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Automotive

Using the internet to research a potential new car purchase is breaking down brand allegiances, a report has found.

J.D. Power 2013 New Autoshopper Study found that 50 per cent of car shoppers who use the web to research prior to purchase will be open minded about which brand they opt for. Gen Y buyers are the most open-minded, with 54 per cent claiming they were open to any car brand.

The results are based on feedback from more than 17,000 owners and lessees. The study looks at how new car buyers use digital devices such as computers, tablets and smartphones to assess their options before committing to a particular car.

Of those respondents, 79 per cent used the internet to research prior to purchase. Of those, 98 per cent head to manufacturer websites, while 83 per cent will view a dealership site, 80 per cent will consult third-party (car review) sites and 7 per cent will research using social media.

Gen Ys were most likely to use a smartphone, with 47 per cent getting out their Apple or Android device to Google or Bing new models.

“It is important for brands and websites to pay special attention to Gen Y buyers, as they are increasing in market share at the greatest rate among all new-vehicle buyers and now comprise more than 20 per cent of all retail sales,” says JD Power senior director of automotive media and marketing, Arianne Walker.

Walker says the fact Gen Y buyers use their smartphone means there could be untapped potential for car makers with advertising and social presence.

Tablet use for new car research has jumped 39 per cent compared to 2012, and smartphone use is up 15 per cent. Of those who used the web for research, 34 per cent used multiple devices.

The research also found that on average, the purchase process takes about four months from start to finish, with the average researcher accessing 10 car-related websites prior to purchase.

Continue reading on news.drive.com.au

Constant consideration: Customer’s brand choice on the path to vehicle purchase.

Digital continues to change the purchase path for auto shoppers. For today’s consumers, vehicle attention may rise and fall, but influential brand moments are constant, stretching across a cycle that encompasses pre-market, in-market, and post-market phases. With 63 percent of new vehicle purchasers beginning their search with a specific brand in mind, but only 20 percent purchasing the vehicle they first researched online, it’s clear that brand consideration can be won or lost at any point throughout this loop. By harnessing the unique insights and immersive, personal experiences afforded by digital brand-building, auto marketers can adapt for greater sales and long-term loyalty.

We live in the age of engagement. Digital has amplified the opportunity for brands to connect with consumers at the moments that matter, across an array of platforms, screens, and devices. At the same time, however, there is a growing skepticism–even among ad agencies–as people begin to question whether consumers really care about brands at all.

According to Weiden+Kennedy Amsterdam, 72 percent of Pepsi fans also drink Coca-Cola. Their conclusion: Your consumers are just somebody else’s consumers who occasionally buy you. Is this true? And if it is, what is the real value of a fan, a Like, a +1, or a tweet? In fact, how do we define engagement at all?

Happily, our research suggests that there’s no need for doom and gloom. Yes, consumer behavior has changed with the digital revolution, but brands should see this as an opportunity, not a cause for despair.

For the auto industry, it means embracing a new model in which marketers no longer view potential customers merely as “shoppers.” Rather, they are owners who bring with them strong brand notions based on their experiences before, during, and after their last vehicle purchase.

They are on a continuous journey starting long before they are in-market and continuing long after they buy. Each moment leads fluidly into the next, from the instant the car is driven off the lot, when pictures and reviews are posted online, to servicing milestones and the everyday experience of the vehicle, which shapes consideration the next time the owner is ready to shop for a new vehicle.

Continue reading on cbtnews.com

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