A microsite tool for the sales-oriented
introduction of a new product
The tyre market is highly competitive. Especially in the winter tyre segment the pressure to develop new products is enormous. Numerous manufacturers advertise not only current models. They also use a multitude of marketing channels to introduce their latest creations. Many overlook the fact that successful market penetration must stand on three columns: product, brand and sales …
Develop a microsite for the introduction of new tyre models
Target group: Existing customers and potential buyers
Continental is a leading supplier of automotive brake systems, chassis components, auto electronics, tyres and technical elastomers. The automotive tyre division encompasses numerous brands such as Continental, Uniroyal, Semperit and Barum. Sixteen manufacturing sites throughout the world produce more than 250,000 automobile tyres daily.
With this extensive product and brand offering, it is difficult to single out any particular product in the range. However, for the introduction of a new product, it is necessary to point out, in detail, any features that separate that product from its competitors.
Use the Internet to introduce potential buyers to a new Continental winter tyre, the TS 800. Absorbed in the visual advantages of the Internet, the product highlights should be plastically simulated by showing the new tyre where it excels: on wet surfaces, on icy streets or on snow-covered roads. Communicating the product's features via Internet helps accomplishing preparatory work. Hence the potential buyers are able to bring the previous knowledge to a sales discussion.
Conceptualize and implement a sales-oriented microsite for the 2005 introduction of the product
In the fall of 2005, Continental introduced their new TS 800 in five European markets using the look and feel of the company's own microsite. An animated flash trailer reminded viewers of winter driving hazards, emotionally underlining the theme with the simple, but effective, statement "winter's coming!"
The core of the site was an interactive weather configuator capable of highlighting the advantages of the new TS 800. With a simple mouse click, the winter road in view on the monitor could be made slippery wet, treacherously icy or dangerously snowy. The viewer then sees how the technology of the new TS 800 tyre comes to grips with each road surface.
"Safe through the winter," the brand-oriented chapter of the microsite, gives viewers important tips about winter driving, with specifics about when and how to mount winter tyres. Additionally, the site addresses the ten most common misconceptions about winter tyres – about, for example, their being "slower" than regular tyres, about their being "unattractive" and issues of that sort. By providing information of this kind for tyre users, Continental underlines the competence of the company, documents the quality of the brand, and promotes enthusiasm for its products.
Well informed about the new TS 800, and perhaps a primary incentive to buy, the viewer can use the website configuator to check on the availability of a size that fits his or her car. If a needed size does not exist in a TS 800 model, an appropriate Continental substitute is recommended. For closure, the site shows the viewer, in a print-ready format, where to find the dealer who stocks the recommended Continental tyre.
To generate information about users, the microsite contains a game. This is accessed through a pop-up banner that entices with the possibility of winning tickets for the 2006 World Soccer Championships. The banner also appears as a popup on various auto, motor and general interest websites.
Because of the autonomy of the microsite, access is possible through various channels. Links from banners and the sites of affiliate companies and tyre dealers facilitate entrance to the site, distinguishing the product from the competition, underlining its existence and thereby enhancing its penetration into the market.
Ready to roll:
More than a million viewers read up on Continental's new tyres
By using an easily accessed open presentation, the multi-media portrayal of the product and the associated product range contained a wealth of information that generated keen interest in the product. The success of this venture resulted in Continental's use of Bassier, Bergmann & Kindler for its third microsite: for Conti's TS 810 / TS 810 Sport winter tyres and the new summer tyre, the ContiPremiumContact 2. More than a million users utilize this channel to learn more about Continental tyres, to increase their knowledge about tyres in general, and to determine the tyre type best for their automobiles. Hence the microsite accomplished valuable preparatory work in sales.
In this manner, Continental regularly keeps tyre users aware of the Continental brand, thereby integrating three columns of effective communications strategy: product, brand and sales.