Automotive aftermarket outlook 2021
The global automotive industry, similar to every industry throughout the global movement economy, faced significant challenges throughout 2020.
As the novel coronavirus pandemic started, supply chains became distressed as suppliers and automakers were forced to shut down plants; dealerships shifted to digital and contactless selling channels; and repair facilities were left. As we move forward in 2021, the recovery continues.
On the supplier side, optimism is increasing according to the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) Q4 2020 Supplier Barometer. Regardless of revenue size, according to the report, responses indicate a much-improved outlook in comparison to the third quarter. The ongoing pandemic remains the greatest threat to the industry, but those fears have eased. Labor constraints are impacting suppliers’ ability to fulfill volumes in the face of the pre-mentioned improving sales. “Automotive manufacturers are taking a hard look at the resiliency of a globally integrated supply chain brought to its knees by parts production disruptions in China even before the coronavirus spread around the world,” Deloitte’s automotive leaders said in its July publication, “Restarting the global automotive engine.”
Focusing on independent repair facilities in the U.S., 91 percent of shops reported a decrease in revenue this year while 1.3 percent do not expect to financially recover, according to IMR. The aftermarket, or replacement business is known for its resiliency in the midst of crises. Surprisingly, the pandemic hasn’t simply led to new trends or changed the trends, it’s turbocharged them. Things are happening sooner and in greater volume – with digitalization, with e-tailing, with consolidation pressures in the industry. In Deloitte’s 2021 Global Automotive Consumer Study, an annual analysis of automotive consumer behaviors and trends impacting the rapidly evolving global mobility ecosystem, we found that nearly 70 percent of consumers in the United States have no plans to alter their timeline for acquiring the next vehicle because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of those surveyed, 17 percent stated they will acquire their next vehicle later than originally planned and more than 60 percent of surveyed consumers said they would be interested in having their vehicle picked up from their home or office when it needs service, with 20 percent of those stating they would even pay a reasonable fee for that service.
Topics anticipated to be of interest in 2021 include:
- The continued adoption of electric vehicles worldwide
- Continued consolidation throughout the supplier and aftermarket networks
- Global trade and tariff policies
- Aftermarket pricing evolves to better manage analytics, market strategy, product know-how, and business considerations
- An increasing focus on sales and service in our ‘new world’ of safety-related precautions
We can expect to see vehicle miles traveled (VMT) continue to return to pre-pandemic levels. The unknown at this point, is whether the shift to online parts sales will continue to increase or professional technicians and DIY customers will return to in-store purchasing. If the shift to online sales continues, suppliers, retailers, and warehouse distributors should continue working closely together to ensure on-time delivery of parts and repair of vehicles.
These shifts are adding to the complexity of the aftermarket industry’s multi-layered ecosystem with varying degrees of interaction across different players and this ecosystem is rapidly expanding with new entrants that are trying to protect and grow their market share. These shifts will likely require more sophistication in collecting and synthesizing data to uncover insights into price setting and execution, consumer behavior, and market trends. Developing strategies to effectively create, communicate, and capture value and fulfilling demand across channels will likely be required.
Both the automotive new vehicle sales and automotive aftermarket businesses proved to be resilient in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While there will be challenges to overcome in early 2021, the industry will likely show its strengths throughout the year as it continues to provide the right parts at the right time at the right price. And maintaining a healthy global supply chain infrastructure will be vital.
READ MORE HERE: aftermarketmatters.com
Tracking your marketing metrics
You wouldn’t invest valuable resources into a marketing strategy, piece of content or digital asset if you didn’t know whether the effort would be worthwhile. Analyzing your marketing performance metrics can help you implement the most effective marketing campaigns for your brand and make the best use of your resources.
Seventy-one percent of B2B CEOs think that marketers fail to generate the level of customer demand and qualified leads they expect. Top B2B companies are 58% more likely to track performance metrics for their content marketing. Marketers estimate that they waste 26% of their budget on the wrong strategies or channels.
Why it’s important
To earn the best ROI, you need to track the success of each strategy or asset you implement for your company. Tracking your marketing metrics informs you on how to adjust or maintain your strategies to ensure you are on the right track for company growth.
How to track
Establish a clear goal for each marketing strategy. Doing so will help you determine which metrics to track in order to assess its effectiveness. Choose a time frame — such as month to month — to regularly examine each metric. This will help set parameters for comparison. Determine the average results you see within your parameters and use that to set a benchmark and milestones to help weigh future growth.
Users: The number of visitors who view your website.
Source: The way that your users arrived at your website, such as search results or direct links.
Pageviews: The number of times a single webpage has been viewed by a user.
Sessions: The number of visits your website receives consisting of one or more pageviews or other interactions.
How to improve
Implement SEO tactics like tagging keywords or improving page load speed to rank higher in search engine results. A consistent content publication schedule will increase your visibility and give you more chances to take advantage of SEO and social media posts. Depending on which sources yield the most traffic, you may choose to prioritize SEO tactics or awareness campaigns on social media.
Average time on page: The length of time a user spends on a single page.
Average session duration: The length of time a session lasts.
Bounce rate: The percentage of users who leave the website after visiting a single page.
Click-through rate: The percentage of users who click on a provided link.
Conversion rate: The percentage of users who subscribe to a newsletter, purchase a product or otherwise perform a desired action.
How to improve
Quality content is key when improving engagement with your brand. Make sure all content is relevant, solves paint points and educates to earn views and keep the reader’s attention. Infographics and videos are excellent forms of visual content that promote engagement. A good user experience (UX) design for your website can also improve engagement by providing a better browsing experience. Ad retargeting — the process of serving ads to visitors after they leave your website — can encourage conversions by drawing a user back to your website.
Reach: The number of viewers who can possibly see your post.
Engagement: The number of likes, link clicks, comments, shares and other interactions each post receives.
Email open rate: The percentage of individuals who open your emails.
How to improve
Social media and emails are great ways to increase awareness and keep customers updated on new products or offers from your brand. Make sure your subject line and preview text are centered around the benefit your content provides, such as ways to increase customer engagement, to entice readers and increase open rates. Deliver the insights that you promise so subscribers don’t lose interest. Paid promotional posts can also ensure your social media content reaches more people and doesn’t get buried by newer posts.
To maximize ROI on your marketing strategies and digital assets, make sure you are reaching the goals you have put in place. Following the performance metrics of your brand’s marketing will help you track the success of each one and, when needed, adjust strategies for greater results.
READ MORE HERE: randallreilly.com
U.S. News Announces the 2021 Best Cars for Families
The U.S. News & World Report, a nationally recognized publisher of consumer advice and information, has announced the 2021 Best Cars for Families. U.S. News evaluated 86 vehicles and named winners across nine categories.
Toyota won the most awards this year with four, and Honda won three. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid won Best Hybrid SUV for Families for the eighth time. The gas-only RAV4 won Best Compact SUV for Families, and the Avalon Hybrid won Best Hybrid and Electric Car for Families for the second time in a row. The gas-only Avalon won Best Large Car for Families for the third time. The Honda Passport won Best 2-Row SUV for Families for the second time, while the Honda Accord won Best Midsize Sedan for Families for the second time. The Honda Odyssey won Best Minivan for Families for the 11th consecutive year – the longest streak in the history of the awards.
Kia and Chevrolet each won one award. The Kia Telluride is the Best 3-Row SUV for Families for the second consecutive year. The Chevrolet Suburban won Best Large SUV for Families for the third time overall and for the first time since 2015.
The 2021 Best Cars for Families winners have the best combination of safety and reliability ratings, excellent reviews from the automotive press, passenger and cargo space and the features that keep the entire family safe, connected and entertained. Tech features, such as in-car wireless internet, teen driver controls, automatic braking, surround-view parking camera systems and hands-free cargo doors, were considered alongside traditional criteria such as passenger and cargo space.
“Families come in many forms, and with nine different categories to choose from, there’s a Best Cars for Families award winner that will work for any family,” said Jamie Page Deaton, executive editor of U.S. News Best Cars. “The award winners have the space, safety and features to satisfy any family, from new parents to parents with new drivers to households that may be welcoming grandparents.”
The 2021 Best Cars for Families awards highlight the cars, SUVs, and vans that offer the best combination of safety, reliability, space, convenience, and connectivity. Covering nine different automotive classes, there is an award winner for families of all sizes and all stages of life. Whether you have toddlers or teens or find yourself in the sandwich generation, we’ve found the cars that can work for you.
How We Found the Best Cars for Families
To choose the award winners, U.S. News & World Report analyzed 90 new cars, SUVs, and minivans from the 2021 model year. The award methodology combines professional automotive reviews, safety and reliability ratings, seating and cargo volume, and the availability of family-friendly features. Within each of the nine automotive classes covered by our awards, the vehicle with the highest composite score is named the Best Car for Families in that category.
For the full set of winners and finalists, visit the Best Cars for Families.
New Car Tech for Families
Many new safety features have been built with families in mind. Rear-seat alert prompts the driver to look in the back seats before exiting the car, helping to make sure a sleeping baby isn’t left behind. Front and rear automatic braking help when maneuvering in spaces where small kids might be tough to see. Teen driver controls help parents keep tabs on new drivers, even when they’re on the road by themselves.
Every Best Car for Families award winner has forward automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assist. The Toyota Avalon, Toyota Avalon Hybrid, Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Toyota RAV4, and Kia Telluride all have reverse automatic emergency braking. The Telluride, Highlander Hybrid, Chevrolet Suburban, Honda Accord, and Honda Odyssey all have rear-seat alert. The Odyssey, Accord, Avalon, Highlander Hybrid, Avalon Hybrid, and RAV4 also earned the highest possible ease-of-use rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for their LATCH car-seat systems.
Every winner has some form of teen driver control available, perfect for families with new drivers. These systems can help parents keep track of their teen’s driving, and in some cases, set limits on things such as speed and audio volume. This helps teens develop good habits behind the wheel.
Connectivity and comfort are key players in the family car market as well. In-car Wi-Fi, rear-seat USB ports, and even heated and ventilated rear seats are now available. All but one of our award winners have in-car Wi-Fi. All feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for enhanced smartphone connectivity. The Honda Odyssey, Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Kia Telluride, and Honda Passport all feature rear sunshades to keep back-seat occupants cool. All the winners except the Honda Odyssey have available heated rear seats, and every winner has more than one USB port available in the second or third rows.
2021 Best Cars for Families
Honda Accord: Best Midsize Car for Families
Toyota Avalon: Best Large Car for Families
Toyota Avalon Hybrid: Best Hybrid or Electric Car for Families
2021 Best SUVs for Families
Toyota RAV4: Best Compact SUV for Families
Chevrolet Suburban: Best Large SUV for Families
Honda Passport: Best 2-Row SUV for Families
Kia Telluride: Best 3-Row SUV for Families
Toyota Highlander Hybrid: Best Hybrid or Electric SUV for Families
2021 Best Minivan for Families
Honda Odyssey: Best Minivan for Families
READ MORE HERE: usnews.com
The New Rules of Social Media in an Increasingly Cluttered Digital World
In today’s digital age, over 70 percent of businesses use social media to market themselves. Yet how are brands currently creating social content? Has it evolved since the pandemic? Are companies best utilizing videos and other types of multimedia content?
The social media landscape is constantly evolving, and with COVID-19 forcing the world to get digital, we have seen a tremendous amount of growth in the space. For example, an estimated 3.78 billion people worldwide use social media platforms today, a 5 percent increase from only a year ago.
With the recent emphasis on social justice reform, a global pandemic and a rigid political climate, it is safe to say the old guidelines for social platforms have drastically changed. Below are some of the ways social media has transformed recently, and how marketers can capitalize on these “new rules.”
Rule #1: Create more short-form video content
According to a recent global study by Limelight, people watched nearly eight hours of online videos on average per week in 2020, up 16 percent compared to 2019. Although there are many new features rolling out across social media platforms, the trend is clearly moving toward video – specifically short-form video. Short-form video content (ranging from 4-30 seconds long) is positioned to grow even more in 2021, thanks to the rise of “stories” and “Reels” on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, TikTok and more.
There is no better time to start creating short-form video content to reach and engage with your target audiences.
When integrating video into your outreach strategy, be sure to add text to help increase watch time. Captions are also important for video, as they help your content perform better on certain social media platform algorithms.
Rule #2: Make it authentic
The COVID-19 pandemic challenged everyone to find new ways to capture content. As budgets were cut, events postponed and shoots canceled, brands responded by truly embracing user-generated content. This has helped create a trend in content: the do-it-yourself (DIY) look of content truly created in the moment. Now, businesses of all sizes are shifting from highly produced content to “real” footage shot on an iPhone.
Authentic, handheld footage will become dominant across all industries, and we will see it everywhere in 2021.
Similarly, live-streaming through social media has become a strong tool to help brands cut through the clutter and produce content that connects with audiences.
When creating your social media plan for 2021, prioritize content that can add real value for your audiences versus overly produced content.
Rule #3: Be ready for competition
As people around the world went on lockdown in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 in 2020, they turned to social media to connect with others, sharing videos, images and other content. This created competing content that made it difficult for brands to break through.
Although social media can provide unlimited possibilities for brands communicating with their audience, companies will now have to develop creative strategies that will help move the needle. One way to do this is through stories.
Stories represent a unique way to interact with audiences in real time and allow brands to get attention. By leveraging stories, brands can ask questions, get immediate feedback on products, ask polls and even link out to content.
Optimizing what you post and how you post it will be essential in today’s competitive social media climate. It is also key that you create content that is real, impactful and relevant. This will encourage deeper interactions and conversations.
Don’t lose sight of social media best practices, such as adding images, planning out content strategy and utilizing hashtags. Instagram posts with at least one hashtag average over 12 percent more engagement – evidence that, even as we innovate, the core elements of social media still apply.
We are at a turning point with social media, as it has never been a more powerful tool than it is today. Yet, this digital world is fast-paced and constantly evolving. New apps, tools and technologies are being created each day. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are two examples of emerging technologies, which are making communicating through social media more dynamic and enabling companies to create immersive customer experiences.
Marketers will need to quickly adapt to these new rules, embrace emerging technologies and continue to innovate in order to break through and generate maximum visibility. For marketers who are quick to act on the opportunities ahead, the sky’s the limit.
READ MORE HERE: cision.com