There are a number of factors that influence the ways an individual shops, with one’s unique ethnic and racial backgrounds playing a considerable role. Therefore, understanding how shopping preferences and behaviors vary across cultures is essential for automotive marketers attempting to engage audiences and convert prospects into loyal customers.
To guide auto dealers in their marketing efforts, Nielsen recently published its Annual Auto Marketing Report, which explores how multicultural customers respond to different automotive marketing and advertising tactics. As dealers work to attract buyers and recover from COVID-19’s impact, here’s what their marketing teams should keep in mind.
1. Introductions are important
Hispanic, Black and Asian American consumers typically have top-of-mind awareness of 10 to 20% fewer vehicle brands than the general U.S. population when looking to buy a new car. Therefore, marketers need to remember that consumers from these groups may be unfamiliar with the vehicles offered at their dealerships. While this lack of initial awareness may sound discouraging, it’s also the case that, once multicultural consumers embark on their car-buying journeys, they tend to consider more brands — increasing dealers’ opportunity to introduce and boast more of their vehicles to these audiences and persuade a sale.
2. Opportunities to be considered exist across consumers’ car-buying journeys
Consumers expand their consideration sets as they’re exposed to more brands across their shopping journeys, so even brands that shoppers weren’t aware of at the outset of their search have a strong chance of being the ultimate choice. Black and Hispanic consumers in particular are likely to be even more receptive of auto ads they encounter later in their paths to purchase, since they tend to be aware of fewer brands at the start. With such open minds, aided awareness efforts can do a lot for auto marketers. Nielsen found that four of the six brands Black and Hispanic consumers eventually consider purchasing were ones they were not original familiar with.
3. Asian Americans’ consideration sets increase if they spend a lot of time online
While Asian Americans tend to consider fewer car brands on average before making a purchase, their consideration sets increase with the more time they spend online. In fact, Asian Americans who are heavy social media users consider nearly two times as many brands as those who spend less time online. This finding supports dealer investment in social media advertising, particularly when advertising to Asian-American consumers.
4. Hispanics are twice as likely to recall digital ads
The Hispanic population in America represents a big opportunity for dealers, as they’re nearly twice as attentive as other Americans to auto ads they see online. This finding is especially promising considering how, in tandem with how digital advertising is becoming increasingly popular, the Hispanic population in the U.S. is expected to grow by 82% over the next 40 years, meaning the opportunity for connecting with these consumers will only proliferate over time.
5. Black consumers are attentive to ads across all channels
Black consumers tend to react more positively to ads than other groups regardless of the medium on which they’re viewing them, thereby providing dealers with some leeway for how to reach these audiences. For example, Black car shoppers demonstrate the highest ad recall for automakers ads on the radio and billboards as well as in direct mail. Additionally, they spend more time on video, audio and social media on their smartphones than the average consumer.
6. TV has the highest potential for captivating and influencing audiences
Despite the differences in media consumption across groups, ad recall for auto ads is consistently highest for TV. As foreshadowed above, this finding is particularly true for Black consumers, who spend 30% more time than the general population watching television (that equals more than 50 hours a week, even without stay-at-home advisories). Black shoppers who were also heavy TV users tend to have two more brands in their consideration sets than light TV users do.
To learn how automotive dealers can action these insights to build campaigns that compel multicultural audiences to make a vehicle purchase, stay tuned for our next article on the six best practices for auto marketers in a post-pandemic world.