Volvo is about to take a huge step in a whole new direction as far as marketing is concerned – by abandoning auto shows and moving into online sales in a strategy called Volvo Way to Market.
Volvo will invest more money into the marketing budget to help make this strategy come to life and focus on building new online marketing channels. It will also work on improving its existing global network of dealers, which will be turned into “brand centres” to solidify the brand’s Scandinavian roots – an important task as more and more of its cars are being built in China.
The Volvo Way to Market will emphasize four key aspects: marketing tools, online presence, dealers and service. The new strategy means that there will be a drastic reduction in auto show attendance, though the company will still come to at least three shows per year: the Detroit Auto Show, Geneva Motor Show and either Shanghai or Beijing event. The Swedish brand will even host its own event to showcase the products.
The United States and Canada may take a little longer to embrace online sales due to their well-established dealership models, but Volvo believes that it can make progress here to, as demonstrated by Tesla and its online sales model. The company still plans to keep dealerships around for real-world necessities that can’t be handled online, such as delivery, servicing, test drives and more.
Volvo has already demonstrated that it can handle digital sales with the online-only sale of its special launch edition XC90s – something that the company will mimic in the future. Inside a dealership, customers will be able to have drinks served in Sweden-produced glasses, along with Swedish cuisine and Swedish-themed sight and sound elements.
Volvo wants lift the whole shopping experience to a new level. Each customer will have a personal technician who will take care of the car throughout the ownership. This service has already been implemented as a trial in some dealerships and has managed to win client satisfaction.
Volvo expects all of its dealers to offer this service by 2018.