Women Feel Misunderstood By Auto Brands

The vast majority of women influence auto purchases yet most feel alienated by car companies, according to new research.

Over three-quarters of women believe the automotive sector doesn’t understand them as consumers, according to TI Media (formerly Time Inc. UK). 

This is particularly worrisome for car brands as a recent Magnetic study revealed that 79% of women wield the power to veto an auto purchase, with 40% having sole responsibility for buying a vehicle.

The research indicates a gender engagement gap when it comes to automotive marketing, and a potentially huge marketing opportunity is being missed, says Laurence Collings, client services director at TI Media.

Automotive advertisers have long embraced contextual targeting within the car media. So any auto website or magazine has plenty of car ads. The automotive sector, however, is relatively narrowcast and also very male focused. 

“Yet, as Magnetic’s survey revealed, women have a huge say in car purchasing,” Collings says in a release. “What’s more, most car buyers don’t just spend their time on automotive sites.”

The challenge for advertisers is how can they increase brand engagement across other vertical markets, which could also help them strengthen their relationship with women, he says.

More than half (55%) of women say advertising has made them aware of different cars in the market, which suggests it works. The problem is that 41% feel car ads are mainly aimed at men. 

As a result, Collings believes choosing the right verticals to target is key depending on the brand. For example, consumers with a keen interest in equestrianism, the country, shooting and cycling are all likely to require cars for travel and transport. For example, 50% of the people TI Media surveyed within the country sector claimed ownership of a 4x4, with 95% saying It was essential to their everyday life.

“Targeting these sectors in the right way with the most appropriate creative approach could be instrumental in engaging both men and women, and help to close the automotive gender gap.” Collings says.

The findings were revealed at a recent IAB Automotive seminar, which took place in London. Rob Creed, group head of Dentsu Aegis, presented a case study.

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