Do Car Buyers Discover Brands via Ads?

The average timeline for a car purchase will span months rather than minutes, providing automotive brands with countless moments to make an impact and influence Car Buyers’ purchase decisions.

Continuing this week’s focus on the automotive industry, today’s chart explores which advertising channels are key to making an impression among Car Buyers.

In line with global trends, Car Buyers are most likely to say they discover new brands, products, or services via traditional search engines (42%) and ads seen on TV (40%).

TV advertising lends itself to showcasing the design and movement of car models in ways other static forms of advertising don’t. And automotive brands continue to invest in the medium; Maserati broadcast its first UK TV ads last month to boost awareness in the market and position itself as exclusive, but affordable.

What is more telling is where segments of this audience are most ahead of average in any type of brand discovery. As three quarters of First Time Car Buyers sit under the age of the 34, it makes sense that they over-index for options relating to digital forms of advertising, being 30% ahead for discovery of brands via in-app advertising, for example. Reliance on public transport is also having an effect, with First Time Buyers 25% more likely to be discovering brands through ads placed here.

Among Buyers who already own a car, personalized recommendations and reviews from expert bloggers are more impactful than average, both of which could be useful to challenge these consumers’ pre-existing perceptions of specific automotive brands. This demonstrates the importance of targeting Car Buyers differently depending on their specific attributes and previous experience of the auto industry.

First Time Car Buyers are defined as those who don’t currently own a car but are planning a purchase in the next 6 months. Car Upgraders are defined as those who own at least one car and are planning a purchase in the next 6 months.