Local, Word of Mouth

Can The Internet Drive More Business To Local Dealers Than Friends and Family?

Well, according to the latest Polk Center for Automotive Studies (January 31, 2006), this is exactly the case when it comes to first-time car buyers aged 18-30. Not only is the Internet outperfoming friends and family, and it has virtually rendered traditional media (tv, newspapers and radio) obsolete.

As a consultant to many local businesses, this trend is going to continue in the next of years. It use to be that advertising high ticket items in the newspapers was the most logical and critical step to moving products. However, local businesses will end of following their manufacturers lead and investing more money in online promotions.

To continue, the study interviewed 366 first-time buyers and where asked what is the most important source of information when making the decision to purchase a car for the first time.

 The results are as follows:

35% believe the Internet is the best source

25% believe their parents

13% believe their friends

8.2% percent for television

4.4% percent for magazines

3.6% percent for newspapers

1.1% percent for radio

The study concluded that young buyers aren’t turning to traditional media like television, magazines and newspapers for the information. Lonnie Miller, managing director of the Polk Center, said auto companies need to explore new marketing techniques, such as podcasts, in order to reach young buyers over the Internet and through cellphones.

“Generation Y is tuning out traditional advertising and watching what they want when they want,” Miller said in a statement. “Creating breakthrough content and developing relationships with customers through emerging media technologies will separate the winners from the loseWeight Exercisers in the next five years.”

The study also found that first-time buyers are independent decision-makers and rarely visit the dealers their parents last used. Sixty-five percent said they made their purchase with no influence from family or friends.  

Read the entire press release at the Polk website.

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