Automobile firms increase use of social media to enhance brand popularity

Monday 23 January 2012, 12:03 PM by Vikas Yogi

The competition in the Indian auto market is intensifying due to the series of new car launches witnessed in the later 2011 and upcoming launches lined up for 2012. Moreover, entry of international players in the Indian market has further increased the rivalry.

As a move to offset this fierce rivalry, leading car makers such as Maruti Suzuki India, Hyundai Motor India Ltd and Tata Motors are resorting to demonstrating their marketing strategies over the social media such as Facebook and Twitter. These social sites, generally, are led by the younger generation who are the target market for the automotive companies. The companies are aiming the social media for obtaining the feedback of the youth towards their current portfolio, which is also a feasible and inexpensive mode of communicating with the target market.

Mr. Shashank Srivastava, Chief General Manager (Marketing), Maruti Suzuki India, was quoted as saying, "Earlier, source of information for buying a car used to be friends and family but now increasingly more people are doing it themselves through the social media. Moreover, it is inexpensive and you can get a lot of feedback from customers through it." He further added, "The importance of social media is that increasingly the average age of users is decreasing. In 2005-06 it was 39 years and now it is 34."

Mr. Arvind Saxena, Director Marketing & Sales, Hyundai Motor India Ltd, said on the increased use of social media, "We are getting a lot of young customers, who are active on the social media, these days. They are constantly on Facebook or Twitter exchanging information. If you want to tap them, you need to be on social media."

The access to social media has become immensely convenient because of greater use of internet via computers and smart phones. The report recently released by Octane Marketing, 'e-Marketing Outlook in India for 2012', states that realizing the importance of marketing over social media over 18% increase in Indian marketers is expected in this year.