Curated Metrics on Automotive Content Marketing to Millennials


Curated Metrics on Automotive Content Marketing to Millennials
By Howard Oliver, Chief Content Marketing Officer, What If What Next, 416-568-5254

“By 2025, millennials will account for 75% of vehicles purchased. Millennials have turned against both cars and houses in dramatic and historic fashion. Just as car sales have plummeted among their age cohort, the share of young people getting their first mortgage between 2009 and 2011 is half what it was just 10 years ago, according to a Federal Reserve study. “A new study by the Pew Research Center on millennials (age 18-34, also known as Generation Y) provides financial data that support new vehicle registration data collected by IHS Automotive/Polk. According to the Pew study, millennials have more student loan debt, poverty and unemployment than both the preceding generations did at the same age, and, predictably, lower levels of wealth and personal income as well.

With less buying power, millennials have been less likely to purchase a new vehicle, and this is reflected in the new vehicle registration data. Only 11.2% of all new vehicle registrations in 2013 were to millennials, the lowest level in six years and down from 14.1% in 2008. Also, in each of the last ten months of 2013 this metric was down substantially from 2012, although the year-over-year difference narrowed in December.”

More than three-quarters (78%) of millennials surveyed do not care if a carmaker is social media savvy, largely because it rarely provides the information on pricing and availability buyers seek. They turn to third-party sites for comparison shopping, Helms said.”

“Once they decide, younger shoppers will go to an automaker’s website to get the location of the nearest dealer, hours of operation and whether their vehicle is available. Dealers should recognize that buyers are using computers and laptops less and using tablets and smartphones more. Not having a mobile site hurts a brand, 35% of millennials said. It is important we start investing in mobile applications and optimize experience for those devices,” Helms said. “If you are going to have a mobile presence, do it right or don’t do it at all. If done badly, it can hurt perception of brand. Once they enter the dealership, younger buyers want treatment comparable to what they find in an Apple store. They expect someone to greet them and be a product specialist, providing more detail about the car and its technology. “The dealership experience should reinforce the decisions made online,” Helms said. Social media can be used to keep in touch with dealers after the purchase.”

When it comes to car shopping, Millennials depend heavily on research to help drive their purchase decisions. Millennials rely more on word-of-mouth when shopping for a car than other generations1 (Millennials: 43%; Gen X: 28%; Baby Boomers: 32%), and most of that is face-to-face (face-to-face: 90%; blogs/forums: 41%; e-mail: 36%)2. They’re also most likely to be first introduced to their car of choice through a family member or friend, as opposed to Baby Boomers who are most likely to be first introduced to their car on the dealership lot.