Internet Advertising & Trend Analysis in China Automotive Industry

How do Chinese auto companies market during the market downturn?

We summarize automobile marketing trends from different dimensions such as channels, audiences, technology, content, and scenarios.

Trend 1: Auto Cloud Marketing is popular

Due to well-known reasons, the passenger flow to the store has been greatly reduced, but this also gave birth to a new model of automobile marketing-cloud marketing.

In this special period, the new model of automobile marketing is a way to survive from desperation. Many 4S stores are actively developing online car viewing channels. Except for the last car picking link, all other links can be carried out through the Internet.

Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Dongfeng Honda, Dongfeng Nissan, Volvo, BYD, Geely Automobile, Great Wall Motor and other brands have opened online smart showrooms to provide interested users with services that can watch cars online without leaving home . There are also some 4S stores that have even launched a marketing model of online live streaming to watch cars.

As far as the current market conditions are concerned, the new model of “cloud marketing” for automobiles is developing rapidly. Leaders who are at the forefront of the trend have already turned demand into actual results by means of “cloud publishing”, “cloud car viewing” and “cloud car selling”.

Trend 2: Use more diverse communication platforms to carry out short video marketing

Many brands have become popular brands with the help of social marketing. The social reputation that comes with social marketing has also become an important factor in marketing consumers’ purchasing decisions. Automobiles are bulk and durable consumer goods. Although social marketing is not as immediate as fast-moving consumer goods, social marketing should not be underestimated in the development of automobile marketing.

Among many social marketing channels, short videos are ushering in rapid growth. In the era of mobile internet, video is surpassing text and pictures to become the number one tool for attracting users’ attention. Short video marketing is not only a one-way communication of a brand, but also arouses the audience’s participation by resonating with consumers.

Short video has become a new social language, providing a new medium for brand image establishment and content delivery. A successful short video marketing will be the collaborative work of all marketing systems, and the audience’s content creation process can easily become a communication process. Short video marketing can easily stimulate social sharing and amplify the brand effect on more media platforms, thereby realizing the linkage between content and platforms and creating a greater fission effect.

Trend 3: Consumer mainstream groups promote marketing changes to cater to the habits of young people

Today, the post-90s generation has become an important consumer group in the Chinese auto market. “Generation Z” young people are becoming the next potential consumer market. Major car companies, even luxury car brands, have catered to the preferences of young people.

The younger generation has a lot of information, and the pursuit of “psychological ownership” of car brands is greater than the value of social recognition. If a brand wants to impress young people, it must use the young people’s marketing model to talk to them. Into the lives of young people, this is the guiding ideology of car rejuvenation marketing, but the methods can still be varied.

Trend 4: Construction and expansion of cross-border marketing scenarios

Traffic is becoming more expensive and customer acquisition costs are increasing. At this time, many auto companies need cross-border creativity to create new user experiences and interactive interfaces, and radiate their brands to more different circles.

The most important thing in the cross-border marketing of automobiles is to step out of the automobile circle to find new partners, and to radiate the brand to the areas that were difficult to reach before. Through cross-border game cooperation, the car buying desire of experienced game fans can be stimulated. In addition, the implanted marketing of variety shows will influence and promote the car purchase decision of potential buyers in a subtle way.

Trend 5: Use new technologies to carry out automotive marketing

The four stubborn problems of automobile marketing can be summarized as repetitive leads, low efficiency, difficulty in soliciting appointments, and high maintenance costs. In the past, advertisers used experience to judge user preferences and guide the creation of marketing content. This method inevitably has limitations, and subsequent marketing has a certain lag. Now, relying on big data and intelligent distribution technology, the content and form of automobile marketing are more targeted.

Using AI technology + big data application capabilities, the automotive marketing platform has developed precise, highly interactive, and efficient intelligent marketing, which greatly helps automotive brands accurately reach the users they want to reach. During the marketing process, manufacturers can also view marketing effects in real time, immediately improve marketing strategies, and shorten marketing cycles and trial and error time.

Traditional marketing is just advertising, passively waiting for clues. Intelligent marketing driven by new marketing technologies takes the initiative to achieve personalized content and service recommendations.

Trend 6: Non-traditional vertical channels are becoming a new platform for automotive marketing

Automobile brands love verticals and portals, as well as the emerging short video platforms. According to the survey, the audience of vertical and portal media is mainly concentrated in highly educated, younger people with certain purchasing power, but these channels have also become a battleground for military strategists and have long been the Red Sea battlefield.

Facing the growth problems of the new year, major automakers are seeking new traffic entrances, pioneering new ways, or reaping miraculous results. In addition to traditional large-scale vertical media, some middle-to-head traffic platforms have also begun to deploy automotive marketing services to exert their influence.

As the preferences of the new generation of automobile consumers become complex and changeable, and are scattered in various social fields, social marketing is still effective. There can be more breakthroughs in channel selection and content production. “Non-traditional” online customer acquisition channels are exerting influence, which is a trend to seize opportunities.

Trend 7: From “pan-entertainment” to “pan-cultural”, content and advertising are more closely integrated

The placement of automobile brands in the media, TV series, and variety shows is a relatively common marketing model. This type of placement is more entertaining, but it is also quickly forgotten. A new marketing method, pan-culture, has become a new trend.

Pan-culture is based on classic culture, but also has entertainment attributes. Use entertainment to deliver culturally valuable content to make it easier for the audience to accept. Exploring the value of traditional culture and implanting the image of car brands or products will help people transform their cultural identity into brand trust.

The popularity of pan-cultural marketing is not unrelated to the improvement of China’s international status and the enhancement of China’s cultural self-confidence. People have reasons to continue to be optimistic about pan-cultural marketing.

Trend 8: Scenario marketing will become the next stage of marketing battlefield for auto manufacturers

In the era of consumption upgrading, technology is constantly refreshing people’s imagination of ideal car life. The intelligent scene atmosphere is created to create an immersive technological experience, thereby inspiring a perceptual consumer experience. To promote purchase intention, scenario marketing will become the next stage of marketing competition for auto manufacturers.

The characteristics of automobile consumption are experience-oriented, long-term decision-making consumption, and the interaction of rational thinking and perceptual impulse is indispensable in the process. The popularity of online traffic and rational data analysis also requires offline real sensory experience. Only by linking online and offline can the bottleneck of “no orders” be broken.

Relying on scenes, car brands organically integrate scenes and emotions, scenes and content, scenes and technology, and create a closed-loop user experience process through grounded scenes.


The market has become faster than marketing, and trends are constantly changing. Changing strategic awareness, constructing a system framework, and formulating implementation blueprints all need to change with the times in the fashion trend. The auto industry’s clearing-out transformation is still continuing, and those auto companies that embrace change and have the spirit of the times can always go further.