J.D. Power Automotive Internet Roundtable Conference--Day 1

October 21, 2010
Yesterday was the first day of the JD Power Automotive Internet Roundtable Conference in Las Vegas, NV. The goal of the event is for everyone from auto manufacturers and marketing agencies to dealerships and retailers, to engage and discuss about how to push the automotive industry further on the internet.

One of the first topics discussed was mobile usage in the auto industry. The speakers were from J.D. Power and Associates and they mainly focused on shopping for new and used vehicles. J.D. Power and Associates found 17 percent of in-market auto shoppers are going to sites via mobile phones, while 69 percent of the people looking at automotive sites on mobile phones are looking at auto manufacturer sites.

These mobile sites need to be fully functional while maintaining an ease of use factor. Big buttons and large text are a plus. Terrific pictures and graphics enhance the mobile experience. J.D. Power and Associates feel that both Kia and Volkswagen have terrific mobile sites, while Acura needs more images and Lincoln needs larger images.

Another interesting bit of information was about mobile sites versus smartphone applications. While they did not have numbers, their research indicates people prefer mobile sites over smartphone applications when researching new and use cars.

Later in the day we discussed rate of ad spend. Learning that Nissan has the largest share of ad spend of any auto manufacturer. While Chevrolet has increased their ad spend 121 percent since 2007.

One of the closing topics of the day was about new digital marketing. Most of the speakers turned to social media and engagement. Discussing the importance of actually listening to your customers and measuring the engagement. Putting numbers behind the interactions and defining what they mean. You need a distribution path for the content.

Overall the day was thought provoking. Hearing industry experts and thought leaders talk about their experiences was refreshing. These are real world examples of what has worked and what has not. Today it was really driven home that we should work together to learn from each others failures and successes.

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