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The most exciting marketing opportunity you need to know

iMedia Editors
The most exciting marketing opportunity you need to know iMedia Editors

The connected car: Why the automotive industry is ready for digital

This year, the industry production for automobiles will top 16.5 million, and the average age of U.S. cars will top 11 years. What does this mean? That millions of Americans will be in the market for a new automobile in the next few years. This market is about to explode, and with new cars being rolled out, it presents huge opportunities for marketers. The fact is, the automotive world is ready for digital primetime. We are already seeing many models being rolled out with digital features -- everything from internet hotspot connectivity to interactive touchscreen dashboards. Could the connected car become the new smartphone? It just might, as they share some qualities. Everyone has them, and everyone spends copious amounts of time with them. Full-sized pick-ups are aging in the market, and luxury cars are on the rise. If current trends continue, by 2020 all cars will have internet access. Advertising in automobiles is about to break out of the chains of radio that it has been shackled to since the 20th century.

iMedia traveled to thinkLA's Automotive Breakfast and spoke with Jim Baudino, engagement marketing manager for Toyota Motor Sales, about why the car business is about to be redefined.

3 new demographics purchasing automobiles

They total 80 million strong at this point, higher than even baby boomers. Millennials want digital in everything, including cars. This generation is being raised to expect an interactive integration in almost everything they purchase, especially if it's expensive. Cars will have to be very digital to appeal to this consumer.

Affluent customers
Luxury car sales now make up 13 percent of all auto sales, and they are still on the rise. As this market continues to grow, so do the high-end features and accessories that come with it. More digital integrations mean more marketing opportunity.

Trucks and SUVs are all up in the market, and the American heartland is a pillar of strong "manly man" image-based purchases.

On average, 70 to 80 percent of marketing budgets are still landing in TV, despite the amount of time consumers spend with digital to explore, find products, and make purchases. Complexity is the main thing holding automotive digital marketing back, and marketers need to address this. Today, most measurement tools are short-changing the value of digital and inhibiting its growth for marketers representing car brands. As the automotive market matures and more digitally enabled products are rolled out, marketers have a huge opportunity to provide clarity and a path forward for advertising possibilities.

Jim Baudino ends our conversation by explaining the future trends for the automotive industry and how marketers need to inject themselves into this activity.

Learn more about thinkLA and upcoming events.

Videos edited by associate media producer Brian Waters.

"Happy businessman with big head showing two thumbs up and laughing" image via Shutterstock.


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