With the Geneva Motor Show in full swing, we take a look at other event marketing strategies used by the automotive industry to help a new product launch really take off.

When Tesla co-founder and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk sent up his famous red Tesla Roadster into space in February, he upped the ante for new product launches. But most companies don’t have access to those kind of resources. Here’s Gather's top tips for creating a buzz at your next event:

New product launch? Make it desirable

At this year’s Geneva Motor Show, Aston Martin revealed its Valkyrie AMR Pro, a track-only model retailing at US$3.2 million. Before you rush out to get your own, be aware that the production run is limited. Just 25 cars will be built, with delivery commencing in 2020 – and all of them have already sold out. However, presenting this kind of showstopper can generate valuable brand recognition and column inches that translate into conventional sales.

Go virtual

Jaguar’s first electric concept car, the I-PACE was unveiled simultaneously in LA and London using virtual reality technology. More than 300 guests, including British comedian James Corden, experienced a specially created virtual space. There, they 'met' and were guided through the car’s features by two of the car’s creators. They could sit in the driving seat and groups in each location could interact with one another.

Employ star power

Ferrari brought the wow-factor to a new car reveal in 2017 with appearances from drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa. Meanwhile, experience marketing agency Lodestar worked with carmaker Fiat to launch its Fiat 500X with an exclusive VIP event featuring magician Dynamo – to bring maximum buzz. The illusion saw Dynamo generate first a dynamic 3D image of the car and then inexplicably turn it into a physical car. The event captivated the 1,200-strong audience and has notched up more than three million YouTube views since.

Incentivise your customers

For its more-affordable Model 3, Tesla is promising a mystery gift – believed to be a diecast model of the car – to those who put in an early reservation. In the US, 2018 Super Bowl viewers had the opportunity to win a 2018 Mercedes-AMG C 43 Coupe. All they had to do was join in with a game on their mobile phone. Unfortunately, the game broke the internet and had to be scrapped. But Mercedes honoured the promise by picking a winner through a random draw.

Get emotional

You don’t even need a car to make an impression. As a promotional exercise, Volkswagen famously set up a piano staircase in a Berlin subway station. Users could play a tune as they made their way up or down. There wasn’t a product in sight, but the stunt used emotion to create an association between the car brand and having fun.

… Then make it work for you

Even the most exciting new product launch won’t reach its full potential if it doesn’t have great follow up. That means collecting actionable customer data that turns the contacts you generate into qualified leads and sales.

For Lodestar’s Fiat 500X launch, that meant finding a data capture solution that would capitalise on the excitement of the event and create actionable intelligence for Fiat. It chose Gather Enterprise, which can capture the customer data you need from your event in as little as a minute with optical character recognition. It works online or off, so patchy venue Wi-Fi is never a problem.

Suzuki GB PLC chose Gather to capture customer data at the Vitality Show at Earls Court. All leads were fed instantly into the Suzuki CRM system for immediate follow up by dealers.

We have also worked with Bentley to boost customer data capture – whether at a private event, major motor show or in-dealership.

"Gather has allowed us to improve our event sales process and improve the quality of our lead conversion" – Dale Roscoe, CRM Manager, Worldwide, Bentley Motors Ltd

Gather’s app is compatible with all CRM systems. This means you can process the information quickly and efficiently to inform your product development process. Our software crunches the numbers for you to generate intelligence reports and share actionable insights across your organisation.

The Gather app is also GDPR compliant. This means you can collect the necessary permissions effortlessly, and communicate and hold data securely, wherever you are.

We've helped global brands like Bentley and Suzuki increase their ROI at events. Contact our team to find out how Gather can help your new product launch take off.

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