Hyundai’s Successful Marketing Tactic

Marketing precision has become precedent for brands such as Hyundai that have traditionally relied on car sales.

So for a personalized video campaign on Facebook and Instagram to promote the 2018 Sonata, Hyundai locked in on users based on purchase behavior. They went specifically after audiences such as sedan loyalists, those with an affinity for the Sonata and owners of competing models from Nissan, Honda, Chevrolet and others.

Their digital ad firm executed the video rollout in the fourth quarter of 2017, creating 20 spots using rolling footage from Hyundai that touted various Sonata features while making head-to-head comparisons with rival models. The sedan loyalist audience would likely skew older because the group was defined as people who had already bought multiple sedans. The campaign reached 5.4 million households and was credited with 2,227 new Sonata sales during the measurement period. “Great stories don’t begin with great tactics. They begin with an understanding of who we are telling that story to.” Diamond stated during the J.D. Power Automotive Marketing Roundtable here last month.

Hyundai built ads highlighting the different life stages of each audience. To reach corporate moms, the videos depicted a woman in a business suit in one scene, while having her push a stroller in another. For the traveler, the ads showed a man with a surfboard, taking photos and walking with his family. The company mixed up the sequencing of those scenes in multiple versions of the videos to see how different arrangements would influence viewers.

Automakers may do themselves a disservice by developing too many distinct audiences for a campaign, but then running only one video to reach them all. Therefore by using a variety of subtle changes to draw in the target audience, customers feel more connected to the brand and are more inclined to purchase their vehicles over their competitors.

However, the Sonata campaign wasn’t about playing the long game of brand building. The goal was more immediate to secure the perception of customers and motivate them to take action.