Jaguar Land Rover is one of the most iconic brands in the automotive industry - and that brings issues as well as benefits, according to its Global Head of Digital Marketing, Matt Dunnakey:
We're in a really interesting time, certainly for the Jaguar brand, which is, which is my area of focus within Jaguar Land Rover. You get this kind of dreamy teary look when you tell people you work for Jaguar and they go,’ Oh wow, that's a really amazing brand. Yeah, my granddad had one in the 1970s’.
Ouch! So the challenge then is around being relevant to today’s customers as well as those of previous generations. It’s not that the firm hasn’t kept up with the times, as Dunnakey notes
We have an electric vehicle now, the first premium manufacturer to launch a EV But it's getting that message out there. So the product's kind of caught up, but the brand has some work to do.
To that end, the company has undergone what Dunnakey calls “a huge piece of work” around re-mapping the customer journey so as to understand fully every customer touchpoint en route:
What it is telling us is actually this relationship with the brand, this relationship with Jaguar and the whole Jaguar experience, is starting much, much earlier in the buying process. It's not happening in the retailer for the first time. They’re having this experience much earlier on . So by the time they even visit a showroom, they've made their mind up, they know what they're going to buy. They're almost telling, the sales team what they want.
So we have to make sure that on that journey, which is predominantly digital, we need to be omni-present. We need to be there every single touchpoint and we need to be serving the right information based on where they are at that journey.
In support of that objective, Jaguar Land Rover is using the Yext search platform, in part to track user intent. Dunnakey explains:
Rather than a rather blunt approach, which we have previously been doing with our communications, what we're trying to do is identify this purchase intent. People's online behaviors are telling us that they might've bought a dog, they might be pregnant. Great. Well, we can then target them with some of our SUV cars because we know that that's what they're going to be wanting to buy in the future. So for us, it's really about this being available at every single point in the journey, serving the right information, but also being efficient. So we're only targeting those who are in market and are going to be showing that purchase intent to buy a car.
The company is also working with Yext on a new product around inventory, particularly used car inventory. Again, it’s about being in the right place at the right time, says Dunnakey:
[We’re] making sure we're responding to search queries and people are not having to navigate very, very complicated lengthy websites. So for example, find me a Range Rover Sport. What we're going to be able to do is actually in the search results, we'll be able to show the inventory and show that specific car in the search results, which is a real breakthrough for us. It's fairly new, but there's the feeling that this is going to really drive conversion rather than people having to go through these extra steps to find that product.
Jaguar Land Rover recently started retailing online, “a big step for a premium brand” as Dunnakey puts it:
It's a bit of a pilot at the moment. We're running it in the UK, so we're seeing how that goes. What we've learned so far is, is that it's not [about] removing the element of the retail process. Customers still want that touchpoint. They still want the look and feel, but that can be outside of that process. They can do that separately. The actual transaction, they're quite happy to do online in the comfort of their own homes. So it's early days, but it's quite exciting because it changes the whole process of buying a car because it's quite a traditional industry, you know, and it hasn't changed an awful lot in many years. We're very keen to see how that goes.
That sort of innovation is good to see at a ‘traditional’ brand, but in an industry where things haven’t changed a lot over the years, there’s a need to bring along stakeholders on the digital transformation journey. Dunnakey observes there’s a need for education around the digital tools and platforms on offer:
A lot of people do feel that they're pretty savvy because they use Facebook. But actually in reality, that's not necessarily the full picture. And what we tend to get a lot in the digital team is, 'I'll just stick it on social. It's free'. Well, no, that's not quite how it works.
And then of course, your leadership team are quite used to seeing a TV commercial. When We launch a car, we run a TV commercial and they go on TV and they watch it. That's kind of different now. Sometimes we don't even do TV. We're moving away from that quite a lot. And because of our targeting strategy, of course, only the right people are seeing the ads online. So when [leadership] don't see them, they're picking up the phone and saying, 'You haven't launched the car properly. We don't see any ads’. Because you're not the target audience.
It's quite a challenge to educate people. The only advantage is obviously with digital, it's a lot more measurable and trackable. We're tending to find we're winning people over by being able to demonstrate some form of ROI, whereas obviously more traditional media is a bit more tricky. So we're winning the battle, but it's taken a while.