As The Page Group looks at the automotive industry in general it is unique in its audience size, audience engagement, audience commitment, audience passion, and so many of the attributes that are appealing to the development of targeted and effective digital marketing campaigns. The industry is adapting quickly to the use of digital, and developing products / programs that deliver unique personalized experiences directly to each interested party. Today we have the ability to specifically target specific reactions from our digital audience in such a way as to engage them at a time when they are receptive to engagement. The industry is on the forefront of many changes. This article investigates some of those statistics that are driving the automotive marketplace towards building more affective digital platforms that deliver on a consumers expectations.
15 Mind-Blowing Stats About Automotive Brands
CMO EXCLUSIVES | April 09, 2014
by Giselle Abramovich
Senior & Strategic Editor
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When it comes to digital marketing, the automotive industry has its foot on the gas.
For example, what more appropriate industry would be among the first to embrace mobile? In addition, car makers are dominant on all of the social channels their prospects use (Ford was one of the first brands to ever use Google Plus), they are fluent in SEO and SEM, and they are leveraging a host of online tools to enhance their customers’ online experiences.
Read on to learn how the auto industry is paving a digital path.
1. Thirty-four million Americans are planning to purchase a vehicle in the next six months, and one report finds these consumers are almost twice as likely to be swayed by auto-focused digital marketingthan the general population (21 percent vs. 12 percent). Automotive shoppers are 71 percent more likely to be influenced by digital advertising across multiple retail categories than the average consumer.
2. Compared to the typical adult, auto buyers are more likely to own smartphones (75 percent vs. 54 percent) as well as tablets (42 percent vs. 33 percent). They’re heavier digital video streamers, both online (69 percent vs. 56 percent) and on mobile devices (52 percent vs. 35 percent). They are also more likely to research all kinds of products online before buying (58 percent vs. 42 percent).
3. Digital is key to driving premium perception. McKinsey analyzed 24 customer touch points for more than 9,000 new car buyers to better understand which touch points drive customers’ premium perception and, hence, willingness to pay. A factor analysis identified seven core touch point dimensions of customers’ willingness to pay. Of these, digital experience ranked second most important, just behind live experience.
4. Traditional physical retail channels still dominate sales of cars, butdigital sales are becoming more of a reality, especially when it comes to used cars. In Germany, for example, 5 million of the country’s 6 million car sales (new and used) are triggered online. New-car sales are still a very small share of this type of transaction given the perceived risk, as well as the limited ability to negotiate prices. Even in the new-car domain, however, 25 percent of purchasers stated a preference for moving toward online channels in the future.
5. The U.S. automotive industry will spend nearly $5.1 billion on paid digital advertising in 2013, and that total is expected to rise to $7.8 billion by 2017. This year alone, online and mobile advertising are up 18.7 percent.
6. Adobe Digital Index (ADI) analyzed 1.1 billion visits to auto Web sites, which include 12 of the top 15 automotive manufacturers, to look at how carmakers are progressing with converting online visitors into buyers at dealer locations. Almost every car manufacturer has a tailored and mobile-optimized site; as a result, the automotive industry is attracting more mobile visitors than all other industries, with the exception of retail, travel, and hospitality. Non-optimized automotive sites receive 11 percent of their visits from smartphones and 7 percent of their visits from tablets, while mobile-optimized sites receive about 50 percent more traffic from these devices (up 5 percent and 4 percent, respectively).
7. Top-performing automotive Web sites engage more than 50 percent of their visitors with car configurator tools, as consumers virtually filter down the cars they want to see. ADI data shows that sites with more interactive and personalized tools receive greater than 20 percent more visitors than the average automotive site. The best automotive companies are engaging 30 percent more visitors to locate a vehicle and 60 percent more visitors to locate a dealer.
8. Of survey respondents who say they research their car purchases online before buying a vehicle, 78 percent visit at least six Web sites or more first, and 15 percent say they need to browse more than 20 Web sites to get the information they seek. In addition, 75 percent say they still turn to more traditional offline media for the information required to make a car-buying decision.
9. For automakers, paid and natural search drive leads, foot traffic to dealerships, and actually helps sell cars. Consumers begin to search for cars when they just get in-market to buy. But only 20 percent of new-car shoppers in the U.S. buy the brand they first searched for.
10. Customers who viewed a Facebook ad about a car model were 50 percent more likely to visit the page for that model, and their interest to view the page of another model they were previously considering dropped by nearly 15 percent.
11. The top viral automotive ad of all time was for Volkswagen’s “The Force” campaign for the 2012 Passat by Deutsch Los Angeles. It garnered 80,310,503 views in total. Watch it here.
12. Many dealerships are using Web chat to expand their online customer pipelines. And customers are responding positively; one study found that 68 percent of car shoppers welcome the opportunity to chat online with the dealership. In 2012, Contact At Once, the largest automotive online chat platform provider, delivered nearly 5 million chats to dealers, up more than 70 percent from 2011.
13. Sixty-three percent of car shoppers said they would be less likely to buy from a dealership that receives negative reviews online. At the same time, negative comments can be an opportunity to win over customers, as 59 percent of consumers said they would feel more positive about dealerships that respond to negative posts.
14. Seventy percent of the car-buying process is already complete before prospects are willing to engage with a live salesperson.
15. Forty percent of new car purchases over the next 10 years will be made by Millennials, the industry’s largest and fastest-growing demographic.