How do you build a winning dealer brand when you don’t even know what tomorrow’s consumers will ask for? What qualities and benefits they will value the most? Especially now, with AI as an unprecedented enabler and accelerator.
In automotive marketing the ultimate future shock, truly autonomous vehicles and systems, is still way beyond the horizon of regular marketing planning. Meanwhile, strategic marketing rather means navigating consumers’ potential attraction towards annual upgradings and novelties in safety … performance … style .. new functions and features … fuel economy … sustainability … And, not least, dealer services.
Predicting the future was never easy. Dr. Alvin Toffler became world famous with books like The future shock (1970) and The third wave (1980). The former predicted the very accelleration of Change. The latter summarized human/social evolution as three major waves of change.
- First wave: Formerly nomadic people, hunters and gatherers, settled in one place to farm the land.
- Second wave: They left the increasingly mechanized and motorized farms to work in factories, moking things (including the farmers’ tractors) more efficiently
- Third wave: The post-industrial, digital age. Digitalizing just about everything (including fully-automated tractor factories).
Since then, several other futurists have published less iconic articles, books, and alternative ideas about a Fourth wave, defining the world we live in today. Around the millennium shift, their focus was often on the ”why”, What are we trying to achieve? Will the world’s business owners and CEOs move their focus from the company’s own bottom-line towards the greater good? Yeah, right … before THAT happens, both pigs and cars will fly. Will many marketing managers try to ride on the wave? Sure.
Now, a suggested alternative Fourth wave is about AI changing everything. Which, somehow, doesn’t feel quite right, either. AI can do a lot of things, but hardly make sense of a complex unknown future. Or … am I missing something here?
Phyron AI is about here and now. If you’re a used car dealer advertising hundreds or thousands of vehicles at a time … the future is already here.
Phyron Writer and Editor