The world of connected technology is evolving at a dramatic pace, and its impact on a long list of big business industries has been significant. The auto industry, in particular, is undergoing a massive shift as a direct result of rapidly improving connectivity and digital options. With more auto manufacturers partnering up with software companies dedicated to providing connectivity solutions through cloud computing and the Internet of Things, a new focus has been placed on personalizing the user experience and marketing to individuals rather than generalized user groups. While this provides an excellent new marketing avenue for car companies, it also means a better future in car buying for consumers.
Connectivity will be considered the norm even more than it is now.
We’re used to seeing Bluetooth connection options and advanced GUI control panels in new cars – that’s been the norm since the advent of Onstar. But with connected technology becoming increasingly less expensive to create and increasingly more available, we’re about to experience a new level of connectivity in years to come. Gartner predicts new vehicles with data connectivity options (either a direct connection from within the vehicle, or by connecting to a mobile device) will increase to 61 million by 2020.
An increased ability to connect to apps and other information you have in a cloud will make it easier to interact with the world around you – all without leaving your vehicle. Your vehicle could recommend what coffee to order from your favorite cafe based on your ordering history, time of day, and any specials the shop has going on. In addition to exciting real-world connection options like this, safety features and automated driving are becoming more fine-tuned and easier than ever to use.
As these features become more prevalent in new vehicles, consumers ultimately will expect them to be included in the package when they are in the market for a new car. Normalizing connectivity puts the consumer first, because the connected features they expect and want are what they’ll be looking for and ultimately buying. Companies in the auto industry are looking to meet those individual-specific needs in order to increase sales and build long-term relationships.
Connectivity will benefit the auto industry, but it will also give consumers the advantage.
The amplified amount of smart vehicle options and the expanding list of their functions changes marketing across industry lines. If we continue to look specifically at the auto industry, automobile companies can expect to increase profits as a result of being able to personalize vehicle sales and marketing. Yes, target buyer markets still exist, but by offering incredibly specific features, abilities, and customized support to each consumer, auto companies will be able to establish deep relationships with tailored customer service with each vehicle buyer. Connected cars are also expected to increase after-sale profits for auto companies. Nissan has projected that connected vehicles will comprise 25% of after-sales revenue by sending regular vehicle diagnostics back to the dealer, and maintaining a connection with the consumer after they have made the initial vehicle purchase.
The ability for vehicles to have an entirely conversational interface in which the automobile engages the driver and passengers with connected solutions based on the information they already have saved in their data cloud opens the opportunity for an incredibly personalized experience for each consumer. Even though increased vehicle connectivity in the future will grow the profits within the auto industry, these new features will also benefit consumers in more ways than one.
The shift in the auto industry, as well as many other industries that focus on providing consumer-end products, to a more user-focused marketing and production strategy is going to put the consumer and their individualized user experience first. Safety, personalized data connection options, automated driving features, and readily available support are all going to be a normal piece of the car-buying pie. Prices shouldn’t dramatically increase because while the technology is new, it’s also readily available and expected from consumers who are buying at every price point.
The age of digitalization and connectivity has ushered in an era where every consumer is on a level playing field. Technology has always been a user-focused commodity, and as business leaders in every industry start to adopt technologically developed solutions in their products, they inherently become user-focused industries. When each buyer has specific needs, and businesses like those in the auto industry work to address them on an individual level, both the business and the consumer win.