Half of all European consumers are planning to buy a new or used car in the next two years, according to the Nielsen Global Survey of Automotive Demand – with 28% planning to buy a used car, and 22% a new car.
There are clearly, then, some great growth opportunities for the auto industry. But being able to take them relies on marketers successfully identifying, understanding and effectively connecting with the needs and desires of these buyers.
So, what are the big motivators to buy? The report shows that a ‘love of driving’ is one of the biggest motivators among existing car owners. This is particularly the case in Europe, where 82% of respondents agree it’s a key factor, well ahead of more functional reasons (56%) and status intentions (42%).
How can marketers reach buyers?
Nielsen studies have found that online platforms, in particular, present unique opportunities to reach new auto buyers.
Automotive brand websites are voted most helpful among 65% of global respondents when considering an auto purchase, though certain European markets, like Russia (73%), exceed the average. Professional product review websites are most helpful for 41 percent of global respondents. Other third-party informational websites and dealership sites are each voted most helpful among 38 percent of global respondents. A third of all respondents (34%) find social media sites most helpful, though, again, certain European markets - like Russia (73%) - exceed the average. About a quarter of global respondents (23%) say video sites with product demonstrations are most useful. So, all in all, marketers should be paying significant attention to the effectiveness of their own communications assets.
It’s vital, then, for auto companies to link automotive demand with consumer sentiments and media habits in their region. This will help them develop the right marketing strategies that connect the right consumers with the right automotive brands.
Watch Eleni Nicholas, Automotive & Financial Services Industries' Leader in Europe, discuss topline findings from Nielsen's Global Automotive Consumer Demand Report.