In general, consumers continue moving further away from desktop and laptop computers to mobile devices and social channels when making purchasing decisions. This trend is especially evident in the automotive industry. Incorporating these platforms into your overall automotive marketing strategy is no longer an option if you hope to become or remain a driving force in the industry – it’s a requirement.

The tremendous amounts of data available not only point to the ongoing growth of mobile and social media, but also to how effective they are when incorporated into an automotive marketing strategy. According to an iMediaConnection article, mobile advertising in the automotive industry rose 239% in the last year alone. Consider these additional facts:

MOBILE: Smartphones and Tablets

  • Nielsen projects that one in two adults will own a smartphone by Christmas
  • 50% of all new cars are expected to be purchased by iPhone or Android owners
  • According to a JD Power study, nearly 50% of in-market shoppers use smartphones at some point during the process of selecting a car
  • 75% of in-market car shoppers engaged with social media on their smartphone


  • Throughout 2011, 4 out of 5 consumers turned to the Internet when buying a new car, looking at an average of 3.7 models online
  • When purchase intent is expressed through social media, 45% of the time it’s on forums, 21% on social networks, and 14% on blogs
  • 2.4 million in-market shoppers used Facebook to make a vehicle purchasing decision
  • 58% are likely to mention their new car and/or share their buying experience with others via social media
  • 82% of mentions regarding new car purchases on social media are positive

These figures make one thing clear: car shopping is increasingly evolving into a mobile and social experience, and your automotive marketing strategy better evolve right along with it if you have any hopes of keeping up in this competitive space.

Pay particular attention to the data behind the use of social media in the car buying process. A majority of decisions made through interactions on social media channels are related to car reviews and dealer reputation. As we’ve said before, consumer reviews and the online conversation taking place about your brand carry a great deal of weight because consumers put greater trust in peers than in brands and companies themselves. This makes social media monitoring and, more importantly, social research and online reputation management crucial to the success of your business.