Mitsubishi Motors Expands Small Batch Initiative with Test Drive Experience
If following along with us on University Mitsubishi social media, some of our readers may already know about the “Small Batch” initiative Mitsubishi Motors shared with the auto market early summer 2019. Over the last few years, Mitsubishi Motors has experienced ever increasing success after its addition to the Renault-Nissan Alliance and the Alliance Ventures investment plan. Vice President and CMO of Mitsubishi Motors Kimberley Gardiner announced the “Small Batch” as an advertisement strategy to commemorate “carefully crafted products, thoughtfully curated collections and an unwavering, independent mindset.” In an effort to further embrace and back their own vehicles, Mitsubishi Motors North America will be expanding their “Small Batch” advertising strategy with a new direct-to-consumer test-drive pilot program called the Small Batch Drive Experience.
A lot of words are being thrown around, such as “experience” and “philosophy”, “targeting” and “communication”. Why can’t Mitsubishi just put it in laymen’s terms? After a little digging, here’s what’s going on. The Small Batch Drive Experience is a small tour Mitsubishi North America will be hosting as a test drive event in select locations across the United States. This means big name cities like New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
Citizens of those cities will be able to get behind the wheel of an all-new Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, or Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, and test drive either for up to 15 minutes. Now that’s a lot better than some of the “around the block” test drives some dealerships are known for. That’s not all the Small Batch Drive Experience will be offering, though. It’s also the testing phase for some of that artificial intelligence Mitsubishi Motors has been dabbling with for future concepts, like the e-Evolution. The Small Batch Drive Experience is powered by BirdDog and will be the first-of-its-kind tour that combines the power of engaged marketing with advanced targeting technology.
Basically, by using a new marketing trend where a brand creates an emotional connection between a product or service and the consumer, BirdDog will be able to curate and deliver a relevant and convenient personalized brand experience for consumers. How? Using what BirdDog calls a “pop-up ride and drive”. Using sophisticated technology such as social media listening, artificial intelligence, and hyper-local geo-targeting, BirdDog is able to identify clusters of consumers. These consumers can then be matched up with a detailed prospective buyer profile, which is then broken down further into venues of interest that attract that target audience, such as specific retail/wholesale environments, cultural events, coffee shops, and more.
It all sounds pretty fancy, but the Small Batch Drive Experience pilot is just another step Mitsubishi Motors is taking to reinvent how prospective consumers discover, shop for, and purchase Mitsubishi vehicles, as well as how they experience driving them. The automaker wants to change the way the brand communicates with current and prospective consumer by engaging with them, much like smart devices do today. Except, the consumer doesn’t have to say “Hey Mitsubishi” before getting a suggestion.
That’s what it sounds like is going on doesn’t it? Maybe not that per se, but it sounds like BirdDog uses a driver profile to suggest places of interest without the driver needing to ask. If that technology is available, then perhaps consumers will also be able to eventually talk to their vehicles. If that’s the kind of engagement Mitsubishi is going for with this pilot program, it might be a worthwhile event to join.
The pilot program kicks off Wednesday, Aug. 28 in Los Angeles. See below for specific program dates:
Los Angeles, CA: Aug. 28 – Sept. 8
San Francisco, CA: Sept. 11 – Sept. 22
New York, NY: Oct. 2 – Oct. 13
Will you be in the area for a test drive? If you’re allowed to take some pictures, be sure to share them when you join the discussion on University Mitsubishi social media.