The Skoda Superb, Mercedes GLE and Renault Kadjar created the most ‘digital buzz’ in 2015 out of 60 car launches or relaunches in Europe from January to June, according to new analysis from global research consultancy Kantar TNS.
Kantar TNS identified and analysed 3000 digital influencers in the automotive industry, who use a range of channels including blogs, forums and social media.
The relaunched Skoda Superb, which emphasises its technology and stylish design in comparison to previous versions, dominated 8.1% of online chatter from online communities. The Mercedes GLE and Renault Kadjar came in second and third place respectively with 5.8% and 5.7% of all conversations.
Skoda actively targeted a number of digital influencers ahead of the launch to offer them free test drives, raising awareness of the new version and how it differed from the previous one and encouraging them to spread the word.
Mercedes’ success came from a different source - bridging the gap to pop culture. The model appeared in the Jurassic World film trailer, generating huge attention from a broad online community in a short space of time. Meanwhile the Renault Kadjar generated a high volume of conversations by its advertising campaign, but it was the innovations of the new Renault Espace with its choice of 5 distinct driving modes which led to more in-depth discussions.
With more car buyers now choosing to consult independent online sources, the study showed the importance of manufacturers engaging with influential digital commentators.
Rémy Pothet, Global Head of Kantar TNS' Automotive Practice, said:
“Digital influencers on social media, blogs and other media are increasingly becoming a trusted source of information for car buyers. More than 90% of people use online sources during the buying process, often from community forums and blogs where they can get unbiased information from those ‘in the know’. If manufacturers don’t invest in this area, they risk losing out on a huge slice of the market.”
“Companies should be identifying, profiling and monitoring the most important digital influencers to understand the impact of online buzz on car buyer decision-making. ‘Influencing the influencers’ is becoming a channel like any other and should be integrated into marketing and launch plans, as Skoda has successfully done.”
About Kantar TNS
Kantar TNS advises clients on specific growth strategies around new market entry, innovation, brand switching and customer strategies, based on long-established expertise and market-leading solutions. With a presence in over 80 countries, Kantar TNS has more conversations with the world’s consumers than anyone else and understands individual human behaviours and attitudes across every cultural, economic and political region of the world.
Kantar TNS is part of Kantar, the data investment management division of WPP and one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy groups. Please visit www.tnsglobal.com for more information.