In these days of struggling sales and overall industry turmoil, automotive manufacturers recognize the importance of spending resources wisely and focusing on areas with bottom-line impact. One such strategic focus is customer loyalty, which should be viewed as a “must” for automakers hoping to compete. Unlike other consumer products with more frequent replacement cycles, auto buyers often don’t return to market for three or four years…or even longer. Therefore, loyalty needs to be an ongoing focus to ward against customer defection.

Common wisdom and empirical evidence suggest that it costs significantly less to retain an existing customer than it does to acquire a new one, making loyalty especially critical in times when corporate marketing budgets are scrutinized. Of course, while customer retention is necessary to maintain market share and sales volumes, loyalty alone won’t grow these key metrics. Therefore, especially now, OEMs need to find the proper balance for spending money and devoting resources to customer loyalty vs. customer acquisition.

To help automakers tackle the loyalty piece of the puzzle, this white paper examines ways that OEMs can manage owner loyalty. Drawing on Polk’s nearly 20-year history of helping automakers create, manage and improve customer loyalty, this white paper:

  • Highlights evolving changes in owner loyalty trends
  • Provides strategic tips to help automakers focus on and improve loyalty
  • Quantifies the importance of loyalty through linkage to financial performance

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This white paper was written in January 2010 by DAN ZETU, an analytic Consultant with R. L. Polk & Co. focusing on implementing advanced solutions that solve critical marketing problems. © 2010 R. L. Polk & Co. All rights reserved. www.polk.com