This is how big carmakers will reach Saudi women drivers

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Automotive dealers in Saudi Arabia are taking their marketing strategies into high gear to capitalise on the lifting of the ban on women drivers in the kingdom.

Yesterday, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud revoked the Kingdom’s ban on women drivers, saying women in the country will be allowed to drive by June 2018.

This landmark move opens up a whole new contingent of potential customers for automakers and dealers, who are enthusiastically considering the most effective ways to reach out to new women drivers by next year.

Driving force

Hussein M Dajani, General Manager – Digital Marketing, Africa, Middle East, and India, Nissan Motor Co., tells GMR he is optimistic. Nissan was the first brand to react on the announcement of the Royal decree by launching a Real-Time Marketing piece of work with the great support of its Nissan United partner agencies (pictured left), he reveals. “We welcome the Royal Decree and believe there will be a lot of marketing and commnication role and potential for us to play in this area which will enable us to further connect with future women drivers,” Dajani says.

He elaborates: “This is going to be a positive sign as our marketing and communications strategy will now be directed both towards our male as well as female customers, who are great admirers of automobile experience as a brand. Digital though, will play a big part of the communication mix, as females in Saudi are highly engaged and present in the Digital space. It is definitely exciting times for females and Nissan alike, and we are looking forward to being the preferred choice of brand to women drivers in the Kingdom through the various touchpoints we will connect with them.”

In the driving seat

Similarly, Crystal Worthem, Marketing Director at Ford Middle East & Africa, tells GMR: “We are considering several ways to welcome our new customers. This includes reviewing product and marketing strategies, dealership facility requirements and the overall customer experience.”

“Ford,” she adds, “has had ongoing dialogues with our female audience in the Kingdom, via our market research work but also through a series of long-standing initiatives.”

“We will also be exploring new and emerging opportunities, such as expanding our Driving Skills for Life initiative,” she notes. “We will continue to work closely with our dealer partners in Saudi Arabia to understand the needs of Saudi female customers and what their product, technology and services preferences are.”

Likewise, Deesch Papke, Chief Executive Officer, Porsche Middle East & Africa FZE, said, “These are exciting times indeed and we look forward to the rollout of our initiatives.”

“We are in discussion with our Saudi partner and have some very appealing proposals and plans already in motion, as we anticipated the recent announcement,” he added.

“As our global marketing strategy,” he continued, “tends to focus on the product rather than gender, race or age, we will drive the passion for Porsche through a variety of Marketing measures that go far beyond classic advertising.”

– By Sunil Kumar Singh