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Working with conversion specialists to grow the Autogas market in Turkey

Aygaz – Turkey’s leading marketer of Autogas – has run two new campaigns with convertors to encourage motorists to get their fuel system checked regularly. Burak Pala, Marketing Expert at Aygaz, reports.

The sustainability of a market is achieved through the efforts of many stakeholders.

But even if everyone does their bit, all markets reach saturation at some point. In order to revitalise market growth, new initiatives such as collaborative programmes and public information campaigns are needed. This is exactly what has been happening with Autogas in Turkey. In 2012, the Turkish Autogas market did not grow as fast as in previous years. More than 40% of passenger car owners had already been convinced to switch their cars to run on Autogas, but the remaining 60% were hesitating to do so.

Through market research, we discovered that potential users were discouraged from using Autogas mainly because of a perception that Autogas is an unsafe fuel and because they do not trust conversion centres. On top of this, what Autogas car owners experience in using their cars not only affects their attitudes towards the fuel in the future but also other potential users’ perceptions. In addressing these concerns, two factors are of vital importance: high-quality conversions and regular check-ups and adjustment of the Autogas fuel system to make sure the car runs efficiently and safely. Every Autogas car owner should take his/her car to a conversion centre every 10 000 kilometres to verify that the fuel system is working correctly and have it adjusted if necessary, as well as to make sure there are no gas leakages anywhere. Being the market leader of Turkish autogas market, Aygaz decided to take on responsibility for trying to convince potential users that safe and reliable conversion is possible and to inform Autogas users that regular gas system checks are crucial in ensuring that their cars run smoothly and safely. This was not a simple task, so we sought out support from the conversion specialists.

Recognising the importance of the conversion centres for the Autogas market, we founded a special club, Aygaz Conversion Centers Club, in 2010 to bring together all officially approved convertors, in order to try to attract new customers to the centres. We provided the convertors with financial incentives through a loyalty programme and invested in improving the quality of service at conversion centres. We advertised the existence of the club through radio adverts, highlighting the fact that all club members are registered with the Turkish Standards Institute. That was an important step in improving collaboration between Aygaz and the conversion specialists. Having gained the confidence of specialists, we decided that it was time to launch campaigns in which the members also participate. We created two different campaigns: one for potential Autogas users and one for existing users.

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For potential users reluctant to switch their cars to Autogas, the campaign involved offering a special 100 Turkish Lira reduction in the cost of installing an Autogas system and 100 TL worth of free fuel. We convinced the conversion specialists to shave their profits by 100 TL on each conversion, making the offer valid for all brands of Autogas kit and so magnifying the effectiveness of the campaign. In order to encourage existing Autogas car owners to take their cars to the conversion centres regularly, we launched a campaign offering 60 TL worth of free Autogas and, with the support of the convertors, making the check up and adjustment free of charge. We decided to advertise the campaigns through an unconventional channel. We know that 1 million Autogas vehicles change hands every year in Turkey on the second-hand car market, representing an excellent medium to influence the customers who will become the new owner of these vehicles. Moreover, according to survey results, 13% of consumers who buy their second-hand car as a gasoline car then convert it to run on Autogas.

Getting the message across to the people buying gasoline cars in the second-hand car market was vital for the conversion campaign. Today, most people look for second-hand cars by using internet sites, so we decided to collaborate with the biggest e-commerce platform in Turkey – Sahibinden.com – which has more than 3 million adverts across a range of categories like real estate, vehicles and household consumer goods. Some 3.5 million people consult Sahibinden.com every day and a sale is recorded every 13 seconds. Our campaign banner was included in all advertisements for both Autogas and gasoline car adverts in line with our strategy of attracting the attention of both potential and existing Autogas car users to the benefits of using the fuel and the importance of good conversions and regular checks.

The banner, which ran for two-and-a-half months on the pages of approximately 200 000 car adverts, worked very well. Our advertisement included a calculation tool to underline the financial advantage of Autogas as well as the details of our campaigns. When the consumer entered the annual mileage details in the text box placed in the advert, based on the actual fuel consumption of the car in question, the annual expenditures of the car with running on gasoline, Autogas and Aygaz Autogas were displayed. The Aygaz calculation tool on the sahibinden.com website.

Consumers who clicked on the Autogas banner were directed towards the Depometre (Tankmeter) application on the Aygaz Autogas Facebook page. With this application, consumers were able to compare the actual fuel consumption and the potential consumption of their cars – a great tool to make them realise the importance of regular gas system checks. The Depometre (Tankmeter) application on Facebook for Autogas car users.   People who clicked on the adverts on the gasoline cars’ pages were directed to the campaign page. The information about Autogas on this page also aimed to raise consumer awareness of the advantages of using the fuel. To eliminate the concerns of potential users about Autogas, we launched an awareness-raising campaign in parallel. This campaign informed consumers that Autogas is a safe, economical, widely used, environmentally friendly and high-performance fuel, reaching out to a broad target group through mass communication channels.

This campaign played an important role in influencing the petrol car users to switch their cars to Autogas. The results of the campaigns demonstrated that our efforts were worthwhile. Our banners on Sahibinden.com were viewed almost a billion times and attracted 1.3 million times clicks. And approximately 30 000 people who clicked on the banner later used the Depometre application on the Aygaz Auto Gas Facebook page. After using the application online, almost 5 000 consumers then visited a conversion workshop and took advantage of the free system adjustment and free Autogas fuel promotion. These figures prove that the campaigns attracted a lot of attention. On top of that, 1 701 people also converted their vehicles to run on Autogas – an increase of 3% on the average rate of conversion. Those figures were enough to convince ourselves that we helped the market to grow further. The icing on the cake was an award that we have won for the campaigns: the gold award in the direct marketing category of the prestigious Mixx Awards contest.

The Aygaz marketing team wins the Gold Mixx Award in the direct marketing category. To sum up, with the launch of the Aygaz Conversion Centers club and our information campaigns, we have brought benefits not just to our business and that of the conversion specialists, but also to motorists. We are planning to form even closer relationships with the conversion specialists in the near future to help the market grow further.

To learn more about Aygaz’ campaigns, please do not hesitate to contact Burak at burak.pala@aygaz.com.tr.