says Remy Pothet, Global Sector Head at TNS Automotive.
With more than 5 billion users on earth, mobile phone popularity exceeds that of cars (900 million). Almost every motorist is a mobile phone user and almost every new car buyer owns a smart phone! Consumer demand for compatibility is increasingly impacting the automotive industry.
Improving the customer’s driving experience
Mobile phones offer a great opportunity for car manufacturers to improve their competitive advantage. Firstly, they can help improve the customer’s driving experience. OEM’s should work closely with mobile phone manufacturers, telecom & IT providers and specialised digital agencies to develop interfaces to allow drivers to use new features in vehicles. Ford’s partnership with Microsoft to create Sync is a great example of this.
Smart phones are fast replacing expensive navigation systems as the same features are often available free. And numerous apps have been developed for drivers: locate your parked car, traffic conditions, tracking fuel costs, breakdown assistance, read emails aloud while you drive… or BMW Evolve which compares users’ driving habits to how BMW’s future electric vehicles would perform, which could help address consumer concerns about EV’s.
Engage customers in on-going conversations
Secondly, smart phones open up an innovative channel for brand and dealer marketers to reach and engage customers in on-going conversations. Now is the time for switched-on marketers to use mobile to alert them of recalls, expiring warranties, send service reminders and advise them on future new car purchases. And of course new car buyers use their smart phone to research car purchases, especially in rapid growth markets where smart phones are the primary (if not the only) way of accessing the web.
Valuable customer feedback
Finally, mobile represents an exciting new way for manufacturers to collect feedback. Researchers analyse and interpret mobile feedback alongside existing customer data to present valuable insights which can be incorporated into the design of new vehicles.
It’s clear that mobile is influencing the automotive industry on many levels, and this is just the beginning.
Check out the world’s largest study into today’s global mobile consumer: www.discovermobilelife.com