Mike Smitka has followed the industry (and the Japanese economy) for 30+ years. David Ruggles has worked in every phase of the retail side: new and used, sales and management, and consulting in both the US and Japan. Go here for links to Smitka's course blogs and research.
Which media most affects consumer behavior in the Automobile purchase cycle?
With the explosion of new and different media options today, it is timely to consider which media platforms consumers are crediting with influencing their automotive buying patterns. In conjunction with The Futures Company (formerly the famed Yankelovich Research company), the TVB’s proprietary consumer research analyzes media performance not as a consumable (what’s platform X’s share of total media usage?) but rather as an impacter – In other words, how do different media affect consumers as they move through the purchase process?
With this approach, we can rank media on the basis of its marketing power (the consumer “Purchase Funnel”) as opposed to advertising reach and recall metrics.
The research study consisted of a 2,500 person survey covering 13 different media platforms from TV to Social Media and evaluated 10 different categories ranging from Auto to Supermarkets to Fast Food to Banks.
What did we find out?
The good news: Media advertising works. 92% of consumers who are in the market for a product or service say that advertising was a prime driver of their awareness of the offering. The not so good news: Media advertising’s impact diminishes as the consumer travels from the Awareness phase down to the Consideration and Preference phases of the Purchase Funnel. By the time they reached the actual Purchase point, only 66% of respondents claimed that advertising had a major impact. Automotive advertising behaves better than the 10 category average for all media impact, but Television is well over average in impact in every phase of the Automotive Purchase Funnel. At the top of the Purchase Funnel, the Awareness phase, TV ads were cited as a primary influencer by 70% of auto consumers vs. 64% for the 10 category average. And toward the bottom of the Purchase Funnel, Driving people to visit the store or website, TV was credited by 52% of the auto prospects vs. only 43% in all categories.
While TV remains dominant, the Internet has surpassed newspapers as the #2 primary auto purchase influencer. Interestingly, the Internet does not diminish in importance as the consumer moves down the funnel towards purchase. In fact, Television and the Internet work in tandem in the auto category. 17% of consumers said that TV ads drove them online to learn more, 15% said that the TV ads got them talking with others about the products and 11% actually visited the showroom due to TV ads. When prospects were exposed to TV ads 4 plus times, the percent that went online rose to 23%, the highest active response. Other evidence of Internet advertising influence on Auto purchases is consumers citing online display and video, online search and blog and review sites as being auto influencers.
TV ads remain the primary driver in the auto purchase decision making process. They tend to drive online exploration and research as well as word-of-mouth and store visits. But, when it comes to making an actual car purchase, 40% of prospects say that it’s not media (which helped get them to the dealership); it’s what happens on the showroom floor that closes the sale!
...Jack Poor, VP Marketing Insights, TVB...
February 20, 2013
TVB is the not-for-profit trade association of the Broadcast Television Industry