Chevy is working with big publishing companies such as Hearst
and Condé Nast to compile lists of Porsche and other
sports-car owners. Then Corvette urges them to take a test-drive at
their local dealer or -- get a race-car experience by driving a
Stingray at pro race tracks around the U.S.
"It's going to be very targeted. We don't really expect to do a
lot of above-the-line TV advertising," said Tim Mahoney, global CMO
At Nissan North
America, Dave Mazur, VP-market intelligence, says the automaker
uses data to "pick out really key" consumer insights that can be
quickly turned around and used as best practices. One of the
biggest customer complaints, he said, are "difficult to use" items.
They're the features many customers have trouble with.
Nissan surveys dealerships around the country to find out which
ones are doing the best, and the worst, job of teaching new owners
how to navigate DTUs. Once the factory gets that critical info,
"It's easy for us to shore it up at the dealer level," said Mr.
Mazur. Nissan measures not only their most frequent problems but
also the severity of those problems, said Mr. Mazur.
"It may be fairly low frequency. But the severity of the problem
is such that it's really annoying to the consumer. So if you look
at the combination of severity and frequency, it's pretty easy to
find out what problems to work on."
Collecting and analyzing everything from consumer-satisfaction
surveys to vehicle-registration lists has become a big segment of
automotive marketing/research budgets, said Tom Libby, senior
forecasting analyst for auto consultancy Polk.
Automakers, for example, buy demographic data, registration data
(who bought what brand and model) and transactional data (or which
incentives are most effective in closing a sale).
"We purchase new-and-used vehicle registration data from the
state DMVs. We then do various manipulations with the data and sell
it, with software, to the manufacturers. And they all buy it," Mr.
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CORRECTION: An earlier
version of this story misattributed the last quote to Nissan's Dave