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Automakers are realizing the importance of targeting “techies” when marketing new cars.  According to a 2015 U.S. Automotive Media and Marketing Report, 30 percent of new-vehicle drivers cited a vehicle’s new technology was a reason for purchasing a particular car. J.D. Power, creator of the Automotive Media and Marketing Report, has released this report twice a year since 1987. However, the most recently released report was the first to contain purchasing habits based on technology features and offerings.

According to the report and autonews, among luxury-brand new-vehicle drivers, 43 percent said cutting-edge technology influenced what they purchased. For non-luxury-brand new-vehicle drivers, 28 percent were influenced to purchase a vehicle based on the latest technology.  To use marketing dollars more effectively, marketers pushing individuals to purchase new cars now have more information on how to deliver the right message to those seeking a certain level of technology in new cars.

In the past, most Western automakers served markets with low-cost cars that offer few features. However, these car manufacturers, such as General Motors, are investing more in the level of technology offered in new cars because of the consumer requirements when purchasing a new car. General Motors plans to invest over $5 billion in a new line of cars that offer the consumer a compact car with the most innovative technology offerings. This new line of cars will not only be offered in the United States but also will be marketed in China, Brazil, India, Mexico, and other emerging markets.

Not only are millennials demanding state-of-the-art technology but also older generations are demanding similar levels of technology in new cars. Through the Automotive Media and Marketing report, respondents aged 34 and younger and 55 and older both had 31 percent of each age group showing interest in technology. Demographics are not always the best guide for marketing, for automakers, their marketing efforts must be more calculated.

Through additional research, J.D. Power discovered a correlation between the amount of media consumed and the need for the latest technology in cars; the more an individual consumes media, the more an individual will desire to purchase a new car with the latest technology. Honda, to align its new cars with customer’s preferences, recently unveiled a new Accord filled with groundbreaking technology. The new Accord is the first in the industry to offer both Apple CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto through partnerships generated with both Apple and Andriod.

An IPhone connected to the dashboard inside of a new 2016 Honda Accord.

The 2016 Honda Accord will feature Apple CarPlay. Source: Google Images.

Honda’s vehicle will be integrated with consumers who lead smartphone-powered lives. Apply CarPlay will allow users to access most apps and features of their smartphones with a 7-inch touch screen located on the dashboard in the Accord.  Drivers can access the apps and features by speaking or taping the touchscreen.  Google’s Android Auto is a similar dashboard system that allows consumers access to most features on their phones.  By using both Apple and Google systems for navigation and entertainment, Honda Motor hopes to provide customers with a better experience that has familiar user interface.

From a marketing management perspective, here are some questions to consider:

  • Research what technology new car owners expect to have when purchasing a new car.
  • Do you think how cars are marketed to consumers should be altered based on current technology trends? What steps should car manufacturers take to get consumers to purchase a new car?
  • Why do both millennials and baby boomers have similar technology preferences?