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New marketing strategy pays off for Suzuki

Night shift: By sponsoring events such as the Melbourne Night Market and television programs like the Block, Suzuki Australia is hoping to get its brand out to a wider audience.

Suzuki Australia turns to social media and sponsorships to raise brand awareness

1 Aug 2016

SUZUKI Australia is hoping its unique marketing strategy of using Facebook to advertise car giveaway promotions and the sponsorship of popular television show The Block will raise brand awareness and translate into higher sales.

Speaking at the launch of the Baleno this week, Suzuki Australia general manager Andrew Moore told GoAuto that social media was the perfect place to connect with potential customers.

“There are a lot of young buyers in the Suzuki space and we think that social media is such an emerging area if you want to talk to young people,” he said.

“So Suzuki has young buyers, but also older buyers and, our research has shown, there are a lot of older people starting to use it (social media) to keep in touch with family.

“So we are finding that it’s just a cost-effective medium to get the message out and get our dealers and customers engaged.”

Suzuki Australia first ran a promotion to gift a Swift to one person who connected with them on Facebook in 2011, and has now amassed an audience of more than 180,000 people with new vehicle launches, sales and car reviews regularly posted to its page.

Competitions were also run to give away a Vitara Turbo and Baleno alongside each model’s local launch and tasked participants with customising an ideal specification using a vehicle configurator.

Mr Moore said the promotions were a great way to involve potential customers who may have never thought to buy a Suzuki and added that it would be an ongoing marketing strategy.

“Our philosophy now, with every new vehicle launch, is to give the consumer an opportunity to win the vehicle. It is a marketing strategy, we think it’s a strong call to action,” he said.

“If you see an ad and go ‘that car looks alright, I wouldn’t mind winning it’, you might think you’re not in the market and then you go and see our competition.

“We get customers to pick their colour, customise their car a bit and they start to engage in the product and the aim is for them to go ‘oh hey, I like this’ and it might bring them into the market.

“We’ve had great results, I think with Vitara we had 60,000 people enter.”

Suzuki Australia’s sponsorship of the Channel 9 home renovation program The Block has also given the brand a unique promotional tool and a much wider audience – with over 1.8 million viewers watching last year’s finale.

Suzuki Australia wraps its vehicles in unique designs and bright colours for use on the reality television show by presenters and contestants and Mr Moore said the promotion ties in well with its social media presence.

“When you look at something like The Block, certain people love that program and we’re doing interesting things in the show, so it’s something you can feed into social media as well,” he said.

Suzuki Australia hopes to raise brand awareness with its promotions, with Mr Moore admitting the brand could be higher on customer’s minds.

“At this point we don’t have the flow of customers coming into our dealerships or going to our website because we are not a high on the radar type brand,” he said.

However, introducing capped-price servicing three years ago has helped foot traffic through dealerships and Mr Moore said Suzuki is getting better at retaining customers.

“We’re getting much stronger service retention,” he said. “So we introduced capped-price service about three years ago, in May 2013, and since then we’ve more than doubled our service activities.

“We were doing around 3000 services a month, we’re now doing 7000. And of our capped-price service, we’re running at 80 per cent retention. So it’s good value servicing, customers are saying ‘yep, we’re happy with this pricing’ and they’re coming back.

“Suzuki is big on the value perspective, we’ve now got a good full package in that regard.”

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