Mining The Undisputed Automotive Gold Standard

Mining The Undisputed Automotive Gold Standard

Mining The Undisputed Automotive Gold Standard

The continuous onslaught of (artsy, racy, glitzy…) luxury automotive advertising must be effective. Why else would such vast sums be spent on influencing a choice that most of us make only every few years? Clearly, the average buyer is not going to race out and spend North of $60,000 for a luxury sedan on the strength of a 30-second spot, no matter how compelling. It’s about who we think of when we start thinking, “time for a new ride.”

So, who do we think of?

Essence Mining™ (EM) is the perfect methodology for answering that question. To do so, we set up Essencient profiles for each of the major luxury auto manufacturers and turned the analysis loose for two weeks. About six million tweets came in, and the EM engine determined that about 92.7% of them were just noise, and cleared them away. That left us with 438,000 important tweets that we could analyze using the Essencient for iPad app. What we learned was an eye opener.

Essencient for iPad’s  “Competition” view answers the question, “For a tweet focused on a brand, what other brands are most often mentioned by twitter users in the same tweet?” Although one can drill down from there, just the answer to that basic (but hard to answer) question reveals the gold standard.

We found that just about every luxury auto brand’s main competitor was the same brand. The gap between that brand and all others was significant, sometimes two to one. Twitter users with real intent and real opinions regarding luxury autos compared just about every other brand to this one.

And that brand is…

Mercedes Benz.

Duh, you may say. But would BMW or Lexus have been surprising? The competition is fierce, and costly: the real question is, why did Benz win?

They won by sheer brute force: according to Statista, in 2013 Benz topped the nearest US luxury competitor ad spend (Cadillac) by 14% and outspent BMW by almost three to one. The cost of being the gold standard? 323 million dollars.

By marshaling twitter traffic for a mere two weeks, and mining the essence of that traffic, we were able to see that Mercedes’ awareness strategy is working. We could also see what criteria were applied to the comparisons, and what issues drove intent to purchase (or not to purchase). We could even see how each brand was described across the tweets, which goes a long way towards explaining why that brand leadership stays sticky.

Does your brand have that kind of business intelligence?

By the way, people who mentioned Mercedes Benz tended to distribute their comparisons across brands like Range Rover, Jeep, Lexus, Audi and even Ferrari about equally, 10% or so against each. So the impact of that ad spend was pretty even regardless of competition.

Stay tuned for competitive analyses in other important market categories, including mobile devices and…beer.

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