After seven years of constant acceleration, U.S. auto sales growth is stalling. In the face of this downshift, investments in digital sales tools and connected car technology will differentiate the winners from the losers.

Digital IQ vs. growth
Today, the average car buyer visits only two dealerships, instead opting to conduct their research online. Nine brands (Alfa Romeo, Audi, Buick, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz) purchased TV ads for this year’s Super Bowl, and while the event still drew significant attention, traditional TV viewing is on a steep decline.


YouTube serves as a cost-effective platform for amplifying the reach of commercials outside of TV and is now the go-to platform for auto research, with search volume on the platform equivalent to that of Google. However, Auto brands maintain meager visibility of only 5% on the video platform.

By boosting YouTube visibility, brands can tailor their marketing efforts to today’s digital-native consumers. Another way to reach these consumers is by promoting connected-car investments. Already, 80% of brands featured in L2’s Digital IQ Index now include collateral in their digital marketing materials describing their in-car technology platforms – another key strategy for reaching the new generation of drivers.

 

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