India’s automobile major Maruti Suzuki has partnered with Facebook to lead the industry as auto players try to keep up with the new normal.
When dealership footfalls declined due to Covid-19, the company collaborated with the social media giant to drive its business through various digital initiatives such as virtual car launches, and specific Facebook products for customer acquisition, lead generation, and sales.
In August 2020, the company hosted the virtual launch of Nexa S-Cross in partnership with Facebook. The 360-degree campaign reached out to 38 million unique users on Facebook and generated more than 12 million interactions.
A similar response was also seen for Vitara Brezza, which reached 4 million people, generating over 200,000 interactions.
According to Facebook, the digital push of the automaker has been driven by products such as AR filters and AI-powered chatbots and conversational banners. The filters allow potential buyers to experience the vehicle in augmented reality, chatbots enables them to get answers to frequently asked questions, and banners enable a way to engage with the car as if having a one-to-one conversation.
Moreover, to convert the experiences from these formats into actual sales, Maruti Suzuki is also running a dealership digitization program with Facebook. The initiative helps dealerships – be it Arena, Nexa, or True Value – establish an online presence on Facebook, run geo-targeted campaigns, and get discovered easily.
“Maruti Suzuki has partnered with Facebook to bring consumer first innovative experiences to the customers starting with the New S-Cross petrol launch and to build one of the largest digital retail networks with our 1000+ outlets as part of the hyperlocal program that was started in 2018,” Shashank Srivastava, senior executive director for sales and marketing at Maruti Suzuki, said.
Going digital and enabling contactless transactions is just one part of the efforts required to realign with the new realities of the post-Covid-19 world and make a comeback. In a recent report, Jeffry Jacob, partner for transformation advisory at KPMG India said, auto businesses should also devise innovative purchase or leasing schemes to draw customers as well as offer health and hygiene-focused features within their cars such as built-in sanitization and air purification.