Illustration of an aerial shot of people gathered to make the shape of a car

There’s a growing appetite for membership clubs as a way of connecting with highly passionate audiences. Car membership clubs in particular are in a great position to capitalise on this trend.

Thanks to ongoing developments in audience behaviour, automotive communities are full of emerging opportunities for the people that join them and the people that run them. The combination of the real world and digital platforms can provide the perfect environment to engage, foster and monetise passionate audiences.

We wanted to explore this area further and see how data could inform how we support our clients. That's why we used Audiense, which uses social data to provide audience analysis, to look at the communities around 15 branded car clubs or ones celebrating marques to understand characteristics, interests and buying mindsets.

Check out our blog on using social media listening tools to understand audience behaviour and help create relevant content.

Car clubs and membership communities

Car clubs have a very special place in the hearts of their members. Their choice of car is an important part of their identity and self-image. Check out our Automotive Report for more insights on the car user journey.

We can see this clearly in the Audiense data. Users are congregating around the most iconic brands such as Mini, Ferrari, MG, BMW, Porsche and Alfa Romeo and key aspects of the driving experience such as motorsports and classic cars. The brand itself is often a key part of their interest, both in terms of what it represents - luxury, adventure, fun and so on - as well as the design.

In car membership clubs, we see evidence of true brand communities where members have a shared passion and goals but often have other similar interests that connect them too - for example, someone who is enthusiastic about electric vehicles might be interested in tech more generally as well. These interests can provide vital information for editorial and advertising teams.

Naturally, for the right type of car brand, a members' club is the perfect forum to connect with the most engaged audiences, drive loyalty and create word-of-mouth.

And, for relevant businesses and advertisers, it’s a great place to both start and continue any conversation. Any message is likely to be more welcome here in this already-engaged exclusive community than in other types of media.

Take our work with Porsche Club Great Britain. Membership of PCGB offers access to a large and growing range of exclusive benefits, and these provide so much value that they help with member retention. In turn, it offers the opportunity to tailor content specific to the audience and their wider interests, including from associated brands. Those members can often become brand advocates for advertisers, the club or both too.

Car clubs, content, manuals and print

If we refer to the Audiense data, we can see that the general car club audience is interested in anything and everything car-related. Of course they are!

But, compared to the UK as a whole, this audience is more likely to connect around specific car brands, automotive media like Classic Cars, automotive experts and media personalities like Chris Harris, James May and Richard Hammond and racing drivers like Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.

These interests can spark great editorial ideas. Opportunities for content can stretch across multiple channels such as print and digital magazines, web, social channels, apps, newsletters and so on. With the help of data, you can pick the right tool for the job to make sure your content achieves the greatest return on investment.

But, when we look at what else they’re interested in, we can see other opportunities for unique content creation. As a whole, this audience’s top three interests are sports (rugby, football and cricket), science (engineering, weather and physics) and travel (transport, hotels and tourist destinations). Areas where these subjects intersect with their favourite car brands may offer strong prospects for content that really connects with the audience.

This is a generalisation, of course, and it is looking at the summation of data across all of the 15 membership clubs instead of focussing in on just one. However, if we drill down into the data, certain marques inspire their audiences in different ways - for example, entertainment or travel may be more important for some people than others within the same club. This also needs to be reflected in the content, events and advertising.

Car clubs and advertising

Events hosted by a car club as well as online and print content can affect the types of relationship they have with advertisers, sponsors and companies who can also help generate interest and revenue for these organisations. 

One size doesn't need to fit all, and opportunities for brand partnerships and sponsorships can be calibrated. To expand the theme to motorcycles as well, Dialogue works with the iconic global brand Harley-Davidson to create partnerships for events and membership offerings such as H-D’s European Bike Week. This event is free to attend and builds brand awareness while also offering great opportunities for partners such as Uppercut Deluxe, who gave free haircuts to members and added a touch of style by using their own products.  

Again, it pays to look at the data and understand this audience’s behaviour. These audiences are much more likely to be on LinkedIn, WhatsApp, X (formerly Twitter), Reddit and Pinterest than people in the UK as a whole.

Crucially, Audiense data also allows us to understand their buying mindset. Compared to the rest of the UK, these people are much more likely to be influenced by both brand name (50.21% vs 41.61%) and product utility (40.01% vs 29.46%), meaning these are the key messages that need to be dialled up in any promotions.

This valuable group of automotive fans can be nurtured as a brand community to drive repeat sales and spread word of mouth while also generating valuable advertising and sponsorship revenue. Talk to us today to find out how.

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Dialogue creates award-winning multichannel content that inspires, informs and excites your audience. We are a team of marketing specialists in print, online platforms, email communications, magazines, video creation, digital media and more.

Medium Content Marketing Agency of the Year 2023
Medium Content Marketing Agency of the Year 2022
ALF Sales & Marketing Award Winner 2023
Classic and Sports Car Club Awards
Content Marketing Award Silver
Content Marketing Award Gold
MemberWise Recognised Supplier 2024
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