Auto Marketers Adding More Digital to Media Mix to Reach Prospects

The automotive industry is coming off one of the best years in recent memory. 2014 appears to hold solid sales potential as well. New research, “Digital Influence on Auto Intenders,” from Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and autobuyProsper Insights points to as many as 34 million consumers entering the vehicle-​purchase market in the next several months. Increasingly, these consumers are turning to digital resources as they evaluate their options so marketers may want to give their media mix another look.

The new report finds that auto shoppers are more digital than the general population:

  • 75% own smartphones and 42% have tablets, compared to the non-​auto buyer rates of 54% and 33%, respectively
  • 69% of this audience streams digital video with 52% doing so on mobile
  • Online research rates are as high as 52% compared to the non-​auto buyer rate of 42%

This report also highlights the value of search marketing. The vast majority, 86%, of auto buyers use search and 20% say they are influenced by sponsored search ads.

While analysts say that auto shoppers are “71% more likely to be influenced by digital than other consumers,” digital is not the only game in town. Consumers are also using traditional media and word of mouth (38%) to inform their decision-​making. The top media formats influencing the purchase decision are broadcast TV (31%), an article about a product (27%), newspaper (24%), and cable TV (23%). Note that radio ties with Internet ads (21%).

Auto marketers are likely to be analyzing their media mix for the upcoming months. These marketers may also be interested in learning more about their specific market share as they make decisions about advertising. They can do so by checking out the Auto Dealer Market Share report available from Ad-​ology.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.