Buying a new car? Here's how automotive digital advertising influences your decision
The Nissan Juke has had record sales thanks to Nissan's high investment in digital advertising. (Twitter)
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Buying a car is the second biggest financial decision people typically make.
It is therefore no wonder that consumers turn to new technology in making their final decision.
A purchase process can be divided into five steps:
1) The Need for Recognition, 2) Information Search, 3) Alternatives Evaluation, 4) Purchase Decision and 5) Post-Purchase Behavior
With today’s online and digital opportunities, any advanced automotive brand wants to be part of all of those 5 steps along the consumer journey.
The need for a new item, for example a car, rises usually from one of three reasons, functional need, social need or simply a need for change.
This is where brand advertising comes into play.
In digital formats, advertising messages can be targeted to audience segments more efficiently than in traditional advertising. Likewise, the effect of various advertising messages can be measured in real time enabling the fine-tuning of the marketing campaign to maximize results.
It is this type of tracking and flexibility that is drawing more and more advertising campaigns into digital formats.
During the “Information Search” and “Alternatives Evaluation” stages of the Consumer Buying Decision Process, consumers are looking for solid, reliable and tangible information that will allow them to make the right choice for them.
Especially for products with high level of involvement, such as cars. This is when more tactical advertising is needed.
New model launches, new features or just discounted prices draw the attention of buyers at this stage.
According to a recent study conducted in Saudi Arabia, consumers search for car information on at least three different car-related online websites before making their decision.
A new and used car listings website Abi Sayara (www.abisayara.com) saw an increase of 56 percent in their online traffic in May with more and more consumers looking for their next car online. These types of websites list thousands of cars for sale. Abi Sayara alone has more than 300 dealers represented and 14,000 cars listed with the ability to compare prices, features and car data conveniently online.
The listings are updated on a weekly basis ensuring a fresh inventory of cars at all times. This saves consumers time and provides a good foundation to make the right purchase decision.
A 2014 Deloitte Global Act Consumer Study showed that 60 percent to 70 percent of consumers spend 10 or more hours online researching their next car purchase. Fifty percent to 60 percent of consumers at this stage consider 3-4 brands to purchase, with 20 percent to 30 percent of consumers even considering more than five brands.
It is good business for a car brand or dealer to be visible online to this great mass of buyers all along their pruchase journey.
In the first 5 months of 2015, car advertisers spent SR23.6 million in digital advertising based on Dubai based OOX Monitor. While the number is increasing, less than 5 percent of car advertising in Saudi Arabia is digital, compared to a 30 percent-50 percent share of digital advertising in Europe and North America. Of the SR23.6 million, 46 percent was spent by the three largest online advertisers, Nissan, General Motors and Ford, with Nissan leading the pack.
No wonder, therefore, that Nissan sales have grown an amazing 141.7 percent in Saudi Arabia and 18.1 percent in the Middle East.
Perhaps the area that needs most improvement is that of the dealers taking care of the “Post Purchase Behavior”, the last stage of the purchase process.
This is where affinity and loyalty are built, great experiences about customer service are shared around dinner tables and friends and most importantly, a significant purchase is followed by the thought: “I made the right decision”.
Job seeking has already largely moved to digital services in Saudi Arabia. It seems the automotive market is well on its way, for obvious benefits to both the advertisers and consumers. Very soon, the Real Estate Market will follow.
And with that, hours of looking, and thousands of riyals are saved for each purchase.
An informed buyer is a happy consumer.
By Niko Ruokosuo
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