Each year, Toyota holds an annual conference for its global distributors, an influential group responsible for bringing Toyota products into their home markets, supporting local dealers on sales, marketing and service and providing input into the appropriate product mix for their regions. Organized by Toyota's Global Knowledge Center (GKC), the conference gives distributors the opportunity to network, share best practices and learn about the latest trends in the areas of sales, service and customer relationships. As a Field Operations Manager for Toyota's Global Knowledge Center (GKC), Marc Stein is responsible for bringing education and actionable insights to the distributors, who in turn, share this information with the teams in their markets.
In planning the 2012 annual meeting, it was decided that customer loyalty would be the key theme for the event. In support, Marc wanted to provide a well-rounded set of messages that fit into a broader CRM context. He needed content for his distributors to address the global automotive outlook, ways to retain customers and strategies for enhancing aftersales operations. Furthermore, he wanted these key insights to be shared by outside experts. To this end, Marc invited Automotive to present at Toyota's private CRM Forum in Puerto Rico. Based on IHS Markit's extensive experience working with automakers around the globe and its decades-long partnership with Toyota, he was confident that IHS Markit would provide value to the meeting participants.
Three-Pronged Presentation by Industry Experts
IHS Markit's challenge was to prepare a presentation with insights, information and educational content that would be relevant to the group of distributors and managers who came from more than 25 countries to attend the meeting. Since the group contained many participants who had worked for Toyota for 15 years or more, the presentation needed to provide content of value to seasoned auto industry professionals. IHS Markit also had to balance the needs of attendees from less mature automotive markets with those from countries where Toyota is more established. IHS Markit brought together a team of industry experts to speak on three topics: the global vehicle industry outlook, improving customer loyalty and building customer advocacy through the aftersales experience. During the development of the presentation, the IHS Markit team worked closely with Marc to ensure that the presentation met his objectives.
The vehicle forecasting portion of the presentation contained industry forecast data for the worldwide auto industry and discussed demand in emerging vs. mature markets. The presentation honed in on forecasting trends for Latin America and specific countries for the region since a large number of attendees came from this area of the world. Distributors and managers also benefitted from competitive intelligence showing how Toyota compares to key competitors in terms of market share and investments in several regional markets. Since the conference was being held in Puerto Rico with a large number of attendees from Latin America, this portion of the content was presented by an IHS Markit Lead Analyst who covers South America as part of IHS Markit's Forecasting Practice and is a native of Brazil with extensive industry experience in Latin America.
Polk's presentation at Toyota's annual CRM Forum provided our global distributors with valuable, credible and unbiased information and perspectives on the worldwide auto industry source.
Tying directly to the meeting's CRM theme, the second segment of IHS Markit's presentation focused on how to build customer loyalty. IHS Markit's VP of Marketing & Industry Analysis discussed the relationship between loyalty and CRM, factors influencing loyalty and a how to build a financial business case for investing in loyalty initiatives. Recognizing that meeting participants wanted actionable ideas, the presentation also contained insights into how to identify likely defectors and some tactics that distributors and managers can use to generate loyalty in their home markets.
The third part of IHS Markit's presentation built on the topic of CRM by discussing how to build customer advocacy during the aftersales experience with the goal of increasing service retention. IHS Markit's Global Aftersales Practice Leader shared data and trends regarding service retention and the link to repurchase. The presentation contained best practices for aftersales loyalty programs and tactical ideas for distributors to try in their home markets.
Valuable Education from a Credible Expert
The presentation generated positive discussion among the meeting attendees, and enabled some of the distributors to gain insights from IHS Markit into how to
Figure 1: Excerpt from Polk Presentation – Global Vehicle Forecast
address specific challenges they are facing in their markets. Marc heard positive feedback from participants and was highly satisfied with the presentation, which he felt provided beneficial, credible and unbiased information. Informal discussion from attendees indicated that distributors in less mature auto markets found value in learning about more sophisticated models of business in established markets.
IHS Markit plans to follow up with the team of global distributors to find out how they are putting the information to work in their home markets.
Figure 2: Excerpt from Polk Presentation – Potential Drivers of Customer Loyalty