According to emma data, there are 2.3 million Australians intending to purchase a new or used car in the next 12 months.
Among these prospective car buyers, the three largest segments of the market are small and medium size cars and SUVs. Collectively, they make up 75% of the market.
The car buying process
In a world of multi-platform media, the amount of information available has changed how money is spent, leaving the traditional purchase funnel a dated over-simplification. We no longer systematically narrow down a long list of possibilities.
McKinsey says prospective car buyers start with an average 3.8 brands for initial consideration and add 2.2 brands in an ‘Active Evaluation’ phase. Easier access to trusted content, such as car reviews on news websites, play a big role in the evaluation process.
Importance of the initial consideration set.
Brands in the initial consideration set can be up to three times more likely win the business, according to McKinsey.
The Newspaper Works 2011 Automotive report found that for many Australians, thinking about your next car is a constant, ongoing process. While the consideration set is shaped by cars seen on the street and word of mouth, advertisers can use newspapers to influence consumers and potentially introduce their cars into the consideration set.
News media help advertisers influence the initial consideration set
The Nielsen Australian Automotive Report 2012 described the role of newspapers in generating awareness:
“Despite the increase of online and mobile sources, traditional sources of research remain popular tools. Print media as an awareness and discovery mechanism is particularly popular among new car buyers with two-thirds (65%) using print resources at the awareness stage.”
News media offer a range of environments for brand building, from EGN (Early General News), and branded sections to digital platforms.
Across print and digital platforms, news media reach 90% of prospective car buyers on a monthly basis, providing advertisers with access to 1.2 million buyers in major metropolitan markets and 900,000 in regional markets.
Newspapers collectively reach 84% of all car buyers on a monthly basis, while digital news media reach 51%. This offers advertisers the ability to target buyers via a combination of print, web, mobile and tablet platforms to reinforce their messaging.
Newspapers index higher than TV and the internet among car buyers
Newspapers offer a more efficient way to influence consideration than other media. emma data tells us that, for two of the biggest market segments (medium cars and SUVs) , prospective buyers are over 10% more likely than the general population to be heavy newspaper readers (indexing 117 and 111 respectively).
On the other hand, these car buyers are less or no more likely be using the internet or TV than the general population.
The advent of the internet has changed the way consumers make decisions, empowering them to research their purchases. Cars, being a complex, big ticket item, are a good example of this.
Buyers rate online advertising and searches as the most useful source of information in making their purchase (55%), on par with word of mouth (53%). Car manufacturer websites follow in third.
Newspapers rank fourth (36%) but highest among traditional media.
While manufacturer and other websites provide the ability to understand features and details of models and make comparisons, consumers value the reviews and other trusted content in newspaper motoring sections and on news media owned sites such as drive.com.au and carsguide.com.au.
The extensive reach of news media among car buyers in the active evaluation phase also provides a way for manufacturers to drive potential buyers to their websites.
The moment of purchase
Newspaper motoring sections play a key role leading up to Stage 3 of the McKinsey model – the moment of purchase.
By this stage, buyers have a good idea of what they are looking for, and motoring sections provide one-stop access to the offers available from major car dealers. For dealers, print is an effective medium for bringing buyers into the dealership.
Motoring sections reach over a third (36%) of those looking to buy a car in the next 12 months, and this rises to 42% once their website counterparts are taken into account.