7 Winning Marketing Strategies That Are Working for EV Makers in 2022
Widespread use of EVs can be a feasible way out for the myriad of commuting problems, including air pollution, noise, and energy conservation or rising prices for fuel. Amid all stakeholders involved, consumers stand to benefit the most from EVs due to their long-term cost efficiency.
COVID-19 came along just as electric mobility was gaining momentum and sales were increasing in many markets around the globe. One of the biggest global automobile markets, India can play a significant role in the coming Electric Vehicle (EV) revolution.
Electric vehicles (EVs), to date, have been niche products. Therefore, many OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) have focused their go-to-market (GTM) strategies only on a select, tech-savvy segment.
Things are changing with the government launching Electric Vehicle (EV) development initiatives. More and more users are switching to electric vehicles and an innovative approach to EV Marketing is the need of the hour.
Seven marketing innovations will define the electric-vehicle market model.
1. Reimagining brand positioning
OEMs need to develop new products and services that are attractive. A successful package could include:
- The vehicle.
- On-demand services.
- Revenue from data.
- Financing options (such as battery leasing).
- Mobility services.
- After-sales services (such as Care by Volvo).
These elements can be combined to create a compelling offer that improves customer experience and resolves concerns that may hinder EV adoption.
2. Design the charging ecosystem
To ensure seamless charging, be early. OEMs should establish and manage networks with leading ecosystem players to create end-to-end charging systems. This aspect will allow them to quickly develop single access points at a low cost to consumers.
OEMs must also incorporate the various charging options (home-public, dealer, and dealer) into their existing system and app landscape. They should work closely with ecosystem partners.
It is based on the energy available in the grid.
3. Income from your life cycle
Sell cars, but not just. OEMs make about EUR100 per year in profit from their current EV GTM strategy. This aspect is approximately 1 cent per kilometer of a vehicle’s lifecycle after being sold. (This does not include after sales revenues. Despite efforts to lower the cost of producing EVs, this profit will only increase slightly over the next five to ten years. OEMs and dealers need to look for other revenue streams throughout the product’s lifecycle to achieve sustainable margins.
OEMs can offer consumers on-demand features and services, such as Tesla’s AutoPilot. These features could include advanced driver-assistance systems and performance-enhancing software. BMW offers ConnectedDrive, for example, in four packages, starting at EUR69 and ending at EUR279 per year.
4. Refocus and massively re-skill the sales team
Your dealers should be converted to EV advocates; in our mystery-shopping effort at select dealerships in China and Germany, only half of the sales reps engaged in balanced discussions about the benefits of ICE and EV vehicles when advising test clients who were open to both.
We believe there are several reasons why this is the case. One is a lack of knowledge by salespeople about the potential benefits of EV and the human tendency to avoid criticism. Two- lower EV dealer margins. OEMs need to support their dealers in building the necessary infrastructure and capabilities to address this problem. They also need incentives to make EV sales more attractive economically over the long term. Dealers may question whether it is worth selling EVs without such support.
5. The omnichannel approach is perfect
It is also essential to ensure seamless online-offline integration of digital touch points with dealers. It helps dealers identify potential customers for EVs. Online channels will play a more significant role in generating leads due to their central role during the information phase.
Many OEMs have shown that innovative online-offline marketing (for instance, Polestar) and hyper local EV marketing can dramatically increase walk-in rates. NIO went one step further by creating a second floor at its flagship stores dedicated to customers and their friends to increase brand loyalty. NIO also offers an app that allows customers to book services in one click, share content with their friends, and earn rewards for actively participating in the community.
6. Increase customer-centricity after-sales and readiness
How to take your after-sales operation into the future? EVs are more efficient than ICE vehicles and require less maintenance. These vehicles require highly-trained technicians who are familiar with high-voltage and battery technology. OEMs need to develop EV-specific training programs to train their technicians within their dealer networks, such as battery diagnostics.
It is also essential to ensure that EV-related tools and parts, such as the battery-leak detectors, are readily available. Volkswagen plans to build a new battery warehouse to store its inventory and deliver fast to its dealers. Although the demand is low, multiple dealerships could use these facilities together.
7. To achieve scale profitability, transform your business model
Profitable makes them unprofitable. EVs will likely remain less profitable than conventional cars for the foreseeable future due to higher production costs, lower after-sales revenues, and uncertainty over battery usage, remarketing, and the significant investment necessary for charging infrastructure.
Additional revenue streams from features and on-demand services will not offset these cost pressures, nor data and charging. Therefore, the GTM model must continue to evolve in EV marketing. The new model will require more online-offline integration. This aspect will lower costs across the physical retail network. Consumers will be increasingly researching and buying cars online. This model will help OEMs move to more direct asset-light electric mobility offerings.
What are the steps OEMs can follow up to ensure the best EV marketing strategy?
They should first use EVs to accelerate the modernization of the GTM. OEMs can ensure that they are prepared for new EV launches by piloting and rapidly scaling up the short-term measures required for online channels, offline experience, network restructuring, after-sales service, and others.
The second is that OEMs need to be prepared for new revenue streams. They should launch and support new markets while dealers tap into new revenue streams such as charging, EV mobility bundles, and car data.
OEMs must be open to new business models to keep up with the times. This aspect includes alternative sales models and mobility solutions. So which marketing strategy are you planning to adopt right away?