Nissan Uses Social Insights to Drive Electric Car Sales

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Nissan Uses Social Insights to Drive Electric Car Sales


nissan green logoWhen Nissan first launched an electric car, the Nissan Leaf, they discovered that consumers were a little wary of the idea of electric vehicles. So, the automotive company was eager to uncover what was specifically holding people back from switching from petrol, diesel or hybrid to the environmentally conscious alternative, the electric vehicle.

They decided that listening to attitudes and opinions on social media forums and across the web was the best way to understand this reluctance. Using Synthesio’s platform, Nissan monitored and analyzed online consumer conversations, and as a result, they discovered some key barriers to purchase. These included concerns over battery range and recharging infrastructures, question marks about running costs, and doubts about the drive quality.

The company also discovered that once people had actually experienced driving a Leaf, they tended to be a lot more positive and enthusiastic about electric cars. Test drives were therefore identified as a key lever for driving positive buzz online.

Nissan provided the findings to its creative agencies and asked them to incorporate this new found social intelligence into their brainstorming and key messaging for a significant new marketing campaign promoting the Leaf.

They went on to create a multi-market, integrated campaign called “The Big Turn On” – aimed at “turning people on” to the concept of electric vehicles, keeping the Nissan Leaf at front of mind for consumers, and generating appointments for 24 hour test drives. The campaign focused on being very “social” – with various online elements which were designed to be shared and engaged with.

nissan leaf

Nissan used Synthesio’s monitoring dashboards to benchmark the impact of the campaign, not just in relation to raw buzz, but also in terms of shifting perceptions around the key barriers to purchase.

More than one million consumers got involved in the ‘The Big Turn On’ campaign and a significant number of positive user-generated conversations took place about electric vehicles, which can easily be found online, creating a lasting positive legacy.

A year after the campaign took place the electric vehicle market has taken off and the Nissan Leaf is now one of the world’s top selling electric vehicles.

The Nissan Leaf campaign highlighted how careful social media monitoring and analysis can be used to identify the barriers that prevent consumers from making purchases. Using this information, a targeted marketing campaign can be created which challenges these barriers and drives purchases. Further monitoring throughout the campaign can also help to refine tactics and ensure the campaign is a success. The same rules apply for electric cars as they do for electric razors, or any other product or service. In short, social media monitoring can be a valuable tool for any business or brand.

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