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I recently attended a national automotive marketing conference at the famous Bonaventure hotel in downtown L.A. where the CMO’s of Honda, Nissan and Hyundai all spoke about where automotive marketing was heading. One thing they all had in common is they were trying to connect emotionally to car buyers with a cause and make it less about the car.

Their research is showing Millennials want more than a good looking car with quality, they want to know the brand stands for something bigger. This intrigued me to do some more research as we’re doing marketing for the top auto dealer groups in the U.S. and we’re always looking for new strategies and tactics to improve response rates.Allyson Witherspoon, Nissan/Infiniti’s General Manager of Global Brand Engagement (pictured), spoke about how Nissan/Infiniti is spending millions sponsoring college basketball and donating to cancer charities. Watch their latest TV commercial below.The Honda CMO spoke about “The power of dreams” to inspire people to connect with their brand. Watch their Super Bowl commercial below.

The Hyundai CMO spoke about “Supporting our Veterans”, this was their first 3m commercial that did not have a picture of their cars in it! Watch their Super Bowl commercial below.

I believe auto dealers can also leverage mission based marketing on a local or regional level with local charities to not only connect with car buyers emotionally but also to generate a high response rate while becoming significant to their communities in the process. Instead of just saying “Buy this vehicle with this low payment…” include a brochure for a charitable organization and share with prospective buyers that you’ll donate $X amount to the cause when they buy their vehicle from you. My projection is this could bump up a direct mail response from .2% (20bps) to 1% (100bps) because of it’s unique value proposition when compared to others who are selling the price and payment.

We are testing the use of this brochure and other mission centric marketing ideas to increase response and conversion because we believe it can make a huge impact to results and the overall bottom line of a company. Not only can it improve response rates but it can also rally an organization and its customers around a cause that’s bigger than profits to stimulate productivity with staff and long term client relationships.

Is your direct mail marketing company bringing you new data sets, new offers and new creative to test and increase your response rates? Our team will, let’s connect! Call 866-944-4624