Mobile Key To Car Sales, Facebook Finds

Most digital automotive ads are delivered too late in the consumer purchase decision cycle, and advertisers would do well to shift dollars to mobile ads that reach consumers earlier, before they’ve already made up their minds. That’s according to a new study commissioned by Facebook and conducted by Ipsos MediaCT. The research organization surveyed 1,501 adults ages18-64 who are in the market for a new car about their automotive research and purchase habits, and revealed a large and increasing role for mobile at almost every stage of the process.

The majority of digital car ads are delivered in the final month before consumers make the big buy, doubtless as a result of behavioral targeting. However most consumers (59%) have actually settled on one or two models by that time, so the ads are either redundant or irrelevant. Auto brands and dealers who want to increase consideration for their offerings should boost their mobile ad efforts, as more consumers are turning to mobile for car research -- especially Millennials.

Overall 60% of respondents said they begin their research process at least six months before they make a purchase, and 27% said they did most of their car research on mobile, including 45% Millennials, 48% of Hispanics, and 41% of people with household incomes over $200,000. Among respondents who did their research on mobile, 70% said they felt overwhelmed by the amount of data available.

According to Automotive News, Facebook suggested that car brands and dealers could accompany branding and local campaigns with mobile components, including video. Facebook noted the success of a recent campaign by Lexus to launch its NX compact crossover, created by Team One, which produced 1,000 different videos targeting a variety of segments based on their tastes.

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