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L2 released a animated video along with the 2014 Digital IQ Index: Auto. Here are a few highlights:

 

– Automakers are on track to sell over $16 million this year, which will be their best year since 2007. However, that growth will taper and progressive digital marketing tactics will separate the winners from the losers.

 

– Three of five prompts for consumers to start research for buying a new car are digital. Half of online shoppers are open to any brand when they begin researching, but almost all have already made up their minds when walking in a dealership. One in six even skip the test drive.

 

– 73% of time spent shopping for a new vehicle is spent online. A third of consumers do their research on multiple devices, and tablets have recently surpassed mobile as the preferred shopping tool (25% vs. 23%).

 

– To cater to the multiple device shoppers, a fifth of brands in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Auto have added tablet-customized sites.

 

-Video discoverability is an issue. Over half of online car shoppers watch 30 minutes of video, and a quarter watch over an hour. Forty percent of auto brand videos do not make it to the top three search results.

 

– Digital handoff to dealerships could improve as well. Only a third of brands support local dealership networks with digital infrastructure, and only two brands feature zipcode finders in their paid ads.

 

– The L2 study is seeing cracks in the big three Detroit brands, Chrysler, GM, Ford. Lexus and Volkswagen reached the top ten. Lexus took an always-on digital ad strategy and experimented with improve commercials sourced from social media. Volkswagen had a tablet optimized site, and Index leader Mercedes-Benz has a stellar mobile experience and strong growth across US social media channels.

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