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Vehicle buyers ignore traditional media, says US study

The internet is the most important information tool for first-time vehicle buyers in the USA, according to research from the Polk Center for Automotive Studies.

According to the study traditional mass media such as TV, radio and newspapers has been rendered ‘nearly obsolete’, with 35 per cent of first-time vehicle buyers stating that the internet is the most important information tool when considering their purchase, compared with 8.2 per cent for TV, 4.4 per cent for magazines, 3.6 per cent for newspapers and 1.1 per cent for radio.

“First-time buyers’ dependence on Web-based media validates the need for an aggressive interactive strategy to court them on the manufacturer and retail level,” said Lonnie Miller, managing director for the Polk Center for Automotive Studies. She added: “The internet’s relevance in the 18-30 year age group has reached critical mass and is completely reconfiguring how car companies need to reach out to first-time buyers.”

Miller predicted emerging technologies such as podcasting and video-on-demand will create new marketing opportunities as communication touch points converge.

“Harnessing mobile media technology will be the automotive industry’s most important marketing challenge, and opportunity, in the next decade,” Miller said. “Generation Y is tuning out traditional advertising, and watching what they want, when they want. Creating breakthrough content and developing relationships with customers through emerging media technologies will separate the winners from the losers in the next five years.”

Source: Polk Center for Automotive Studies

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