In Part 1 of this series, we discussed that Creative marketing and sales strategies are the generation and implementation of original messages communicated in an inventive way. Read on for more insight into this unique analysis.
In this APM industry, branding plays a significant role. Branding is important for the popularity of the product and because of its good positioning, brands become classics. Consumers appreciate those items they know and find beneficial in identifying themselves as individuals. A brand is a sign of wealth and prestige and the individual needs to adhere to such an attraction. In this industry, managers and manufacturers must ensure that the vehicle is designed in compliance with the needs of consumers. Comprehensive analyses are conducted, and this decides what consumers expect and what consumers want or need, and these aspects are taken into consideration when designing the vehicle part (Bouchenoire, 2013).
To design an automobile part is an incredibly challenging job. Parts are designed and assembled in the area where the product needs to be launched, after a good deal of market analysis and fieldwork, and after many other factors that decide the product’s successful arrival and product performance. The business should attract forward-looking consumers with a campaign that keeps them engaged with the specific brand. The popularity of the brand is driven by loyalty. Brands are well known and have an excellent potential to affect the way consumers view a commodity. Customers are not just staring at the brand and the product but are intertwined by them. The interpretation of the brands by consumers is solely determined by the company itself. The brand must then grow in a way that draws buyer’s attention. The existence of a well-known company is defined by the vision of the target population of the product. Branding is obligatory to make a mark (Bouchenoire, 2013).
The Essentials of Branding:
Branding recognises consumer needs as well as those aspects that draw buyers. The name and the logo play a significant role. A business name boosts the image of the product. Although a mediocre name will not destroy a good brand, it has the potential to dramatically dilute the brand equity and power (Aaker, 2021). The brand identity also relies on the taste of the consumer and the country in which the product is launched. A business logo also plays an increasingly significant role in assessing brand power. The client uses his logo to connect a product to a company. The logo has a huge influence on the perception of the goods. Logos and names play an important part of the determination of brand strength.
The success of a good brand is the customers’ loyalty to the brand. Loyalty and trust develop over a long time and result from small acts that have been well performed. When words and deeds are matched, brand loyalty is built. You will create in your customer, a crucial, intrinsic and an implicit emotional connection that will form the basis of a long-lasting relationship built on the brand. This implicit trust is what distinguishes the high-quality brands from the pack. A Mercedes Benz vehicle as a brand stands out for unsurpassed quality.
A successful brand should do just that much more. It should always be consistent and dependable. They must follow through in their promises and give back to their community, be deeply committed to sustainability, recycling, obtain ethically sourced products and bee inclusive and diverse.
Technology helps to fulfil market needs and consumer expectations and with technology and its rapid changes, customers demand more from their brands. Successful brands use internal branding where employees become brand ambassadors through co-creating the brand identity with employees and this strengthens the brand internally. All brand communication must be aligned with the brand identity. Brand extension is when a manufacturing car manufacturer begins to market T-shirts and other products under its logo (Stuart, 2021).
Marketing and sales management rely primarily on computing and businesses that specifically influence the sales and management of the organisation in adapting modern technologies (Barton, 2021).
Sales management is the development of a sales representative, the planning of sales efforts and the introduction of sales strategies, which enable an organisation to exceed its sales goals (Matt, 2021) continuously and even.
Consumers do not go to any one location to buy goods anymore. An omnichannel strategy allows for internet browsing, comparison of products and purchases for the auto part industry where costs are compared across a wide area. APMs market their parts online in the following ways:
- APMs E-commerce shop – APM has total control of its own e-commerce store. The APM would not be affected by payments that are charged for each sale. In addition, creating an own e-commerce storefront ensures that the APM can strengthen its brand connectivity and create more direct customer relationships. Customer connections lead to loyalty and constant shopping, which is much cheaper (Poole, 2021).
- eBay – eBay is great for selling automotive parts, especially when APMs sell rare parts. There are ninety million active car component pages, and three parts are sold every two seconds according to eBay. It is also extremely popular for auto parts (Poole, 2021). eBay offers a range of resources to allow car dealers to automate consumer modifications, including tools.
- Amazon marketplace: The website of Amazon also allows small enterprises to reach up to a wider audience. A survey in 2019 showed that, over the last 12 months in the USA, Amazon was the most used online retailer. (Poole, 2021).
- Fortunately, when APMs are looking for ways to market online car parts they do not have to choose between Amazon and eBay. APMs just link the shop to the Big Commerce app store’s quick incorporation with plugins to both eBay and Amazon (Poole, 2021).
There is software which will help to do the sales management and they are Elva DMS software and Proactive software.
- Elva DMS Software – With this software, the dealer can build promotional deals or consumer recommendations. It enables the consumer to choose the appropriate car from the store, to also execute vehicle price calculations from the manufacturer or importer warehouse. The vehicle price may be automatically determined or entered manually (via the vehicle assembly function). Sales plans may be converted to sales orders and all the details relevant to the selling transaction is entered. In the management of sales deals and order systems, this software proves to be most useful. The direct configuration of a bill and the setup of a purchase order have some variations (Jacobs, 2020). When a number is entered on a sales order line, the quantity available is shown. However, once the payment is released, it will not be included in the general ledger. Prepaid invoices may also be generated for purchase orders. From the time that goods are purchased to the time of delivery, there can be a considerable delay. Coupons may be used during the entire sales process. Stock numbers, however, are normally not influenced by deals.
- Proactive Software – A Proactive car sales system completely automates the procurement, free region, sales, consumer accounting and customer support activities appropriate for retail car companies daily. The automotive sales module is completely installed into the Proactive Automotive ERP framework which extends automation to workshop management, stock management and other modules for the front and back offices. The framework promotes automation for multi-brands and multi-branches and gives the customers the latest technologies to deliver best results with real time knowledge required for multiple management levels (Jacobs, 2020). The system sets and defines both business car stores and its users’ interests, according to company rules, to use various system features. The framework also enables users to build all the vehicle styles, types, color codes, accessories, consumer info, providers and other fundamental information needed to operate the system. The system has three main sub-systems:
- Cars purchasing and pricing sub-system
- Cars Inventory sub-system
- Cars Sales sub-system
The Proactive Vehicles Distribution workflow encompasses all car dealer operations, from buying orders, cars received in locations that do not need appointments and sales activities, to customer reports and financial records combined with the Proactive general management system. The workflow involves a range of activities for dealers and distributors (Jacobs, 2020).
Research and Findings:
A qualitative research method was chosen for this study and data was collected by means of a questionnaire and via interviews to a sample population of fifteen in the Gauteng Province. The sample population chosen were either owners of automobile parts manufacturing companies or lead sales and manufacturing departments of companies. Primary data was gathered through semi-structured interviews which were conducted online as well as a questionnaire which was distributed online.
The findings that emerged from this study are as follows:
- APMs are changing the business ecosystem although traditional mediums of sales and marketing continue
- The concepts of innovation, improvement and invention are the main tenets of business innovation.
- The creative businesses are forecasting progress, anticipating progress, and pushing change
- The most preferred medium of marketing is television, followed by print media, the web, radio, and lastly physical marketing tools like posters.
- Data is still expensive and for some parts of South Africa it is still a luxury. That is why at this point of time we are relying on television and print. It helps us to reach out to both higher-end and lower-end customers. But things are changing faster than it was anticipated during 2020.
- The auto-part manufacturers consider a website as an important part of their sales and marketing strategy
- Most people believe that it is the quality of the product rather than the sales and marketing messages or taglines that is more important.
- It had been noted that most people pay greater attention to the importance on social media marketing compared to that of mobile marketing.
- The tools for marketing are easily available and they are cheap but fact that time changes and with time marketing tactics change too.
- The constant evolution of marketing tactics makes the whole marketing process expensive. There is no guarantee that using inexpensive marketing tools will yield the best results.Innovative marketing tactics are generating the best results at low cost.
- Only few businesspeople are seriously trying to engage with their customers. Most business owners are complacent with their approaches of engaging with their consumers.
- Content management and SEO rankings are taken very seriously by their organisations.Websites are fully optimised for search engines and the latest content is constantly added and old ones revised.
- Marketing in offline setting is costly and labor-intensive but it is still taken seriously by some businesses.
- The practice of app development to reach out to the consumers is still not available when it comes to APM business.
- Specialised sales software is still not available compared to old school sales management.
- Competitiveness and innovation always share a positive relationship. Competitive advantages are guaranteed by the successful implementation of new products and processes.
- APMs have created their own sales dynamics online by using Elva DMS and Proactive software which is included for sales management
- Often contented minds block the need for creative and innovative ideas. With doubt, people do not feel the need to change and improve.
- Most businesspeople in the field of APM value the data that surfaced through market research which is a key aspect of market strategy.
- All APM businesses placed a great deal of value on recall marketing messages when there has been doubt on the quality of parts.
- The big-scale APM businesses were sensitive towards the linking of the marketing message with customer experience.
- Most businesses were very accepting of modern technologies and processes, but a skilled workforce and the lack of visionary leadership were impediments
- Marketing and sales strategies often go together. Innovative technologies have opened new avenues to reach out to new customers. Sales management has been automated, and experts recommend accepting modern technologies in the field of sales and marketing.
- Most APM marketing and sales departments take marketing audit seriously.
- Brand value created through adequate use of media channels provides a competitive advantage in the market.
- The brand value of a product does not only influence the consumers but also the employees and the organisation.
- It had been proven that both upselling and cross-selling has risen for APM business
- Data capture of customers and prospective new customers aids in building a robust marketing database and compiles email addresses for ongoing sales dialogue.
The study revealed quite vividly that companies now-a-days do not rely on a single method of marketing. The sales management dynamics have changed considerably. Technology has been the main driver of this change. It will, however, be wrong to estimate that all offline marketing and sales endeavours have been done away with. It has been found in the research that businesspeople in the field of APM still depend on offline endeavours like running advertisements in print and electronic media, as well as putting up flexes to market their products. It is noted that technology is slowly catching on and with the not so tech -savvy businesspeople due to greater interaction with the developed APM world.
Aaker, D., (2021). Measuring Brand Equity Across Products and Markets. [online] Academia.edu. Available at: <https://www.academia.edu/7284936/Aaker_1996_Measuring_Brand_Equity_Across_Products_and_Markets> [Accessed 15 February 2021].
Adam Barone. (2021). Investopedia. Marketing Strategy. [online] Available at: <https://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/marketing-strategy.asp> (Accessed 15 February 2021).
Armstrong, Gary & Kotler, Philip, (2013). Marketing: an introduction.11th Edition. England: Pearson Education Limited.
Belz, Frank-Martin & Peattie, Ken, (2010). Sustainability marketing: a global perspective. United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
BERNDT, A & HERBST, F. (2015). Service quality in the motor vehicle industry in South Africa: an exploratory study. Southern African Business Review (1 0)2 97-1 10.
Black A (2019) Location, Automotive Policy and Multinational Strategy: The Position of South Africa in the Global Industry since 1995. Growth and Change 40: 483–512.
Bouchenoire (2013) Steering the Brand in the Auto Industry: An Interview with Anne Asensio, Design Management Journal, 14(1), 10-18. (Accessed 15 December 2020).
FINLAY, S. (2017). WARD’S dealer operations: GM offers Powertrain warranty on its certified used cars. [Web:] http: www.wardsdealerbusiness.com (23 January 2021).
Jacob, S., (2020). Auto Dealership Management – DMS. [online] Proactivesoft.com. Available at: <http://www.proactivesoft.com/sol_auto.html> [Accessed 15 February 2021].
Kehbila, A.G., Ertel, J., & Brent, A.C. (2019). Strategic corporate environmental management within the South African automotive industry: Motivations, benefits, hurdles’, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 16(6): 310–32.
Matt Goldman. (2021). What is the Meaning of Sales & Marketing and Their Advantages? | Tenfold. [online] Available at: <https://www.tenfold.com/sales-reporting/meaning-sales-marketing-advantages/> [Accessed 15 February 2021].
NAACAM (2014). Analysis of Impact. Relative to NAACAM’s response to the APDP Key Strategic Issues (raised by the automotive industry stakeholders -Naacam, Naamsa, Numsa & The DTI.
RICHARDS, G. (2016). Cashing in on cars. Journal of Marketing, 4-6. June/July.
Samson, (2021). 4 best automotive marketing strategies for modern buyers. – Podium. [online] Podium. Available at: <https://www.podium.com/article/automotive-marketing/> [Accessed 15 February 2021].
Sherman, F., (2019). Why Is the Location of a Business Importance [online] Small Business – Chron.com. Available at: <https://smallbusiness.chron.com/location-business-important-43239.html> [Accessed 22 February 2021].
Stuart, M., (2021). 50 worst flops. [online] Usatoday.com. Available at: <https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/07/11/50-worst-product-flops-of-all-time/36734837/> [Accessed 16 February 2021].
Van der Merwe, N., & Visser, S.S. (2018). An Evaluation of an Integrated Case Study and Business Simulation to Develop Professional Skills in South African Accountancy Students. International business & economics research journal. 12(10)2013.
Whitney, M., (2021). Automotive Marketing: 9 Strategies to Drive More Sales. [online] Wordstream.com. Available at: <https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2019/04/03/automotive-marketing> [Accessed 15 February 2021].
Worku, Z., & Muchie, M. (2013). Innovation as a determinant of sales growth in the South Africa Automotive Industry. A journal submitted to Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa. China-USA Business review. 10(5)357-366