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In my last installment of this series of posts on the demographics and behavior of Auto mobile users, I suggested that for automotive mobile marketing professionals, audience profiling and targeting is a must. I examined different personas or Auto user profiles who use their mobile phones to search and shop in the Auto category and sub-categories.
In this installment, my goal is to shed light on the behaviors of our four Auto user profiles. To do so, we will first align their behaviors around three content subcategories available in Automotive:
Through these three content areas in the automotive category, analysis has revealed that mobile user behavior is driven by intent to purchase either new or use vehicles or Auto parts and service.
Source: Nielsen/Telemtrics, Nov. 2012
The Automotive Info Subcategory
This subcategory is full of resource-related properties including Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds and AutoTrader.com where Auto enthusiasts and shoppers go for info related to their hobbies and future purchases.
Used frequently by all four identified mobile Auto user profiles, these resources are the basis for their Auto-related mobile interactions and remain popular in their desktop form as well.
The information provided in this subcategory is an essential part of any Auto research function—whether there is an immediate need or more leisurely activity—we see a high percentage of use with the Auto Researcher, Gear Head, and Circumstantial User.
Auto Manufacturers & Dealers Subcategory
Engagement with these properties reveals similar research-focused user behavior. Current car owners or shoppers interact with brand and local dealer-specific content including car giants such as Ford, Toyota, and Chevy.
These users are either brand loyalists or have done their homework within the Auto Info subcategory and are now narrowing their search to specific brands.
This subcategory is essential to the Auto Researcher as well as the Deal Hunter, who spends almost 80% of their Auto-related time interacting with various brands and dealerships via their mobile device.
While interaction within this subcategory is still within the top portion of the purchase funnel, there is clear movement toward Auto-related purchases.
Auto Parts & Services Subcategory
Mobile user interaction with this subcategory is split between hobbyists and users demonstrating a much more immediate need. Circumstantial Users accessing Auto Parts and & Services content are usually reacting to vehicle malfunction or incident such as a car stalling, flat tire, or the need for an oil change. Due to the nature of the products and services involved in the subcategory, Circumstantial User purchase intent is much stronger and conducted within a much shorter timeframe. Therefore, by the time these users are in a pinch, it may be too late to reach them with a marketing message.
As such, Auto marketers looking to connect with this audience must do so as they interact with everyday mobile content, as previously mentioned. As for the Gear Head, this group spends 66% of their time in the Auto category focused on Parts & Services.
They are clearly Auto enthusiasts searching for vintage or luxury parts, sleek body kits, and local shops to upgrade their rides. Auto marketers have much more time to reach this group directly and affect their purchase decisions as they are the one group that demonstrates an inclusion of Auto content in their everyday activities.
The opportunity for marketers within these three subcategories lies in their ability to develop campaigns specific to each Auto User profile as well as user purchase motivations. Due to the variety of targeting combinations available in the Auto category as a whole, a broad one-size fits all approach to targeting would prove not only ineffective, but wasteful.