Connected Cars Drive Marketing
Pittsburgh may be the epicenter of self-driving Ubers, but the Internet of Things is already here in connected cars and is being used as a marketing vehicle every day. This tech is moving so fast, even car dealers need a primer — which Target Marketing’s sister brand, Dealerscope, is providing in a webinar on Tuesday.
So just as the Uber app beckons the self-propelling vehicle to its summoning human, who will see the Uber car contains a human at the wheel for safe measure, connected cars take what Americans already know about auto sophistication — think 20-year-old OnStar tech in GM cars — and move it from zero to 60 in the blink of a synapse.
Think of cars as giant computers. Even the ones that look, well, clunky.
Those babies are wired. Er, Webbed.
The tautology of connected cars is that they’re connected to the Internet, which means that the drivers can use the Web. Drivers can connect their devices to their cars, the cars can collect data on the drivers, the cars and devices can connect consumers with marketers, and on and on.
In just one such example, GM’s OnStar has its own app now, RemoteLink, that 1.6 million people use “to remotely start their vehicle, unlock doors, get vehicle information, send routes to their vehicle and customize Wi-Fi settings.” That just wasn’t enough. So last year, OnStar added “AtYourService, a multichannel platform providing customers with merchant and retailer offers.”
During a recent demonstration of OnStar’s partnership with marketers, I heard an OnStar agent ask a driver—in this case, a GM executive attending San Francisco’s 2015 Dreamforce—about whether he’d be interested in getting marketing communications from Starbucks and other stores along his driving route.
This connected car alone can do the following, GM says: “The new [AtYourService] tab includes featured offers, sponsored locations and a category search tool to locate multiple options for dining, retail, fuel and more. The content will update based on the subscriber’s location, time of day and day of the week. Offers can be saved for use anytime and the app can be personalized by favoriting frequently visited locations. Guidance plan subscribers can have directions to an offer-based location downloaded directly to their vehicle.”
GM is obviously not alone.
As Dealerscope points out: “The connected car is creating a massive new business opportunity for the automotive, technology and telecommunications industries. According to Business Insider, sales of connected cars are expected to reach $2.3 trillion in 2020.”
That’s why on Tuesday, Dealerscope is presenting a webinar titled “Connecting the Customer to the Connected Car.” In it, Lisa Walsh, Automotive Practice Lead, MarketSource Inc.; and Pete Maxwell, Client Services, MarketSource Inc. will explain what car dealers can do to keep up with the technology.
After all, as AT&T shows here, even consumers now need roadmaps to understand their cars.
What do you think, marketers?
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