More People In The Market For Cars, Doing Their Homework Online

June 25, 2009

Just in case you were on the fence about this whole "Internet" thing, a new study from Nielsen proves that the web is chock-full of opportunity--especially for automakers.

According to the study and an accompanying article in Brandweek:

♦  The percentage of Americans looking to buy a new automobile has ticked up two percentage points since the spring, from 10% to 12%.

♦  At the same time, automakers are seeing a 124% average increase in video streamed from their websites. (Ford saw a 192% jump.)

♦  Before buying, today's car consumers are looking at 3.3 to 3.4 third party sites--like the one you're reading now!--plus around three manufacturers' sites and two dealers' sites.

What do all those numbers mean? In common English: the pool of potential car buyers is slowly increasing, and before those folks hit the lots, they're doing their homework on the web.

Given those broad statistics, it's not surprising that automakers are continuing to push their products online. Most manufacturers have slashed their marketing budgets, but the percentage of those budgets that's funneled to web ads has remained constant at around 5%. In some cases, that figure has even increased: Kia is set to spend 20% of its ad budget online.

Here at TCC, we've still got a soft spot for certain magazines--all car related, we assure you--but between the low cost, the wide reach, and the rich experiences that the web offers, things aren't looking too good for dead-tree media. But then, you probably knew that, too.

[Brandweek]

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