Tri Petch Isuzu Sales Offline Seminar

Marketing Column


Hello, I am Tomita, new business development/strategic consultant at eLife Inc.

We offer a wide range of services centered on PRM(Partner Relationship Management)  and the clients we serve. We would like to introduce some of the marketing activities that we assist companies with.

In this issue, I would like to report on the PRM study session I accompanied to Tri Petch Isuzu Sales(Tri Petch Isuzu Sales, hereafter TIS), which is in charge of the ASEAN market in a project for which I am the account manager, as part of my consulting activities, touching on the digital marketing trends in the Thai market and the issues that TIS is facing.

TIS was established in 1974 and is the exclusive distributor of Isuzu Motors in Thailand.
Since the late 1980s, "pickup trucks" have taken root in Thailand. As a commercial vehicle manufacturer, TIS has gained popularity at its more than 300 dealers throughout Thailand and boasts a large sales share, especially in pickup trucks.

In recent years, however, there has been a change in the purchasing style of Thai consumers. This is due to an increase in online information gathering via smartphones. In particular, similar to Japan, communication via LINE and Facebook is very active in Thailand. It is not uncommon for customers to negotiate with dealers via LINE before visiting the dealership.

It goes without saying that information gathering and communication through social networking services such as Facebook and Instagram also play a major role in purchasing behavior and loyalty formation, and TIS also places importance on strengthening digital marketing.

TIS initiatives

My-Circle, a web application for customers, allows users to post their owned vehicles.

In September 2022, TIS developed my-Circle, an online community for owners, as a customer base and customer relationship management(CRM) tool to centralize customer data and enhance digital communication with customers. Within 6 months of its release, the number of registered users exceeded 300,000 and continues to grow steadily.

In recent years, it is not uncommon for communities that have been established online to connect offline as well. In Thailand, business and hobbies are also popular, and there are many communities that meet offline on a regular basis. People are very active, going cycling or camping in the mountains with friends they have met online.

TIS also has dozens of offline communities in the dealer store and car model units, but there are some challenges. One of them is how to make the newly opened "my-Circle" work well with the existing communities and how to further activate them.

Another issue was how to promote the common ISUZU brand values throughout TIS, while maintaining the offline community that is currently run by many local dealers.

PRM study session held

Scene of the seminar on the day of the event

On September 6, 2022, as part of a consulting engagement, TIS and eLife Inc. held a study session on Community Management and Partner Relationship Management(PRM) in Tokyo.

About 30 dealer store owners who have business partnerships with TIS attended the event, which was hosted by TIS. The speakers were myself, Tomita, and Tara, who is a consultant for TIS.

First, the effective use of "my-Circle," an online community for owners, was introduced and each practical topic of digital community management was explained.
Participants, who are faced with daily problems, asked questions on a wide range of topics. The discussion soon became heated as participants discussed ideas on customer loyalty management and examples of concrete measures to utilize the community.

Tara emphasized the importance of maintaining the local offline community that exists at each dealership, while also working with Isuzu's online community to develop long-term fans that will add value to the overall Isuzu brand.

In response to a question from a participant about how to manage a digital community with limited resources, he replied, A community is something that is nurtured together with the users. If you treat digital communities with the same sincerity as offline communities, your customers will feel the same way. For example, don't feel pressured to reply to comments every day.

Utilization and co-creation of UGC

A particularly exciting theme was "How to increase and maintain daily customer engagement."

In Thailand, there is no car inspection system like in Japan. Therefore, there is no custom of visiting dealers regularly after purchasing a car. Therefore, it is important how to transmit information and activate the community through "my-Circle," an online community for owners. This is also where the interest of the participants lies, and we are striving to ensure that it does not end with a temporary excitement at the time of purchase.

After the event, participants were happy to hear such comments as "I was surprised at the idea of co-creating with customers, not just providing hospitality," "I benefited from eLife Inc.'s experienced knowledge," and "I learned that sharing deep customer insights can motivate employees."

I felt the very strong enthusiasm of the participants in the workshop and was reminded that the need for a framework based on experience is universal.

eLife Inc. examples of support in ASEAN for

We also provide support for the management of digital communities in ASEAN countries and China. Please allow us to introduce some of our activities below.

【Example of Wan Thai Foods Industry Co., Ltd.】
Wan Thai Foods developed an offline business to expand its instant noodle business into China. Then, with the rapid increase in demand due to the Corona disaster, a comprehensive digital marketing plan was planned and implemented. By crossing official promotions with realistic KOC(Key Opinion Consumer), he succeeded in increasing user interest and loyalty and product awareness. Established brand image by activating high quality word-of-mouth on major social networking sites.

【Example of TOAGOSEI CO., LTD.】
In order to expand the Chinese market for adhesives, the company's main product, TOAGOSEI CO., LTD. spread images and videos of its products being used for jewelry repair, handicrafts, DIY, and other enjoyable activities, and guided customers to its e-commerce website. In addition, on the Q&A site, professionals answered questions about key points when using the product. In addition to contributing to the improvement of product credibility, the campaign succeeded in generating high engagement through abundant cross-media UGC.

Even though there are various differences depending on the circumstances in each country, there are many commonalities in the management of digital communities. We hope to be of service to more companies in the future.

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