Connecting Places to Places Reveals the Effect of Off-Line Touch Points in Sending Customers to Dealers (Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.)

In this issue, we spoke with Mr. Yoshino and Mr. Fukunaga of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. as an example of successful implementation of location-based solutions.

As a manufacturer with a full lineup of products, Nissan Motor is one of Japan’s leading automakers, offering a wide range of products from commercial vehicles to passenger cars, sports cars, minivans, and mini cars.

Among them, Mr. Yoshino and Mr. Fukunaga are in charge of overall event exhibition work for the domestic market, including the Tokyo Motor Show.

The traditional sales method of car manufacturers is to serve customers who come to the exhibition or event venue and either purchase a car on the spot or visit the dealership later. However, the number of people who make a decision immediately at the event is naturally limited. Mr. Yoshino and Mr. Fukunaga were concerned about how to connect the customer to the next step after the event, rather than ending up serving them only at the event.

Pre-installation concerns: I want to connect with the next customer, but I don’t know how to do that. ……

─ Thank you very much for your time today. First of all, please tell us about the issues you were facing in your work.

“We, as a car manufacturer, often hold exhibition events, but there are only a limited number of events that lead to an immediate purchase. In most cases, people come to the event to touch the cars and become interested in them, and then buy them later at the dealership. For this reason, it was important to find out how much the customer’s emotions would be aroused from the event to the time they visited the dealership, leading to the purchase.
However, in the past, even if we served customers only at the event and they liked the product, they would leave at that point, so we were always looking for ways to connect them to the next step,” said Fukunaga.

“That’s when Cinarra approached us. Digital marketing and location-based solutions are linked to the information of cell phone carriers, so we were concerned about the issue of personal information. However, we had worked with Cinarra at Softbank World, and at that time we had worked together on a project. That’s why I felt comfortable with Cinarra.

Challenges in implementing the system

─ Thank you very much.

“When we talked about the specifics, everyone at Cinarra was very professional and responded to our questions and doubts in an accurate manner. I appreciated the fact that I could leave each meeting with a clear understanding.” (Mr. Yoshino)

Results of the implementation: We are now able to implement the PDCA cycle, which leads from the exhibition to the website.

─ What results have you achieved as a result of implementing Cinarra’s solution?

“By working with Cinarra, we are now able to compare whether customers who obtained their personal information elsewhere are visiting the event or not, and whether they are visiting the website or a sales outlet. As a result, we can now compare the lineup of products at the event site, for example, if we have a little more difference between the operations at the site where we display minivans, mini cars, and compact cars for daily use and those at the site where we display specialty cars, we can increase the rate of leads to the web. The PDCA cycle can be applied. (Mr. Fukunaga)

“To be more specific, for example, the number of customers who visit Nissan’s website for the LEAF model is unusually high, even though the number of customers who visit the dealership via exhibition events is lower than for other models. In other words, we found out that there are many customers who are interested in electric vehicles, but do not want to buy one, but want to research on the Internet. Therefore, I think that if we enrich the contents of the website and change the operation at the event a little more to actively promote the website, we will be able to increase the rate of leads to the sales company.
The reason why we are able to think in this way is that Cinarra’s solutions allow us to visualize offline and online activities in one place, and this is certainly helping us to come up with various strategies. Mr. Fukunaga.

─ Thank you very much, may I ask you a more specific question?

Results 1)
ROI (Return on Investment) can now be obtained from events and the effects can be visualized.

“Simply put, we can now see the ROI of our events. Events cost a lot of money to prepare, and they also cost a lot of labor. If you can’t see the effect of the event, you can’t ask yourself, ‘How much is this leading to sales? If you don’t see any results, you may ask yourself, “How much is this leading to sales?”
However, since we can measure the number of people who came to the exhibition event and how many people were sent to the sales company, we can say, “This is the effect of the event.

Therefore, in terms of ROI, being able to say to management, ‘We’re selling this many units, so we’re effective,’ and also being able to say to the marketing managers of each model who are cooperating with us within the company, ‘We’re effective in this many ways,’ is very significant for moving things forward.” (Mr. Yoshino)

Results (2)
We were able to secure the budget, which was often cut, and the awareness of the people around us changed.

“There were many people in the company who said, ‘We can’t really see the effects of events,’ and when we thought about budget allocation, we tended to cut the budget for events.
However, since the introduction of Cinarra’s solution, we have been able to secure a proper budget. Internally, people around us have changed from saying, ‘The event was effective,’ to ‘If it’s effective, let’s use it more,’ and I think we’re gradually changing our mindset to ‘Let’s take it one step further and use it more effectively. (Mr. Fukunaga)

Outcome 3)
Cooperation with sales companies became easier.

“We have been dividing our marketing activities with sales companies. The role of the manufacturer is recognition and branding, while the role of the sales company is to promote product understanding and sales.
However, it was Cinarra’s solution that triggered a synergy effect, saying, ‘Mutual measures are effective. I think this is a great thing. I didn’t think we’d have so many inquiries for event displays within the company.” (Mr. Yoshino.)

“Our events are often held on Saturdays and Sundays, and the response from the sales companies was, ‘We have our hands full with our customers on Saturdays and Sundays, so it would be outrageous to rent a car for an exhibition, much less send out sales staff’.
However, after we introduced and visualized the Cinarra solution, I was happy to hear from a sales staff member of a sales company I worked with, who said, “Sales companies are finding it difficult to attract customers by waiting for them to come to their stores. I learned firsthand that it is very effective to visit vehicle exhibitions and other events, interact with customers, and invite them to the store. I’m really happy to see that kind of change happening. ”(Mr. Fukunaga)

Because they know what they are doing, they are able to give us suggestions that they think are best for us, rather than a fixed menu.

─ Finally, do you have a message for those who are considering Cinarra’s solutions?

“I would like to thank Cinarra for providing us with advice on how to quickly implement the PDCA cycle, even to the point of consulting.
And since we have been working with you from the early days of the service, it is great that you are able to include reporting and measurement methods that are ‘best for Nissan’.” (Mr. Yoshino)

“I think the accuracy of the visitor target analysis is one of our overwhelming strengths, thanks to the use of mobile carrier subscriber data.
Also, we can analyze the attributes of the visitors based on the subscriber data that only a mobile carrier can provide, which is completely different from other solutions.(Mr. Fukunaga)