How Important is it to have a Buyer Persona in your EV Marketing Strategy?

How to create the ideal Buyer Persona for EV Digital Marketing

Businesses undertake a lot of research before building their marketing strategies. An essential part of the research exercise is to create a buyer persona that helps them to understand the target customer. The persona serves as the base for creating tailor-made advertisements for the intended customers.

What is a buyer persona?

A buyer persona represents the tastes and preferences of the target customer. It is derived from market research, some feedback from the existing customers and certain assumptions. It is in the form of profiles of ideal customers describing their day-to-day challenges and their basis for making decisions.

Buyer personas help brands to understand their customers such that they are able to acquire and serve them in a better manner.

Why are buyer personas important?

By building buyer personas, businesses are able to address their potential customer’s pain points and requirements. They are able to build trust and credibility with the targeted buyers. This is an important exercise for brand building as buyers tend to gravitate towards businesses that they find trustworthy. When brands cater to buyers’ needs and concerns in their value proposition, they are able to generate more leads.

Buyer personas for the prospective customers of EV

Electric vehicle sales have witnessed a boom in the past year due to rising concerns about environmental issues. As per the EY Mobility Consumer Index (MCI), about 90% of Indian consumers are keen on paying a premium for purchasing an EV. Moreover, 40% of the surveyed people would not mind paying a premium of up to 20%. According to this survey, 3 out of 10 people would like to buy an electric/hydrogen vehicle.

This survey speaks volumes about the current trends in the automotive sector. It is imperative for EV makers to develop the right marketing strategies for attracting their target audience.

To make the marketing strategies impactful, it is important to address the customer’s concerns by enlisting those in different buyers’ personas. To understand each type of buyer comprehensively, personas could be classified based on their likelihood of choosing EV. This may help the brand to identify the actual prospects, thereby, making them win more sales.

Defining the ideal customer profile

Identification of EV customers is the first step of this process. The EV customer profile has changed in the last two years. The early adopters were environmentally conscious, well-travelled and tech-oriented urban citizens who switched to EVs for a lower cost of operation.

However, EV adoption is now catching up with more people, who believe that it is their responsibility to reduce the personal impact on the environment and buying an EV would make them achieve this goal. As stated above, these people are ready to buy electric vehicles even at a premium.

Realistically, an ideal 4-wheeler EV buyer lives in a tier-1 city, earning a high income. 2-wheeler and 3-wheeler EVs are generally preferred by customers in either tier-1 or tier-2 cities. Presently, electric vehicle sales are largely in the 2W and 3W segments.

A study conducted by the Centre for Energy Finance in 2020 estimated that in the year 2019-20, around 2.46 lakh EVs were sold in India, out of which 62% were 2W and 37% were low-speed 3W. 4W accounted for just 1%.

Looking at the pain points of potential buyers

Automotive buyers face many problems in their day-to-day lives. EV marketers need to identify the pain points experienced by their potential buyers so that they can position EVs effectively. Some pain points that should be considered are:

1. Increasing fuel prices

Rising petrol and diesel prices are burning a hole in consumers’ pockets. Petrol prices have crossed Rs 110/litre in major cities in India. This factor could be used to convince buyers to choose EVs as they would be an economical alternative. EVs offer a lower cost of operation in terms of cheaper repair and maintenance.

2. Lack of charging infrastructure and range anxiety

With charging infrastructure still being at a nascent stage, consumers fear that charging vehicles frequently would be inconvenient. According to Central Electricity Authority, there are a total of 934 public charging stations across all Indian states as of June 2020. This number is inadequate for a country like India. Furthermore, the range anxiety adds to this worry as people are unsure if the vehicle would let them commute long distances or travel inter-city from a single charge.

Setting up a charging infrastructure is a challenge in marketing electric vehicles

EV makers need to make their potential buyers aware of the distribution of charging stations in their cities. Their marketing campaigns should dispel doubts about the range and battery life.

3. Lack of awareness about EV benefits

People in India, largely, are unaware of the features of EVs and their benefits. The fact that EVs have lower running costs as compared to those of Internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles needs to be highlighted. Apart from this, the most important benefit of EV is tax and financial savings from lower road tax and registration fees vis-à-vis those for ICE vehicles.

EV makers have been engaging with their prospects on digital mediums through videos and campaigns. But in order to make electric vehicles mainstream, they need to advertise more on television and other popular platforms to educate buyers, thereby, leading to more adoption.

Concluding Remarks

The buyer persona serves as a very important tool to understand the attributes and pain points of a prospective customer. EV marketers must make use of buyer personas to develop their strategies in a manner that helps them to convert their prospects into leads. This could facilitate capturing the ideal buyers as well as those who can be convinced with a bit of personal touch.

Currently, the EV market is at a sweet spot. Fuel prices are at an all-time high and the government is promoting clean mobility through subsidies and tax incentives. Brands need to harp on this opportunity and market their products effectively by addressing buyers’ requirements.

Here is a sample EV Buyer Persona that you can download for free.