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Streamlining Auto R&D: ROI Gaming Modules

by Mike Fredericks , 18.11.2013

Automotive marketers know that they must perform at or above an expected level on Key Performance Indicators to stay competitive.  On an on-going basis, we as analysts help our auto clients track their relative position in the industry at every stage of the purchase process letting them see very clearly where they stand on each of their KPIs.

Opinion and Consideration are two key measures that, when improved, can boost an auto brand’s retail success.  A common marketing question that a client will ask is, “What levers can I pull, when it comes to my brand’s perceived imagery ratings, to increase my Opinion score or reach a certain level of Consideration among new vehicle intenders?”

Recently, a tier 2 Asian auto brand asked us to investigate what could be done to boost their below-average Opinion and Consideration scores.  Digging into this question, we used a newly developed software solution called GfK-Pointlogic Brandpoint. The ROI gaming module allows analysts to quickly see the effects on dependent variables (like Opinion and Consideration) of manipulating certain independent variables (image attributes such as safety, quality, and styling).

Looking at the battery of image attributes from GfK’s Barometer of Automotive Awareness and Imagery Study to see where the brand showed deficits, we decided to boost its trusted rating to match the industry leader’s score.  This move alone netted a small, but not significant change. When we also bumped up its score on quality to match the industry leader’s, our simulation showed that these changes would result in a significant 5-point gain in Opinion and a significant 7-point gain in Consideration for the brand.

While reaching industry-leading levels on trusted and quality might be a long-shot for this tier 2 auto brand, the ability to play with these marketing levers can show auto CMOs the options available to them for reaching their essential goals.

Mike Fredericks is Senior Analyst at GfK Automotive. He can be reached at mike.fredericks@gfk.com.