We live in a time where access to information is at our fingertips, where consumers can quickly research their major purchase decisions with a touch of a button. Just like other businesses, the auto industry must change the way they communicate with consumers in order to fit into the new consumer lifecycle in this fast-paced, always-connected culture.
Because of digital, the way people shop for cars has changed. The consideration phase has extended and general “awareness” is now a shorter, but still important phase. Mobile is incredibly important to stay top of mind and the access to (and use of) “shopper data” is incredibly helpful to target the right people who are in market. With the global growth rate projected to decrease over the next few years—according to Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, 2014 global growth is predicted at 3.5% vs. 5.2% growth in 2013— the environment for automakers will continue to be increasingly competitive. As a result, now more than ever before, it’s urgent to make your media work smarter (not harder) by reaching the right people at the right time.
Nowadays, no one buys a car without researching first on the web, and ownership is being documented online at an increased rate as well. As a result of these increased digital automotive behaviors, online platforms are growing in scale and capability to address this consumer need. This growth has helped improve targeting capabilities (due to the collection of all this online data, and the ability to connect it with offline data) for automotive marketers. Improved targeting means that auto marketers’ can now (better than ever before) reach consumers at every stage of the customer lifecycle.
People Shop: As more people shop for cars and conduct research online, marketers have never had a greater opportunity to influence their decisions. The ability to present your audience with the right product, and information at the right time is crucial during the car-shopping experience.
Where do I find potential customers? The web has allowed people to curate their own personalized “news feeds”, where they control the content they consume daily. These feeds can be prime real estate for marketers to relevantly reach out to consumers likely to be interested in their brand and products. In addition, mobile is a powerful channel and a necessity as more people are using multiple devices to consume digital content. Auto marketers should