Auto Shoppers Tune Into Digital Pitches

People who are in the market to buy a car, or roughly 34 million Americans if the Interactive Advertising Bureau stats are correct, are far more susceptible to digital marketing than the general public. The IAB's “Digital Influence on Auto Intenders” study finds that 21% of in-car shoppers respond to digital outreach versus 12% of everyone else. And not just for car messages -- the study also finds that 71% are more likely to be influenced by digital advertising across categories than everyone else.

The IAB research is based on data garnered from research firm Prosper Insight's poll of 6,201 people last year for its Insights & Analytics Monthly Consumer Study. The IAB focused on respondents from that study who said they are planning to buy an automobile in the next six months. They contrasted those responses to a general U.S. population of people 18 and over, fusing the auto shopper data with “Media Behaviors & Influence,” the IAB’s own survey of 19,774 consumers last January. 

The bureau found that three-quarters of auto-shopper respondents use smartphones versus a little over half of all others, and 42% use tablets versus a third of people who aren't car shopping. Car shoppers also over-index for watching video streams (69% vs. 56% non-shoppers), and for watching video content on mobile devices (52% vs. 35%). The survey also found that those in active auto consideration mode are more likely to watch digital video commercials before streaming video programming. And they are more likely to regularly research all kinds of products online before buying.

The study shows that 86% of vehicle shoppers go online to search and they are twice as likely to be influenced by sponsored search ads (20% vs. 10% of the general population).

“Automotive has consistently been a top sector when it comes to interactive advertising spending in the U.S.,” said Sherrill Mane, IAB's SVP of research, analytics and measurement, in a statement on the data. “In particular, there seems to be tremendous mobile and digital video opportunity that auto marketers should be optimizing along with other digital and legacy media. Moreover, it is critical to leverage the always-on nature of digital media because of the central role it plays in auto intenders’ lives."

"Car buyer looking at tablet" photo from Shutterstock.

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