As the industry comes back to life, buyers are listening to marketing messages differently
ROCHESTER, Mich. — Foresight Research released the first results from its 2012 Automotive Marketing Communications Study ©. Automotive research specialists, Foresight interviewed 7,851 new vehicle buyers in the US, finding:
- Buyers in 2011 looked for and listened to fewer marketing communications, as a different mix of customers and needs met budget-restrained marketers.
- Buyers were less often influenced by “emotional” messages, including Style, Fun to Drive, Sporty Image and Touch of Class, and more often influenced by “practical” messages such as Discounts, Vehicle Reviews and Competitive Comparisons.
- Fuel Economy grew in importance, tying Brand Reputation as third most influential message.
- The Availability of Incentives dropped out of the top ten strongest influencers as manufacturers reduced incentives.
“The auto industry continues its recovery,” said Steve Bruyn, CEO of Foresight Research. “After historic lows in 2009, U.S. light vehicle sales stabilized in 2010, and improved toward the end of 2011. Our sample of 2010 to 2011 buyers represents a unique viewpoint into their behaviors and influences as the auto industry recovers from the worst economic period since the Great Depression.”
“This post recession customer base has changed due to lingering hardships caused by the recession. By comparing our recent findings to past years’ results, we see behavioral changes that may represent the new future marketing reality,” said Bruyn.
The initial 2012 Marketing Communications Report analyzes buyer behaviors 12 months prior to their vehicle purchase. 17 different forms of marketing communications (from traditional advertising channels to auto shows, events and sponsorships, word of mouth, print articles, and dealership experiences) are compared. Also, 27 different marketing messages received by buyers from various communication channels (ranging from practical messages such as price / value and options / packages available to emotional messages such as fun to drive or sporty image) are measured and rank-ordered. The data is reported by vehicle manufacturer/brand, vehicle segment, buyer demographics, loyal/conquest customers. Study subscribers also gain access to data for their specific target markets.
Established in 1998, Foresight Research specializes in studies focusing on the key influencers of purchase decisions in the automotive, marine, advertising, public relations, experiential marketing, healthcare, government, and industry association sectors.