Marketers have a new way to drive customers to their storefront, and it’s literally while the customer is already on the go and behind the wheel.
General Motors will be embedding OnStar Business Driver, a new in-vehicle advertising platform, into over 2 million vehicles -- two-thirds of their car fleet -- by the end of next year. Their entire fleet of new vehicles will also have Wifi connectivity.
General Motors has created what Rick Ruskin, head of marketing at GM’s OnStar, calls an “infotainment center.” It’s essentially a new marketing channel -- an in-vehicle screen directly integrated into a car’s dashboard.
The advertising platform also doubles as a car management device, measuring the health of the car (such as oil level and tire pressure), while also offering traffic information and driving directions. Thanks to the vehicle’s GPS system, General Motors can offer geotargeted advertising to its drivers.
While sitting in the driver’s seat of a 2016 Chevy Camaro sports car displayed on the floor of Dreamforce, Salesforce’s annual convention held in San Francisco, CA, I received advertisements for the nearby Starbucks and Gap storefronts. Clicking on the Gap promotion delivered driving directions on the screen and a coupon directly into Ruskin’s inbox.
OnStar Business Driver also connects directly to General Motors’ suite of mobile applications, allowing owners to remotely start and unlock their car using their mobile devices.
Since General Motors knows the identity of the individual who bought the car, marketers can personalize content by the vehicle owner’s demographic and geographic information. For example, a Camaro sports car owner may receive different marketing than an Equinox SUV owner.
The embedded app framework is built entirely in the Salesforce cloud, and Ruskin highlights how he also uses the company’s Sales Cloud for OnStar’s internal business development. General Motors has already begun to partner with a number of companies on its OnStar Business Driver platform, including Priceline, Groupon, Exxon Mobile and Glympse.
The in-vehicle dashboard just rolled out earlier this past summer, and Ruskin says a second iteration focused on transactions will be premiering in early 2017. A preference center, where customers can dictate the type of messages they would like to receive, is also on the product roadmap.
Ruskin says that the platform has gone through extensive usability testing with General Motors’ distracted driver team, so the content is displayed in easily digestible snippets to keep consumers’ eyes on the road.