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An Industry Spotlight on Digital Marketing Trends: The Automotive Sector

An Industry Spotlight on Digital Marketing Trends: The Automotive Sector
January 24, 2015 Becca Flynn

“Over the past five years, demand for digital advertising services from the automotive sector has steadily increased, due to revitalization in consumer demand for automobiles. In particular, many consumers have used the internet to shop for their next vehicle, which has prompted the automotive sector to purchase more digital advertising services.” (Source: IBISWorld, 2015)

Pixel Labs is turning to recent digital marketing trends, as well as data in research in order to discuss the adoption and effects of digital advertising in the automotive industry. We directed our efforts into finding the experts in marketing in the automotive sector. In 2014, Google’s global head of automotive, Meredith Guerriero, spoke at the Automotive World Megatrend USA 2014 annual conference. She revolved around the point that  “Everything and everyone has an online presence whether you like it or not.” Digitization is happening and businesses are going to have to move with the consumer trends.  Whether they are ready or not, consumers are in charge of the brand.

Guerriero’s 20 minute keynote speech at the conference touched on 3 trends relating the automotive sector to the digital market.

Digital Marketing Trends #1: Consumers As Dictators In A Digital Swamp

It is the consumers way or the highway. Digital trends provide an opportunity to win over consumers by providing them with relevant information that they desire. Consumers are pulling and dictating what they experience. As mentioned by Guerriero in Spring of 2014, there are 2 billion users online with another 1 billion expected by the end of 2015, this opens consumers up to more choices online. They can purchase cars online as well as match prices at different dealerships for a new car, right from their fingertips. One impactful fact that Guerriero discussed in the speech was that, today:

“Every ten minutes, we create enough data that is as much as we did from the beginning of human civilization to 2003. “

Now THAT is incredible. This allows us to understand how much information is being pushed into the digital world at consumers, and how much brands need to think differently to push through it.

Digital Marketing Trends #2 : Seamless Interactions With Technology

People don’t want to be told how they need to shop for their car, and instead of going to the dealership, car dealers are able to bring consumers inside the vehicle from the consumers home. Online information is showing consumers a different way of how they can shop and step through the purchasing process to their new car. Technology today is about the integration of devices. The large quality gap that we saw in cars years ago is diminishing as more information is available and consumers are empowered to do all of their research online and take advantage of crowdsourcing. This is changing the pace of the decision making process and newly openminded consumers are no longer loyal to a specific car brand, bringing new challenges and new opportunities aboard. Check out another impacting fact given by Guierrero:

“81% of consumers use online sources to learn about cars. Of that 81%,  51% use their smartphones through out the process.”

As we have spoken before on how consumers are the dictators, car dealers will continue to give consumers a “seamless” and “frictionless” experience by providing shopping tools for smartphones.  As 3 in 4 consumers say they are likely to switch to a new brand, there is no longer a traditional funnel. The purchasing process and research by consumers has shrunk down to 3 months.

Digital Marketing Trends #3: Generation Shifts Make Decision Making A Team Effort

Guerriero highlighted the generational shift that is impacting marketing and user experience multiple times; consumers want social interactions and engagements. They want a concensus and word of mouth influencing their decisions, essentially as a team effort. The outcomes of a generation shift include the need for a say in the brand, instant gratification, a frictionless experience, an infinite amount of choices and a shift in loyalty to brands.

 Videos That Explain It All:

Audi Cam as a frictionless customer experience for after sale maintenance

Toyota Collaborator as a social car shopping platform : innovating the shopping experience with Google +

Mercedes 2013 entering the content game: Innovative content that didn’t show the actual car. what users in this generation are asking them to do. Grabbed attention, gained consideration, and was great conversation starter by doing what the consumer wants them to do.


Volvo: Guerriero claims as A Volvo Halo Effect

The previous information can be sourced back to the keynote speech at http://vimeo.com/91310567


But.. we can’t forget about the Chuck Norris Parody:



Lastly and most recently, Lincoln is creating awareness in a fast growing market for their luxury small utility and mid-sized sedans with the “Live In Your Moment” Campaign that drives conversation in a creative and unexpected way. (source: Business Wire).


Providing rich content in the form of video is unique to the revitalized car purchasing process. Ask our team how we can help you tell a story for your business.

Cover Video: Brooklyn Bridge traffic timelapse by Mike Orso