What Is The Matrix? (Automotive SEO)
It’s always a tragedy when a vehicle model gets discontinued, and I felt no manly shame earlier this month at weeping openly and loudly in a public restaurant upon learning that the Toyota Matrix will be discontinued.
With the disappearance of Pontiac a few years ago, and with it the Pontiac Vibe, the Matrix’s platform-mate, the Matrix was on its own, and, as if it couldn’t sustain a mature, independent identity, began to lean on its brand sister, the Corolla. We even started to see marketing start to blend demographic targets, confusing the two models. But I always knew it was different. The Matrix was its own car.Stay in the car, Chuck.
The Matrix held its own on the design front, never falling into the trap of a Coralla-hatchback mentality. The model even achieved cultural penetration on NBC’s “Chuck” (a TV show with a rabid fan base and a dramatic Fight-For-Citizen-Kane story of its own), but despite its consistent presence as a “Nerd Herd” fleet vehicle (a clever parody of Best Buy’s “Geek Squad” VW Beetles), the car was overshadowed by the memory of a particular Ford Crown Victoria and distractingly obvious product integration cameos by other Toyota models. The “Nerd Herd” Matrix never developed its own personality, never developed as a character.
And this may be indicative of the model’s ultimate problem: without proper emotional investment from Toyota, from NBC, or even from Toyota dealers themselves, the Matrix never seemed to develop a personality. Automotive online marketing, on the whole, failed to provide any characterization. And that’s a shame, because the car had tons of potential. It was even around long enough for one exciting redesign, but alas, as this graph shows, “Toyota Matrix” hasn’t really been on the minds of car shoppers for years.
And it’s particularly telling that a model just isn’t that popular when you can run a Google search and none of the PPC search results come from competing companies trying to conquest.Conquested by Jetta & Fiesta.
Conquested by no one.
But now that it’s officially going to end its run in the U.S., auto dealers around the country can take advantage of some of the very same issues that caused its slow sales. Automotive content marketing has a very bright opportunity to sell those final Matrices with a bang and a party, a sort of out-the-door introduction. “Toyota Matrix” may be slowing down in Google searches, but “hatchback” is rising more than ever.
Furthermore, other smallish hatchback models are doing quite well; if ever there was a time to conquest your competitors on behalf of the Matrix, it’s now!
To wrap up – in preparation for what will either be a grand finale, a last hurrah for a short-lived and misunderstood-in-its-own-time artist among cars, or a quiet and secretive passage into a new kind of energy like a Jedi becoming one with the Force – dealers, automotive marketers, and online content managers, let’s show the Toyota Matrix the love it deserved but never got here on Earth.