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2015 U.S. Automotive Media and Marketing Report--Summer Results

2015 U.S. Automotive Media and Marketing Report--Summer Results

By Joseph Dobrian, July 31, 2015


Consumers who say a vehicle's technological features is one of the factors in their purchase decision are more likely to be heavier consumers of media--such as the Internet, television, and magazines--than those who don't cite technology as a major factor when they shop for and buy a vehicle, according to the recently published J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Automotive Media and Marketing ReportSM--Summer. The report provides a comprehensive view on the factors that influence consumers' new-vehicle purchases, as well as attitudinal, lifestyle, recreational, and media consumption behaviors.

Among drivers of premium-brand vehicles, 43% say their vehicle's latest technology features are a reason they purchased their vehicle. This compares with 28% of non-premium brand drivers. New-vehicle drivers who seek technology also consume media at higher rates than those who don't cite technology as a factor in the purchase decision: spending more time on the Internet for personal use, watching more TV, and reading more magazines. In addition, technology-seeking drivers are more likely to read a magazine through an app than those who don't buy for advanced technology (33% vs. 27%, respectively).

"It's important that auto manufacturers promote the technological virtues of their vehicles to consumers via the media they consume," said Arianne Walker, senior director, automotive media & marketing at J.D. Power. "Targeting these technology seekers with the right messaging is critical to using marketing dollars efficiently to reach consumers who will actually buy new vehicles because of new technology."

Popular technological features in vehicles include collision-avoidance, driving-assistance, and other safety-related advances, plus smartphone connectivity, voice commands, navigation, and information on fuel economy. Slightly less than one-third (31%) of men and 28% of women report that one of the reasons they purchased their new vehicle was because it featured the latest technology. New-vehicle drivers who purchase based on the latest technology are also similar across age groups: 34 years and younger (31%); 35 to 54 years old (28%); and 55 years and older (31%). Because of these similar percentages across the board, it's probably not useful to target technology-seeking buyers according to demographics.

Reading Magazines, Watching TV Tie To Desire For Tech
While it's not clear whether people interested in automotive technology are attracted to specific brands or specific media, the report finds the following:

  • Among premium brands, Lincoln, Infiniti, Cadillac, and Audi have the highest proportions of buyers who cite "latest technology features" as a reason for purchasing their vehicle.
  • Among non-premium brands, Mazda, Buick, and Chrysler have the highest rates of buyers who purchase for the latest technology.
  • Drivers who cite advanced technology as a purchase reason spend an average of 33 hours a week watching TV. They list "The Walking Dead," "The Big Bang Theory," and "The Voice" among their favorite shows.
  • Technology-seeking drivers read an average of nine magazines; the favored subject matter is wealth, science/technology, and travel. Magazine readership among new-vehicle buyers has increased year over year, to eight magazines in 2015 compared with seven in 2014. The greatest increase in magazine readership year over year is for titles with content related to business/personal finance; wealth; men's lifestyle/fitness/outdoor; travel; and women's lifestyle.
  • Younger new-vehicle drivers watch less television than older drivers on a weekly basis: buyers 34 years and younger (20 hours); 35 to 54 years old (24 hours); and 55 years and older (35 hours).
  • Boomers (born 1946 to 1964) spend 32 hours weekly, on average, watching TV. Favored cable channels among Boomers (listed in alphabetical order) are the Golf Channel, Hallmark Channel, Oxygen, Syfy, and TV Land.
  • Nearly 70% of new-vehicle drivers access social media websites or apps.
  • Facebook is the most popular social media site accessed by new-vehicle drivers, followed by LinkedIn and Pinterest.


Consumer Tips
Based on the report, J.D. Power offers the following consumer tips:

  • If you're interested in certain media, use those media to track the latest innovations in automotive technology.
  • Compare automakers to determine which one offers the most technological features that are particularly interesting to you. Year to year, different automakers emerge with the most advanced technological innovations.
  • If the media are creating buzz about a certain automaker's technological features, investigate further.


The 2015 U.S. Automotive Media and Marketing Report--Summer is based on a nationwide survey of 28,983 principal drivers of recently purchased or leased new vehicles. The report is based on drivers who acquired their vehicle between November 2013 and October 2014.

Additional Research:


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