Establishing familiarity and trust for a new & innovative solution
In February 2015, Carsome launched a new and innovative solution to provide a holistic car selling platform that was easy-to-use. Carsome’s solution provided very minimal effort on the customer’s end as Carsome would handle all steps involving a car sale or trade-in, from initial checks to complete paperwork.
As with many innovative brands in Malaysia that are starting up, there are immense challenges in establishing integrity, credibility and authenticity. As the public perception of used-car dealerships was not very favourable, Carsome too faced a challenge building trust for its services. Carsome’s new and improved solutions bore initial feelings of distrust and questions of legitimacy.
On an online study carried out by Vase.ai in September 2018, only a fraction of consumers in Klang Valley (21%) were aware of the Carsome brand, while only 9% were ready to try out their services. Given the significant gap between awareness of the Carsome brand and those who were willing to try out Carsome's services, Carsome recognised that one of the main barriers was the trust factor of used car dealerships.
In efforts to achieve the goal of altering the perception of used-car dealerships, it was imperative that Vase.ai and Carsome understood consumers from their pain-points and address those concerns. To do this, Carsome needed insights on consumer concerns and issues that consumers were experiencing with existing vendors and platforms that are competing solutions to Carsome.
Identifying effective messaging & communication mediums to bridge trust
In order to solve the problem they were facing, Carsome needed an agile solution that enables them to be able to continuously learn, iterate and measure their implementation. Carsome worked with Vase.ai to run several waves of online market research studies. Each survey was designed to find out consumer behaviours and the patterns in awareness, knowledge, as well as spotting any seasonal factors which may be driving consumers decisions.
Carsome identified 5 crucial areas they needed to understand in order to bridge the trust of consumers
- The lack of brand awareness and familiarity with Carsome’s solutions among customers in the Klang Valley.
- The limited understanding and scope of Carsome’s services and benefits.
- The lack of understanding of how Carsome differs from other car-selling services (e.g. Carlist, Mudah).
- Consumer problems and concerns Carsome would need to be aware of and understand when selling or trading-in their vehicles.
- The distrust consumers currently have towards used car-dealerships extended to Carsome
Carsome chose to run online surveys in order to get statistically significant results in an effective and fast way. Consideration for Carsome’s current brand position and brand-health was applied when crafting questions for each section of the business. Vase.ai strategised questions into categories. Each category uncovered insights to improve Carsome’s brand health and potential strategies to educate consumers while creating a memorable brand name and image.
Realising the perpetual change in consumer behaviours, Carsome and Vase.ai knew it was essential to observe and analyse developments in consumer perception in efforts to further improve curation and design of each questionnaire. The insights gained from the Online Surveys aimed to provide Carsome with strategic communicative methods which could shed light on awareness and understanding of solutions offered by Carsome.
Curation of categorical questions aimed to understand patterns in consumer behavior and effective communicative methods & platforms
To this point, Vase.ai divides the research studies into four categories, employing four segregated sections in the questionnaire to uncover specific learnings.
Vase.ai presentation of insights in a dashboard for easy reference for consumers
Vase.ai Insights Dashboard is used to present findings from research studies to consumers. It enables users to play around with the data to further validate their hypothesis on-the-fly without needing any data analysis knowledge. This enables marketers to be data-driven and get insights in seconds.
Growth in Consumer Awareness & Knowledge of Carsome's Solutions
Key finding 1 - What Vase.ai & Carsome learned
Awareness of the Carsome brand started at 19% and grew to 27%, while consumers who think Carsome’s solutions are different grew from 18% to 30%.
Key Finding 2 - What was learned, implemented & measured
Digital advertising revealed to be the most effective form of advertising enabling Carsome to strategically apply an investment in online marketing. Vase.ai continues to track the effectiveness of this investment in current ongoing studies.
Key Finding 3 - What was learned, implemented & measured
Marketing messaging was fine-tuned from “fast, fair free” to address more accurate consumer concerns of price, credibility and trustworthiness. Vase.ai continues to track the effectiveness of this messaging to keep up with other consumer concerns.
Key Finding 4 - What Vase.ai & Carsome learned
Trust concerns were improved by using actual customers in photo ads.
Carsome's Testimonial on Vase.ai research solutions
The Vase.ai team’s understanding of Carsome's business challenges helped shape an impactful and insightful research study. We used the responses from the research to understand how to better communicate with consumers and make more effective decisions on advertising channels. We have been using the results from the surveys to revise our advertising budget allocations each quarter. We made decisions to abort certain ads and invest more in others. Our communication with consumers has also shifted to focus more on their problems and concerns. We have observed significant improvements with these alterations, thanks to Vase.ai. Furthermore, our transaction numbers as a group have grown tremendously YOY, while our group GMV also observed a significant YOY growth.
Carsome Regional Director - Marketing & Product