‘Happy Birthday’ email from a company, hearing the same words from an employee of the company made the recipient far more happy. Nissan’s goal is to refer to digital information while providing related customer experiences through in-store or in-person channels. Ideally, we will also use information gathered during in-person experiences to provide feedback to digital channels to continue improving customer experiences.”
Nissan swapped up their platform strategy and opted for Adobe Experience Cloud, including Adobe Campaign and Adobe Experience Manager. “We rated Adobe Experience Cloud highly because we could build a digital marketing foundation that was consistent globally,” said Moyuru.
“Furthermore, we appreciated that we could expand functionality to accommodate the growth of our strategy. We could start by introducing a first set of tools, and then gradually enhance the solution as our needs and experience grew.”
In order to get the most out of content across the web, Nissan carried out A/B testing as well as multivariate testing through Adobe Target – testing on design elements, the positioning of buttons, their shape and size, as well as the phrasing of text.
Though A/B testing and multivariate testing, Nissan boosted its conversion rates while squeezing abandonment rates and bounce rates.
Because car customers are frequenting dealerships less and less, it means that the most vital touchpoint – in person interaction – is increasingly becoming out of reach. Turning towards digital – much like the majority of businesses from all industries – to find broader opportunities as well as get to know their customers better.
Through Adobe Experience Cloud, Nissan can use insightful information about their customers’ wants, and when they want it. “If we can understand each customer’s needs, we can provide infinite options,” said Moyuru.
And the company’s selection of Adobe Experience Manager means that it can manage all of its global content from one centralized place.
By leveraging the full powers of the Adobe suite Nissan saw broad improvements that included a boost in conversion rates from optimized content; a 200% boost in open rates and click rates; an increase in vehicle sales along with the capability to analyze content; and improved communications that have squeezed the sales cycle.