Volvo Shakes Up World of Auto Marketing With Innovative Five-year Plan

In an attempt to challenge the traditional marketing techniques commonly seen in the world of automobiles, Volvo is launching a new approach to promoting its brand that will nearly double its marketing and advertising budget over the next five years.

For years, the Swedish automaker has been overwhelmed by rival car companies with larger budgets, but Volvo has come up with a new idea to give it an edge over the competition: the company will be providing a personal service technician to every customer that purchases one of their vehicles.

To take it one step further, the car expert will deliver the newly purchased vehicles right to the customer’s door and will be available to them seven days a week throughout the duration of ownership.

“We want to challenge traditional, conservative car marketing, which starts with TV, print, billboards and sponsorship. The recipe is always the same. But it’s not the best recipe for Volvo. When customers buy a Volvo they are buying a relationship — the personal service technician is like your butler,” said Volvo Senior Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Customer Service Alain Visser, according to Advertising Age.

Swedish dealerships have already begun implementing the new program, and service technicians around the world are undergoing extensive training to prepare for the international debut of the standard service in 2017.

While the “personal butler” is the most lavish aspect of Volvo’s new personalized marketing campaign, other efforts to ingrain Scandinavian heritage into the framework of the plan are just as glamorous. Dealerships will be getting an extreme makeover, complete with “waiting areas furnished with Swedish interiors, Swedish snacks and drinks served in glasses made in Sweden,” according to Advertising Age.

Although the company will be boosting its marketing expenditures, Visser says that its new practices will be within reason. At the same time, Volvo will also be withdrawing from some of its traditional marketing efforts, including removing itself from the auto show circuit and scaling back sponsorships.

“One should never underestimate the importance of offering one on one support through any purchasing process,” says Clayton Thompson, Chief Marketing Manager/Partner, MyNetWire. “Volvo has a vision to make an expert available to the customer, through their offerings and consumers are extremely receptive to this type of strategy. Relationship building is key and it starts at inception of the buying experience.”

Volvo is hoping that its new and innovative approach to auto marketing will increase car sales from 470,000 to 800,000 over the next five years. Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, the Chinese company that owns the Volvo brand, currently ranks 96th among Ad Age’s 100 largest global marketers.

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