Luxury Car Shoppers Are 1.8x More Likely To Rely On Mobile For Research

When it comes to targeting, upscale auto brands need to focus on engaging consumers across devices. But when it comes to cars themselves, technology itself isn't luxury — experience is.

Affluent car shoppers own an average of 4.3 devices and are 1.8x more likely to do the majority of their product research on mobile, according to new research from Facebook, Facebook’s Irene Chen shared in a panel discussion at MediaPost’s Marketing Automotive — indicating that luxury auto brands need to think mobile-first, regardless of demographics.

But while engaging consumers across devices is key to attracting consumers who are in the market for a luxury car and thinking about a purchase, it doesn’t end there: The dealership — and in-car — experience must be captivating. And that doesn’t just mean “more technology,” stressed Kinetic Global CEO Mauricio Sabogal.

“Technology [itself] is not the new luxury; it’s been the luxury forever,” Sabogal said. “When I bought my first Mercedes, [the conversation] was about technology improving safety. Then it was additional gadgets. Today, it’s about connectivity. Today’s luxury is the facility to connect with the consumer everywhere — and [to allow] them to connect.”

Connected cars were a hot topic at this year’s CES and Mobile World Congress, but the central idea is that consumers increasingly expect to be able to seamlessly interact with the world around them — and that those four devices they own will be able to interact with each other.

As such, connectivity matters, both when it comes to building compelling in-car experiences and what marketers can do to reach them while they’re there. It’s not just about gadgets; its about a better and simpler experience.

Below, other top takeaways from the panel for auto marketers:

  • Influencer marketing matters: Sabogal mentioned that his Gen-Z daughter believes she doesn’t watch advertising. She does, of course; just in native formats or through influencers whose opinion she actually finds relevant or helpful. This is true when it comes to reaching younger consumers across the board, both within the auto vertical and without: “We have to provide advertising in the way the consumer wants to watch and wants to engage with,” Sabogal said.
  • Mobile must be part of your brand’s DNA: And video is not a nice-to-have — it is a must-have. Consumers are increasingly consuming video content, especially on mobile. “Working with our incredible luxury automotive partners, there’s still a little bit of skepticism, that ‘affluents’ are on mobile — let alone Instagram or Facebook,” Chen said. “That’s simply not true. With 1.9 billion people on our platform around the world — and over 200 million accessing our platforms in the US on a mobile phone — we are reaching most people. Including affluents.”
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Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.