Radio and Connected Car Sales

Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

Earlier this year Kantar TNS, a global research agency, released an automotive study focused on the connected car.  The study revealed that owners of connected vehicles are indifferent, unaware and/or distrustful of the technology that is available to them in their vehicles.  Specifically, 47% of owners of connected vehicles are unaware of some of the features that classify them as connected.

Written with the manufacturer in mind, the study included a total of four insights and the opportunities within those insights.  Upon reading the study, it dawned on me that there are ways that radio can help solve some of these issues for the auto industry and local dealers, while also increasing radio’s share of ad dollars.

Insight 1 — When potential buyers are considering vehicle options, safety and fuel economy were the top two concerns.  Surprisingly, connectivity lagged fifth – behind brand image and exterior design.

As a mobile medium, radio can inform potential auto buyers of the advantages of connected features while they are on the road, making it relevant to the potential buyer while they are in a fully engaged environment.

Insight 2 – Potential buyers or recent owners are neither familiar with the features and advantages of connected vehicles nor how to use them.

People tune to radio for information.  Local auto dealers or representatives can demystify and educate the listening audience as a sponsored segment within a trusted personality’s program.

Insight 3 – Personally experiencing the features makes a difference.  Those who had experienced the advantages of connectivity were more apt to spend the money in future vehicle purchases versus those that had not.

Radio is the inventor of experiential marketing and can help drive awareness of any event that can give potential buyers the opportunity to experience connected car features first-hand.

Insight 4 – Safety.  Concerns of personal data safety and protection have made many consumers wary of some technologies and social platforms. These concerns also apply to connected vehicles.

Listeners consider the personalities on their favorite radio station to be trusted friends.  These personalities can help auto advertisers understand the benefits of a connected car and personally speak to the uses and experiences that they have had with these features.

The insights from this study set a clear direction of how the auto industry can maximize the opportunities that exist.  Radio with all of its various assets and ability to connect with listeners across platforms and devices can serve as a marketing solution, helping the auto industry – at all levels – to educate, inform, and pique interest and consideration of connected car features.


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