Our Client was a leading Japanese automotive manufacturer. During 2007, they produced almost 1.3 million vehicles for global sales. The majority of these (nearly 1 million) cars were produced in the company’s Japanese plants, with the remainder coming from a variety of other plants worldwide.
Our Client requested us to design a common EMEA platform for its websites and online marketing strategy, whilst allowing content localization opportunities. Our starting object was clustering all EU markets on the basis of selective technological constraints such as broadband penetration and broadband speed and consequently grouping countries using as discriminant factors similarities in consumers’ behaviour and preferences and sales potential.
Consumers’ behaviour differs significantly not only among countries, but social class too. Level of education, social and economic status, disposable income, level of access to information, culture, religion, style and fashion, exposure to external inputs were just some of the constraints we had to face.
To arrive to an estimation of the company’s sales potential, we needed to collect product and market specific data related to:
- Competition both online and offline – strength, likely to react to entry.
- Markets – strength of barriers.
- Consumers – ability and willingness to buy, plus online behaviours.
- Product – degree of relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, and communicability.
- Channel structure – access to retail level
- Technology – Internet, broadband access, CRM/Siebel technology.
- Identify segments to be marketed.
- Media Landscape.
We used information gathered from diverse sources though which we clustered the EMEA markets using a spider graphical representation which allowed us to show similarities in market entry, technology, internet sophistication, supply chain optimization coupled with amount of Internet Users, willingness and ability to buy, brand perception. As a consequence, we grouped countries on the basis of consumers brand perception, culture and aesthetic taste.
We segmented the overall market considering 6 clustering profiles based on online manner of speech, schooling, leisure habits and many other factors assuming that “horizontal” classification is more marketing effective than the “vertical” one.
For each market we were able to define competitors benchmarking indexes correlated to market presence, dominant positioning, barriers to entry, messaging, frequency and marketing mix as well as consumers’ preferences towards detailed automotive specifications and market characteristic (rules and standards, barriers to entry, economic growth, income inequalities and technology development).
We were able to market different countries using similar marketing campaigns with minor adjustment on country basis, thus saving costs and effort on both planning and creative stages. The deep market knowledge allow us to always keep in touch with every local market adjustment, plus the awareness of different technology stages in which countries might be allow us to easily switch marketing channels accordingly.