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The SA Leader Magazine

Digital September 2015 Cover

In the September issue

How to recruit through Social Media

Uber yourself before you get Kodaked

POPI and Medical Practices

Leading and staying focus


Marketing Articles

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Mobiclicks campaign moves Suzuki off the showroom floor

Suzuki, a company that started from humble beginnings, has recently celebrated over 100 years of creating good value, reliable vehicles and motorcycles. Despite global brand success, the company, which started its South African sales operations in 2008, has had to work hard at establishing the same level of brand recognition locally.


The South African automotive market is very competitive with a range of well established brands positioned against newer entrants in the market, all vying for attention from an equally varied audience ranging from the first time car buyer to a more sophisticated buyer.


In many cases automotive companies have large marketing budgets with the biggest portion of advertising funds spent on print (34%), radio (6%) and television (44%). Suzuki, however, has a conservative marketing budget and as such needed to explore a more creative and targeted approach to build its market share locally.


Getting mobile to reach the right audience

Suzuki has over the years adopted a more affordable and creative approach to building brand awareness across South Africa. A good portion of its advertising spend goes to online channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Adwords campaigns. Although these channels have been successful in creating awareness, the company wanted to shift awareness into leads to drive sales.


According to Veronica Wainstein, Business Unit Director at PenQuin, Suzuki’s marketing agency, “By using digital marketing, Suzuki was able to reach on average 13 million impressions per month. However, the company wanted more than to just increase brand awareness across its target audience. As such we needed to identify an approach that would qualify leads and measure responses. We also wanted to be able to identify who is engaging with the content and what content generates a response.”


With a large shopping list of requirements at hand, PenQuin appointed Mobiclicks, a pioneering South African mobile media agency and a leader in the African mobile marketing industry, to develop a mobile marketing solution that would get easily digestible information out quickly and effectively engage the target audience.  The mobile campaign kicked off in April 2014 and immediately generated real sales leads for Suzuki.


Reaching the audience at the right place at the right time

According to Nielson, 60% of shoppers consult peer reviews before making purchasing decisions. This figure is even higher for car buyers, with between 80% and 90% consistently using the internet throughout the buying process. With this in mind, Suzuki took to mobile to increase awareness, drive two-way communication with its target audience and ultimately deliver on consumer needs. The campaign called for immediacy and enabled potential buyers to book a test drive from the mobile site, generating real leads and enabling the company to exchange information between prospective buyers and the company.


“Using Mobiclicks for Suzuki resulted in an average click through rate (CTR) of 1.2% and 2.35%, this is higher than any of the other online campaigns that we’ve ran in the past,” added Wainstein.


No media is an island

According to Wainstein, the Mobiclicks campaign fits into a broader marketing strategy. “In order for a campaign to be effective, it is necessary to have multiple touch points with the potential clients, mobile therefore complements the other media forms that we use to reach the target audience.”


Both online and mobile marketing rely on the curious nature of the consumers, “South Africans tend to be more curious and willing to engage on mobile and online platforms more than consumers in the US. Going forward, we believe digital will replace print as a medium,” added Wainstein.


Measurement is key

“Advertising is no longer about pretty pictures, companies want to measure the effectiveness of the campaigns that they run,” said Wainstein. “With Mobiclicks we were able provide an average of the cost per conversion, insight into click through rates and lead generation.”


Using a variety of online and mobile channels that engage the right audience, Suzuki has increased brand awareness across South Africa, positioning the company as the second-fasted growing automotive brand in South Africa. As a result the company reported year-on-year sales in 2014 increased by more than 33%, reaching a record high, this is despite the local market decline by 0.7%. 


Shaun Rosen, Chief Executive Officer at Mobiclicks says, “We are delighted to have been included in the marketing strategy for Suzuki . This provided a great opportunity for us to use our platform to help Suzuki to reach the right target audience in a cost effective and measureable way and bring real value to its sales mix.”


With demand for Suzuki vehicles increasing, in 2014 the company introduced a range of products designed to meet a variety of drivers needs and budgets.  These products range from entry level vehicles to those designed for the more adventurous, adrenaline seeking drivers. These latest products include the Suzuki Swift Dzire, Suzuki Swift 1.2, Suzuki Ertiga, Suzuki SX4, Suzuki Splash as well as an upgrade to the current Suzuki Swift 1.4.


“We are happy with the results generated from our online and mobile media campaigns,” said Charl Grobler, Sales, Marketing and Product Planning Manager for Suzuki Auto SA. “We will continue to invest a significant portion of our advertising budget in these avenues to drive sales and increase awareness of the Suzuki brand across South Africa.”

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