Automotive Digital Marketing

Professional Community for Car Dealers, Marketing, Advertising and Sales Leaders

Loading... Be Patient!


Nielsen “Mobile Path-To-Purchase” Study Shows Mobile Auto Searchers Evenly Split Between Conversion and Research

NEW YORK and TORONTO – NOVEMBER 13, 2012 – xAd, a leading mobile-local advertising network, and Telmetrics, the top mobile call measurement provider, today released new Automotive category data from their ongoing xAd/Telmetrics Mobile Path-to-Purchase Study showing that even by category mobile usage can vary drastically based on user needs and intent. The category has a 51 percent conversion rate as it is comprised of buyers searching for auto parts and services and shoppers conducting new and used car research.

“Mobile Auto users present a diverse audience that advertisers must consider in their mobile ad strategies as the new/used auto shopper is doing a lot of research while the auto parts/service buyer has an immediate purchase need for maintenance or malfunction,” said Monica Ho, vice president of marketing of xAd Inc. “Advertisers that use these new insights correctly can improve their ad relevancy and performance while reducing ad waste by ensuring mobile ads are hitting the right audience with the right message.”

Targeting Mobile Auto User Profiles Key to Mobile Campaign Effectiveness

While mobile auto users generally skew Caucasian (68 percent), males (64 percent), with a household income of $50-100K (35 percent) an observation of actual mobile auto user behavior revealed four further subcategories of auto users – each with its own distinct auto needs, demographics and usage patterns:

• Auto Researchers – These users fit the typical auto user profile with slightly higher incomes ($75-100k). The majority of their mobile session is spent on search and general auto information and manufacturer sites.
• Deal Hunters – These non-Caucasian users with average incomes of $35-50k, also spend the majority of their time on general auto information sites and manufacturer sites.
• Circumstantial/Emergency Users - It is these typically Caucasian females who depend on quick access to Auto info via search and familiar brand properties.
• Gear Head – Also known as hobbyists, these users are typically African American males, ages 25-54 with an annual income of $100-150K.

xAd/Telmetrics Mobile Path-to-Purchase Auto Infographic & White Paper ( )

Mixed Purchase and Research Intent

Given the different types of mobile Auto searchers, there is a correlating effect on purchase intent with a fairly equal split among purchase and research activity. 51 percent of mobile Auto searchers report ultimately making a purchase with 49 percent looking to make a purchase within the day. Proximity, right fit and price are the most important factors in the ultimate purchase decision. Smartphone searchers demonstrate a more immediate need as 36 percent of smartphone users, compared with 25 percent of tablet searchers, were looking to make a decision immediately or within the hour.


Mobile Web Dominates vs. Apps

Of the 15 percent of mobile consumers conducting mobile Auto searches, less than one percent are using apps – likely because their occasional use of the category doesn’t demand the day-to-day benefits of app usage. Information-based mobile websites, like, and others, are the most popular among mobile Auto searchers, reaching 8 percent of the mobile audience — higher than the combined reach of users going to auto manufacturer (4 percent) or auto parts sites (3 percent).

“Automotive mobile marketers should recognize Auto searchers’ preference for mobile websites over apps to reach mobile searchers that don’t know exactly what they are looking for and maximize and monetize mobile ad performance,” said Bill Dinan, president of Telmetrics. “Also, understanding the role of location – specifically the importance of local driving distance – is essential to harnessing the 65 percent undecided mobile Auto audience and their purchasing power.”


Additional highlights from the study include:

• Similar to other categories, smartphones are more consistently used for locating and contacting Auto-related businesses while tablets reign for research and finding pricing information.
• Location is key as 44 percent of Auto searchers looked up a business location or directions, 43 percent looked up pricing info or compared prices and 36 percent looked for a business phone number and/or called the business.
• Mobile Auto searchers reported that they are most likely to click on an Auto ad with a promotional offer or an ad that is targeted to what they are searching for.
• Mobile Auto searches gravitate toward familiar brands but only 35 percent knew exactly what they were looking for.
• Tablet users are much more familiar with the brand they want before conducting a search.

On Nov. 15 at 1:30 pm ET, xAd and Telmetrics hosted a webinar, along with speakers from Nielsen and Opus Research, on the Mobile Path-to-Purchase study including insights from all three vertical categories – Auto, Restaurants and Travel.

Information is available at:

About the Study

In early June 2012, Nielsen conducted an online survey of more than 1,500 smartphone and tablet users who reported that they had engaged in a Restaurant-, Travel- or Automotive-related mobile activity in the past 30 days. This information was then combined with data from Nielsen’s Smartphone Analytics Panel of 3,000 iPhone and 3,000 Android users to help develop and identify the mobile consumer journey and highlight the core points of engagement on mobile from the first research engagement on mobile to post-purchase behavior.

The three categories, Travel, Restaurant and Auto, were chosen as they rank among the top vertical markets projected to show major mobile growth over the next 3 to 5 years.

More details are available at

About xAd

Since 2009, xAd has grown to become one of the largest mobile advertising networks in the U.S. and the only one offering the ability to target ads using a combination of accurate location signal and search context. Across its network, xAd aggregates and manages billions of monthly ad impressions from which it derives the largest supply of location based advertising inventory in the market. For over a million national and local advertisers, xAd delivers targeted mobile location@scale.

xAd is based in New York City with several satellite offices across the U.S and Internationally. For more information, visit

About Telmetrics, Inc.

For more than 20 years, Telmetrics has been the call measurement industry leader. Telmetrics’ call tracking solutions, which are available in North America and across Europe, track the lead generation quality of local search advertising and pay per call programs for the leading brands in local search. This includes both publishers and agencies that serve millions of SMBs and national franchise locations across North America and Europe. With greater visibility into advertising performance across all media channels—digital, mobile, print and more—media publishers, agencies and advertisers can optimize the media mix for higher quality lead generation, resulting in increased revenues and a more complete picture of ROI across converging media. For more information, visit


Allison+Partners Young & Associates



Question for ADM Members:

What are your opinions on what and how car dealers should be addressing the needs of smartphone enabled car shoppers using their mobile devices in the ways this research has revealed?

Tags: Auto Shoppers, Car Buying, Impact, Major, Mobile Marketing, New Research, Shows, Smartphone, cell phone

Views: 2353

Reply to This

Replies to This ADM Discussion

Available for your download (below) and review are Nielsen Research Powerpoint slides from their presentation on this study and the insights obtained... Since it is marked "Confidential", you may want to download a copy before I get hit with a potential "Cease and Desist" letter!


I have also included two other files, one for the original Infographic shown above in PDFD format, the other is the press release about the automotive portion of this research...


Ralph...Thanks for this Invaluable Information.....


Since we know how the two shoppers differ and that they use smartphones what do we offer them in both processes that will stop them in their tracks? An offer they can only get either in store or mobile only. Shoppers want a deal. Your deal does not have to break you but must be special and can only be redeemed with you.

If your web site it not mobile ready, as covered in previous comments, you won't even be considered. Black Friday works because of the Deals.

Great stuff Ralph and thanks for sharing!

We are collecting all kinds of good mobile data from DriveItNow Mobile that I will share over time. We have shown that consumers will apply for credit on their phones if presented in a way that is simple and safe.

There was a lot of good content on mobile last week at the Kain Automotive Workshop.


Thanks, Ralph. Always appreciate your ability to bring us/me the latest data in a timely fashion. You are definitely a valuable connection and resource. Cheers!

Jim, you are very welcome and you will see me continue to refine and focus on delivering more valuable information at a higher frequency going into 2013.  With a mixture of curation and creation, the goal is to keep ADM Members ahead of the rest of the industry.

...and ahead of Digital Marketers in many other industries...the way I see it.


Automotive Professional Network and Resource Exchange for Car Dealers, Managers, OEM and Marketing Practitioners seeking Best Practices.

ADM Sponsor

William B. Terry
Rated by Super Lawyers

loading ...

ADM Badge


Based On Your Interests...

ADM Consulting, LLC

Onsite/Offsite Combination ADM Consulting, LLC Professional Services
Select the maximum monthly investment you plan to make
Sign up for

Automotive Marketing Tools

Get ADM Toolbar

Click here to take the ADM Member Survey

Getting too many emails from ADM? Click mailbox below to control which types of alerts and updates you are sent......



ADM Professional Services
Phone Consultation
Topic or Issue:

Top Automotive Marketing Forum Discussions

Share the Best Content w/AutoMarketing Community

© 2020   Created by Ralph Paglia.   Powered by

ADM Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service