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Automotive Marketing Evolution Updates


Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "The Evolution of Automotive Marketing," confirms several reasons why Automotive OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) and Dealers use direct mail marketing as a significant component of the marketing strategy. In the land of all-things-digital, it may seem unlikely that the automotive industry would place a high value on direct mail marketing.  Nothing could be further from the truth, and we want to tell you why in this quick read.  As we are now in year two of the pandemic, the truth is there possibly has never been a better time for the auto industry to double-down on direct mail marketing.

Our Quote of the Day: "Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed." —Booker T. Washington   

Automotive Marketing

When we look at the automotive marketing landscape, digital leads the way with television, radio, billboards, and interactive websites.  Engaging websites allow users to custom build a vehicle, bumper to bumper, with color choices, accessories, and vehicle upgrades.  Manufacturers are introducing new cars with help from Disney, socially conscious influencers and celebrities, and partnerships to localize campaigns as covid-19 forces brands to rethink how they reach people.   However, that's not all, as auto marketers are keen to use social media, online advertisements, email marketing, and personalized messaging.

That said, direct mail marketing plays a pivotal role in car sales, new vehicle launches, buybacks, trade-ins, and of course, service offers for oil changes, tire rotation, and scheduled maintenance.

How the Industry is Evolving

With recent automotive industry updates, from driverless cars to electric, hybrids, and everything in between, marketing requirements continue to evolve. 

The print industry's adoption of CRM technology, data collection, and CMS software positions full-service commercial printing organizations as top contenders to deliver integrated business solutions for automotive brand marketers.  These solutions, including data management, marketing, print, mailing, digital scanning, and transactional document management, all help auto marketers get in front of customers without leaving the showroom floor.

With CRM and CMS software, these marketing programs can include:

  • Email

  • Loyalty Programs

  • Service Reminders

  • Recall Notifications

  • Satisfaction Surveys

  • Direct Mail Marketing

  • E-Commerce Fulfillment

  • On-demand Content Generation

  • Point of Sale Materials & Distribution

  • Turnkey Omni- and Multi-Channel Direct Marketing

  • Extended Service Contract Administration & Marketing

  • Automotive Direct Mail Storytelling

Print Solutions

Coupons and print advertising continue to enjoy a rise in confidence, with some marketing brand managers claiming a historic increase in coupon usage, particularly in the automotive industry.

In terms of coupons, 85% of American consumers trust and use coupons.  Eighty-two percent of Internet users also rely on print marketing to help guide automotive purchase decisions.

In the marketplace, consumers receive marketing coupons from auto parts stores, dealerships, and service centers.  Automation and technology allow and support coupling social media marketing with demographic database collections.  Marketers are also integrating print with digital to better target automotive buyers and drivers with innovative, creative initiatives, which maximizes the return on investments.  The ability to track, analyze and tweak campaigns ensures that the ROI metric goals are attainable. This continuous activity allows for tweaking and building on the successful responses and engagements or completely dismantling a campaign that is missing the mark.

Direct mail data is a no-brainer and the reason why the automotive industry loves direct mail marketing.  Marketers can personalize direct mail well beyond the first and last name of an auto driver, for starters.  Marketers can also review recent car purchase data, the location where the consumer may be, nearest available inventory, online browsing, purchase history, age, demographics, household income, and more.

That said, the automotive industry has learned that direct mail marketing cuts through the digital clutter.  Driver purchase data and stats bear this out and confirm the legitimacy of direct mail marketing as:

  • 73% of Consumers Prefer Direct Mail for Brand Communications

  • 46% of Adults Respond to Automotive Direct Mail

  • 78% of Car Owner Purchases are via Direct Mail

That last stat is overwhelming. Imagine that!  More than 75% of car owner purchases are via direct mail! I think most of us would agree that it is a compelling statistic that supports why automakers and dealers use direct mail marketing.

Internet Deals and Direct Mail Marketing Offers

In case you haven't noticed, when you shop online for a vehicle at a dealer's site, you are quickly served a few internet-only deals, whereby the potential car buyer has to click to make the purchase online or call the dealership by phone.

On the other hand, direct mail marketing tends to extend personalized offers for new and repeat customers by offering deals for trade-ins and specials.  Both methods, internet deals and direct mail marketing, are quite useful.  In some cases, the deals may overlap depending on the offers, the time of the year, or the automotive industry events calendar that generally occur in August and December.

The Tactile Feel of Print

Another area where print shines for automotive industry marketing initiatives is through textures and colors, often the hallmark of an automotive direct mail piece. I t's one thing to view the vehicles online, but quite another experience to hold a direct mail piece in your hands, in the real world, where textures, paper types, inks, and die-cuts take hold and produce imagery that moves the senses, in ways digital cannot match.

The Net-Net

For the most part, luxury auto brands tend to use direct mail marketing more than standard brands.  However, if you own a Subaru, Volkswagen, Honda, Toyota, or other similar brands, the odds are high that you, too, have received direct mail pieces throughout your vehicle ownership.

Given the effectiveness of direct mail marketing, all automotive OEMs and dealers should be investing in this tactic.  To that end, brands should select a full-service commercial printer that can handle data management, variable digital printing, barcode presort, lettershop and fulfillment, in-house mailing with a certified USPS mail clerk, all housed in a secure data infrastructure.  These factors are "why the automotive industry continues to love print!"  Thanks for reading "The Evolution of Automotive Marketing," we genuinely hope that you enjoyed this post.

Let's have a conversation about integrated business solutions and how they can help grow your business, change behavior, and improve the customer experience.  Let us show you how to improve your document processes to optimize your workflow, reduce your costs, and maximize your organization's printing, letter shop, and mailing capabilities. Dove Direct does have an official USPS certified bureau located within our offices that will save you time and money. We can even create a demo file for you.  For more information, call Carla Eubanks at 404-629-0122 or email Carla at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Dove Direct, your Atlanta based print and mail solutions provider, offers organizations end-to-end data, printing, and mailing solutions:

Data Management
Variable Digital Printing
Digital Scanning
LetterShop and Fulfillment
Fully Automated MLOCR Presort Bureau
Marketing and Production Management Support
Secure Data Life Cycle Management

If you don't want to wait, you can reach Dove Direct today by calling 404-629-0122 or use the Contact Form for Dove Direct.

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