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Tech companies are flocking to the automotive industry.
Many high tech companies are targeting the auto sector as their biggest growth market, as the automotive industry begins to spend billions of dollars over the next decade to meet the emerging trends of autonomous vehicles, electrified cars, connected cars, ride-hailing/ride-sharing, artificial intelligence (AI) and data management.
But selling to the 100+year-old auto industry isn’t as easy as it might seem. Though it is rapidly changing, the auto industry is still vastly different from the tech sector in many ways, including:
– Automotive operates on a different clock speed and rhythm – new vehicle development cycles typically span 2 to 3 years, while next-generation cell phones, software and laptops are developed in mere months. Automakers and top-tier suppliers are looking for technology partners that can go the distance.
– Automotive requires fail-safe safety – while a software glitch that causes a laptop to crash is aggravating until the next upgrade, a software malfunction that causes a vehicle to crash can cost lives … and can risk an automaker’s entire future.
– Automotive moves cautiously, and tests, retests and tests again – an automaker must bring together components from thousands of suppliers to create a bullet-proof vehicle that performs flawlessly for 10 years or more under all kinds of environmental and endurance conditions.
– Automotive relies on preferred proven partners who help them minimize risk – automakers select partners carefully, looking at those who have proven they have the capital, infrastructure, Six Sigma quality and automotive-grade production capacity to bring technologies to the finish line.
– Automotive, more than any other sector, is all about relationships – because of the long-term interdependence upon its supply chain, automakers need partners they can trust. And that trust is built through long-term relationships. There are no shortcuts, no hacks. Just hard work.
Many tech companies are struggling with getting their story told in the automotive sector. They find they are communicating on different wavelengths than their automotive targets.
So, to help them better navigate the unfamiliar seas of the automotive world, tech companies are turning to PR firms that have deep experience with these waters.
Navigating the Tumultuous Tides of Automotive
There are many critical – and potentially costly – differences in doing PR between the tech and automotive sectors. As a tech company trying to tell your story in the automotive space, you face some rough waters and headwinds:
• A different set of media and reporters to deal with
• A different set of thought leaders and influencers to target
• A different set of venues, trade shows and conferences where your customers congregate
• A different set of industry trends and issues that your prospects are concerned with
• A (vastly) different point of view and way of operating, and
• A different set of priorities in terms of communication channels
Having the right PR navigator, one who knows these seas, can help a tech company to avoid getting capsized, run aground or being plundered by pirates, communicatively, and can help them reach their destination safely, efficiently and effectively.
An experienced automotive PR firm, especially one that has worked with auto and technology suppliers in Detroit for more than 25 years, can help a tech company by offering:
• Deep expertise in the automotive supplier sector
• Long-term relationships with the key reporters and correspondents that cover the auto industry for local Detroit, trade, national business and global consumer media
• Deep understanding of the key trends, issues and disruptive forces that are driving the automotive industry and that reporters are writing about
• Know the key industry influencers, venues, conferences and trade shows that move the needle
• Insight gained by spending more than 40 days each year participating in key automotive events to support clients and keep their finger on the pulse of reporters and customers
• Experienced professionals who live and breathe the auto industry every day.
Now you could use your tech PR firm to help you with the automotive business. However, that would be costly, as you will pay them for all the time it takes to get up to speed on the auto industry (it could take months!).
Moreover, if the tech PR firm is based in Silicon Valley, Boston or New York City, you will likely pay rates that are much higher than Detroit rates.
Look: if you are booking a fishing charter for the deep seas, you’re not going to want to use a Great Lakes fishing guide. You’re going to want a guide who sails the deep seas every day… who knows where the fish are … who knows the best baits, the timing of the tides, and the many other factors that will enhance the success of your charter.
Likewise, if you are going fishing in the automotive seas, you are going to be most successful with a guide who is most familiar with those waters.
To learn more about how a Detroit PR firm that specializes in the OEM automotive business, contact Jim Bianchi at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 248.269.1122.