BMW Courting Bloggers to Reach New Buyers

Huw Evans
by Huw Evans

BMW and other luxury automakers, are making an active effort to work more closely with those in new media. The idea is that by courting bloggers and tweeters, they stand a better chance of reaching a new group of younger buyers that can’t be targeted through traditional media platforms such as TV, radio and print publications.

The instant results offered by blogging posts and accessibility of the web, provides good feedback to automakers, which are using comments generated by social media feeds to influence aspects of vehicle design and engineering. The idea, is by listening to feedback on such vehicles, automakers can potentially avoid turning out costly production “turkeys” that don’t sell in the marketplace.

On the flip side, using the web to generate comments via advertising can also help boost pent up demand for particular cars. BMW has been posting numerous teaser videos on You Tube of upcoming models and in the case of the limited run 1 series M Coupe, said a web based campaign launched several months ahead of the car’s official debut in 2011, helped increase production by 68 percent and that’s just a single, specialty model.

Although print and TV media and advertising is still a major source of generating sales leads for many automakers, online as well as non traditional mediums are set to grow during the decade; in fact some analysts, including consulting firm BIA/Kelsey predict that the amount spent in online automobile advertising will grow some 57 percent to $1.4 billion within four years.

This year, BMW is expected to triple the amount it spends in social media and online market campaigns in Germany, to 1.3 euros. That’s still less than chief rivals Audi and Mercedes-Benz, which will spend 3.3 and 3.7 million euros respectively, based on information gleaned by New York based Nielsen Research.

At present, those totals currently represent a fraction of what is spent on TV advertising; according to Nielsen Audi and Mercedes spend approximately 10.3 and 12.3 million euros respectively.

Nevertheless, with the proliferation of blogs and websites devoted to automobiles and more members of Gen Y not only reaching driving age, but having the disposable income to buy nicer cars, the need to engage with online audiences is likely to take greater precedence in the coming years.

[Source: Automotive News]

Huw Evans
Huw Evans

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