The Path to a New Car: A Word from eXelate’s VP of Auto Sales

This is my first blog post as the automotive guy at eXelate, and being born and raised in Detroit, it’s been all about cars my entire life.  Now that data has become a major factor in targeting automotive shoppers, it just made sense for me to marry my auto marketing experience with smart data.

The auto shopper is one of the most sought after people across the web.   For years, marketers have been trying to figure out who is in-market and who are just tire kickers.  Are they looking for new or used or are they still undecided? And how long will it be until they really get serious and actually pick a model they like enough to go to the dealership to take a test drive?  Is that today or 3 months from now?

This is not a linear process like traditional media has taught us.  The purchase funnel we used to talk about is more of a path to purchase that actually resembles fingerprint technology.   Fingerprints might all look the same at a glance, but each one is different.  Everyone’s vehicle buying situation is unique and constantly changing.  Decisions need to be made for an infinite number of reasons; time frames and patterns are impossible to decipher.

Think about it.  Let’s say it’s January and one person wants a bigger car because they just moved to Buffalo, New York from Jacksonville, Florida and think that driving in the snow will be a challenge.  And another person wants to make sure they have a vehicle with the correct towing capacity for that bigger camper they’ve been eyeing.  Both definite SUV shoppers.  One has an immediate need and the other is still in the planning stages.  Yet you need to make sure you are targeting both individuals throughout their decision making process.  That’s where data comes to the rescue.  People’s online habits can give us clues to make marketing decisions more effective.

While OEMs are looking to target new vehicle shoppers, the auto shopping population has almost 3x as many used vehicle shoppers compared to new.

US Auto Sales, 2012 (http://www.nada.org/NR/rdonlyres/1B512AC7-DCFC-472C-A854-6F5527931A2F/0/2013_NADA_Data_062813.pdf)

US Auto Sales 2012 (Source: NADA)

When consumers go to auto shopping and research sites, the sites are designed to reach both new and used shoppers, so almost ¾ of your targeting is to the used buying market.  What if you could use a data source that concentrated on new car buyers and over indexed the marketplace to make targeting more effective?  That’s what eXelate has been doing in the auto vertical and that’s why the data is much more effective.

A recent 90 day Korrelate study found that eXelate data reaches half of all new car buyers.   In 2013 alone, you can reach 8 million auto buyers and 34 million that are in consideration.

This is an exciting time to be in the data business, and the auto industry understands how important it is to reach people throughout the entire path to purchase – wherever that road is to a new car sale.

Frank J. Smychynsky is VP of Automotive Sales at eXelate and is based in Detroit, MI. With over 20 years in the world of cars, Frank is our resident auto expert. Click here to get in touch with him. 

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