Innovative automotive content marketing ideas have helped Porsche Club GB keep in touch with members during the pandemic. The Club’s Digital Executive George Woodward reveals how they have mobilised their unique brand community and the results they’ve enjoyed.
April’s edition of Porsche Post landed with Club members on 20th March, coinciding with the first announcements of social distancing and self-isolation.
Implementing our automotive marketing ideas
With events postponed, bars and cafes closed and the public asked to stay at home, we found ourselves with a very captive audience. We understood the power of our brand community and the need to keep them interested in Porsche Club GB and actively taking part where they could. We wanted to engage with them as we would seek to do offline and needed to come up with some unique automotive marketing ideas.
Thankfully Porsche Post proved itself up to the challenge. The feedback we received was fantastic, with Club members grateful for the welcome distraction.
But as new restrictions rolled into place, forcing a quickly diminishing events calendar and another copy of our beloved magazine not due for another four weeks, we were left with a challenge on our hands. Normally at this time of year our social media channels would be swarming with details of upcoming events, but with no events to promote it was time for a new strategy in order to stay active.
Thankfully, we were able to draw from a back catalogue of assets and repurpose copy from magazine features earlier in the year. We posted the incredible imagery on social media to ensure Club members continued to enjoy a stunning supply of Porsches in their timelines.
Rather than dwell on events pushed back to later in the year, we asked Club members to tell us those they enjoyed most last year and where they were most looking forward to travelling to once it becomes appropriate to do so. Makeshift photo studios were created in kitchens, studies and living rooms as Club members snapped photos of their favourite models and memorabilia to join in with #DreamsAreMadeAtHome. Impromptu photoshoots took place on driveways for the #ClassicsForCarers stay at home car show.
Virtual racing becomes a reality
The concept of sim racing had been discussed at length within the office and while its merits had long been recognised, it was still in the planning stages of a launch. When our scheduled motorsport activities were put on hold, we reached out to a Club member who was happy to help provide the knowledge we needed to get the project moving.
With a brief history of sim racing on the Club website and a simple guide on getting started, we announced our plans for a championship on social media and ended up with one of our most engaging Instagram posts of the past 12 months.
We have now hosted three ‘shakedowns’ using a variety of Porsches and circuits and have a calendar of eight championship races and two inter-continental contests with Porsche Club of America for some friendly inter-Club rivalry. In a similar vein, Porsche has moved its international Supercut Championship to a virtual platform and made the races available via live streams. Each one has been hosted on the Porsche Club website so Club members can continue to enjoy their motorsport fix.
The drive to digital
We rely on a network of volunteers to deliver events at a local level and many led the initiative to move their monthly meetings online. Using our integrated newsletter system, invites were flying out to join in quizzes, challenges and even a stay-home scavenger hunt! Club members who had previously never made it to an event were able to join in from the comfort of their own home, or in some cases – from the driving seat of their Porsche while it was stationary in the garage.
Once again we were able to draw from the wealth of knowledge within our membership and people stepped forward to offer their services as part of presentations available to all Club members, starting with a photography workshop, a series of driver development seminars and a guide to detailing so as to keep their Porsche looking its very best during lockdown. Inevitably there was the odd scheduling clash and so we found a way to share the presentations on our website with member-only access. This made them a great promotional tool to encourage new members and membership renewal.
Following each presentation we have been incredibly humbled by the positive response from Club members who attended and there is a growing desire for these virtual events to continue long after lockdown is lifted. By bringing the event to the member, geography is no longer a barrier and more members can enjoy access to exclusive events
Our newsletters to Club members have always been one of our most effective methods of engagement and they’ve continued to play a vital role in keeping Club members up to speed with the latest news. In fact, we’ve seen an increase in open rates with our members keen to find the details of upcoming presentations and how to catch up on those they’ve missed.
With so much new content added to our website, we’ve started to incorporate key news from the Porsche world as well as details of activities for the young (and young at heart) and, most importantly, let them know that Porsche Post in still in a production and a new one is on its way!
All of this activity helped keep members engaged during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic and contributed to an award nomination for Porsche Post - shortlisted for Best Membership at the CMAs.
Find out how other brands are bringing their automotive marketing ideas to life during the coronavirus epidemic.
Main image of the Porsche Cayman GT4 by George Woodward
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