Healthcare Marketing Lessons from James Bond’s Favorite Car Company

What goes well with James Bond?

Tuxes and martinis, sure. But we can’t forget about the signature Aston Martin!

Ever since Sean Connery drove one in Goldfinger, it’s become the “bad boy’s” super car of choice.

That’s about to change…

Aston Martin just revealed a bold new strategy that will shake up their business to its very core.

Keep reading to see how they’ll attract more female customers and breathe life into the brand…and key takeaways you can apply in the world of healthcare marketing.

Hard Times and Cutthroat Competition

Photo Credit: The Car Spy

Aston Martin has gone through seven bankruptcies in its 103-year history. They haven’t had a profitable year since 2010.

In the last decade, they’ve gone from selling around 7,000 cars a year to somewhere in the 4,000’s.

To make things worse, other ultra-premium auto companies, like Ferrari and Porsche, are crowding the tiny market. They have deeper pockets and more marketing support.

Something needed to change at Aston Martin…fast.

Forced to Adapt

Big news came at this year’s Geneva Auto Show.

Andy Palmer, Aston Martin’s new CEO, made some big waves at a press conference where he revealed the company was releasing a brand new model, the DB11.

This car was different. The DB11 didn’t just look cool and drive fast. It represented the first step in a radical new strategy to stay competitive in the crowded ultra-premium auto market.

How They’re Doing It

Aston Martin knew they had to evolve or they’d face a slow and painful death.

Here’s how they plan to do just that:

Targeting a New Demographic: Young Women

Did you know that around 95% of all the Aston Martins ever sold were sold to men?

It’s true. The brand and middle-aged, wealthy men go hand in hand.

CEO Andy Palmer saw the danger in this. With so many competitors hounding the exact same type of customer, there had to be a better way than relying on such a tiny niche.

That led Palmer to target a notoriously under-served market in the luxury auto world: wealthy women.

Aston Martin is taking this broader approach seriously. They’re changing the design and interior of their cars, planning on more female and family-friendly models (like crossovers and full-size sedans), and brainstorming new ways to reach women.

They’ve also honed in on the exact woman they’d like to target: “Charlotte.”  “Charlotte” is a persona of a wealthy woman in her late 30’s, who is an American working mother with plenty of money to spend.

Creating In-Person Marketing Experiences for Past Customers

Though Aston Martin is making a big push to target a new demographic, they aren’t neglecting their old demographic.

They understand that the typical man who loves and buys one of their cars is much more likely to buy another and become an Aston Martin customer for life.

That’s a big part of their marketing strategy with the DB11. Aston Martin teams are reaching out to previous customers and arranging to bring a new DB11 to them so they can see it and try it out in person. They’ve turned it into a party – a fun experience with catered food – in which the customer can participate.

This creates an immersive, interactive experience – much like the showstoppers we saw at this year’s South by Southwest festival.

Tapping into Past Customers’ Networks to Use Word of Mouth

Selling such an expensive product (the DB11 starts at around $200,000!) means that Aston Martin doesn’t need to sell a ton of cars to turn their business around…

But it’s also much more difficult to find potential buyers. The pool of people who can afford and want a car like the DB11 is very small.

That’s why they’ve decided to lean on their customers’ networks to hopefully expand their own.

The DB11 in-person demo and test drive isn’t just a solitary experience. Aston Market lets customers invite 12 friends so they can see the new model and try it out as well. Because we tend to spend time with people who have similar financial statuses and interests, this is a great way to reach these ultra-wealthy networks and get people talking among their friends.

Key Marketing Insights for Healthcare


Photo Credit: Michael Havens

Six-figure sports cars might not seem like anything you’re doing in healthcare, but Aston Martin’s new strategies can help revolutionize your marketing. Here are a few key takeaways:

Use Customer Personas to Focus Your Marketing Strategies

By creating “Charlotte” and getting extremely detailed about who she is and what she likes, Aston Martin made it easier for themselves to find her in the real world.

Her customer persona, much more specific than “wealthy women,” actually informed design decisions about the DB11’s interior…and even which new models Aston Martin will produce in the next few years.

And it doesn’t stop there! Charlotte’s persona also informed Aston Martin’s marketing strategy. Because they “knew” Charlotte so well, they had a better idea of where to find her and how to build a relationship.

This is a great thing to do and redo every six months or so as your business changes. You might realize you’re looking for customers in the wrong places, or overlooking an obvious opportunity. It also helps you keep a “human-first” marketing approach and allows you to stay focused on building real relationships.

Explore Under-Served Markets – Don’t Be Afraid to Pivot

Who else might be interested in your products or services?

Does your customer know they have a problem that your product or service can solve?

Can you build awareness not only for your solution but also for a newly-coined condition or category to expand your reach?

Sometimes it’s easier to go to another pond than trying to fish on a lake full of competitors!

If there’s an under-served market you want to explore, test it out by tweaking your marketing or creating a niche product. You might be surprised how receptive people are once someone finally gives them the attention they deserve.

Aston Martin is also considering branching out into different product lines like luxury clothes and watches. They recognize they aren’t just selling cars; they’re selling sophistication and status.

You’re ultimately selling better health. That could cover a wide range: everything from general wellness solutions, to diagnoses, prevention, and treatment.

Get Customers Excited to Participate in Marketing Experiences

Aston Martin’s new marketing strategy makes the customer a key part of the process.

It’s more than a magazine ad you just flip through and ignore. It’s a cool experience people get to share with 12 of their friends.

Think about how you can get your leads and customers to participate in your marketing messages. They are already craving authentic connection. Make them a key part in telling the story that leads to better health, and they’ll reward you with relationships for years to come.

Your Turn

You aren’t selling ultra-luxurious sports cars…

But you can still deliver a world class marketing experience to your customers. Leverage innovative and engaging campaigns to connect with your customers to gain a decisive advantage.

Hone in on exactly whom you want to reach, involve your customers intimately in the experience, and be open to adapting. You’ll build emotional connections and lasting relationships; an experience that appeals to customers’ heads and hearts.


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