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Our Notes from Google's Think Auto 2017 | Ontario Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram

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In this year's "Think Auto 2017", Google drilled down into details around the Auto Buyers' Journey more than what we've seen in previous years. Here are our notes from one of the very important presentations that set the theme of the entire conference:

According to Google, there are three types of Auto Buyers: First Time Buyers, Brand Loyalists, and Brand Switchers.

First Time Buyers: 

Represent 20% of Auto Buyers 

60% of them are 50+ years old.

Most are new to Canada.

Life events are the main triggers to buy a car. Life events represent 77% of influence, followed by advertising at 22% of influence.  

Their buying journey length is 56 days.

They consider 4 brands, both compact and sedans 

Their Top 4 Brands are: Mazda, Toyota, Honda, Dodge. Why? Because of affordability, fuel efficiency, and safety.

During the research journey, they rely on digital at 86% of influence; 72% is the dealer's experience, 53% family and friends, then 27% print, TV, & newspapers.

How to better connect with them? 

  • Segment them then target them. 

  • Engage with them through video and YouTube

  • Be real and authentic. 

Loyalists: 

Represent 37% of Auto Buyers. 

73% of them are 35+ years old.

Their buying triggers are: Replace their existing vehicle at 49% of influence, life events at 47%, dealership experience at 27%, then advertising at 22% of influence. 

Their buying journey length is 48 days and they consider 2 brands only. 

The Top 5 Brands they consider are: Ford, VW, Dodge, Honda, and Toyota. Why? Because of past experiences and the value for the money they spend.

62% of them chose a dealer because of its trust and ratings.

40% expect a response within an hour.

22% expect a response within 15 mins or they switch dealers if the dealer doesn't meet their expectations. 
 

What to do as a dealer?

  •  Play strong defense to protect these buyers.

  •  Give them an exceptional service

  •  Use an integrated CRM to target them with relevant messages. 
     

Brand Switchers: 

They represent 43% of Auto buyers. They are the toughest to deal with.  

They can't be segmented by an age group. They have high income, are mostly couples with no kids and many have pets. 

Their buying triggers are: life events at 57% of influence, then replacement of their existing vehicle at 51%, then advertising at 23%, then technology at 23%.

Their buying journey is 67 days, mainly SUVs and sedans, and they consider 4 brands. 

Their Top 5: Jeep, Subaru, GMC, KIA, and luxury brands. Why? For the value of money, the features, and the style. 

Their research journey sources are: digital at 80%, then 70% the dealer experience, then 53% family and friends. 

53% of them use search to compare models, 48% to find info, and 45% for general research.

Their top actions are: visit a dealer and test drive a car

46% of them were frustrated at the dealership so they use digital to save time and reduce the time spent at the dealership.
 

How to cater to them?

  •  Give them a reason to do business with you in person.

  •  Provide them with a great digital experience.

  •  Show them respect.

  •  Respond to them quickly.

     

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