AutoMotion Blog

Car Buyers Access Traditional Media Online, Socially Favor Facebook

By: Jeff Youngs, 7/30/2014

The summer edition of the J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Automotive Media and Marketing ReportSM has been released. The report, published annually since 1987 finds that digital media such as websites and social media platforms should be considered additional mediums through which drivers of recently purchased or leased new-vehicles consume traditional media, rather than as an alternative to traditional media.

This is one key finding of the report, which provides strategic perspectives on the factors that can most influence new-vehicle purchases, such as media consumption, attitudinal, lifestyle, and recreational behaviors among consumers. More than 31,000 new-vehicle purchasers and lessors were surveyed for the latest report.

"The Internet is often viewed as an alternative to traditional media, yet the Internet should be viewed as an additional medium on which to consume such traditional media as magazine, newspaper and television content, in addition to other digital content," said Arianne Walker, senior director, automotive media & marketing at J.D. Power.

Website and Mobile Application Content Consumption
The report finds that 93% of survey respondents used a desktop computer to access the Internet for personal use, 57% used a smartphone, and 45% used a tablet computer. Additionally, among new-vehicle drivers who consumed online content, 52% read newspaper content, 41% read magazine content, and 33% watched a TV show.

Readership and viewership is lower for mobile applications--36% for newspaper content, 25% for magazine content, and 29% for TV show content.

Social Media Usage
Social media websites are popular with new-vehicle purchasers and lessors, with 65% saying they had visited a social media website in a given month. Among destinations, Facebook is the most popular, with 57% of social media visitors using the site. Furthermore, Facebook is used by all age groups. According to the report, 19% of Facebook visitors are over the age of 65. The four social media platforms rounding out the five most popular, listed in alphabetical order, are Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Digital Place-Based Media
Platforms designed to expose consumers to programmed content and advertising outside of the home are also effective channels, according to the report. Nearly half of survey respondents--47%--reported viewing digital place-based media such as this, most commonly in restaurants/bars (27%), retail stores (21%), and shopping malls (19%).

Walker summarized the report's findings, "The proliferation of device usage to consume traditional media content means that automakers can take advantage of integrated marketing programs offered by media outlets in order to reach consumers across all modes of content."

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