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Americans Looking to Buy a Vehicle Are Immersed In Digital Media Across Devices, More Likely to Own Smartphones & Tablets and Watch Digital Video


NEW YORK--Jan. 13 2014; Thirty-four million Americans are planning to purchase a vehicle in the next six months and a new report, “Digital Influence on Auto Intenders,” from Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Prosper Insights finds that these consumers are almost twice as likely to be swayed by auto-focused digital marketing than the general population (21% vs. 12%). Moreover, automotive shoppers are 71 percent more likely to be influenced by digital advertising across multiple retail categories than the average consumer.

“Automotive has consistently been a top sector when it comes to interactive advertising spending in the U.S. and this report points to the reasons why”

Other key findings highlight digital lifestyle differences between auto buyers and the typical adult. Automotive intenders are:

More prone to own smartphones (75% vs. 54%), as well as tablets (42% vs. 33%) Heavier digital video streamers, both online (69% vs. 56%) and on mobile devices (52% vs. 35%) More likely to regularly watch digital video commercials before streaming video programming (66% vs. 53%) More likely to regularly research all kinds of products online before buying (58% vs. 42%)

Combined, these distinctions bring them regularly online where they can encounter automotive ads when they are actively considering an auto purchase.

“Automotive has consistently been a top sector when it comes to interactive advertising spending in the U.S. and this report points to the reasons why,” said Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President, Research, Analytics and Measurement, IAB. “In particular, there seems to be tremendous mobile and digital video opportunity that auto marketers should be optimizing along with other digital and legacy media. Moreover, it is critical to leverage the always-on nature of digital media because of the central role it plays in auto intenders’ lives. As the North American International Auto Show kicks off in Detroit, we hope the report inspires an even brighter marriage between digital marketing and automotive in the year ahead.”

The study also shows that a majority of vehicle buyers regularly embark upon online searches for automobiles (86%) and they are twice as likely to be influenced by sponsored search ads (20% vs. 10%).

In addition to digital, all forms of media influence the automotive path to purchase, emphasizing the importance of a solid media mix in order to effectively reach prospective vehicle buyers.

“These findings underscore the fact that automotive brands, as well as marketers in related areas like car insurance and vehicle maintenance, would be remiss in not including digital in their media strategy,” said Pam Goodfellow, Consumer Insights Director, Prosper Insights.

“Digital Influence on Auto Intenders” includes intelligence from the Media Behaviors & Influence™ Study which polls some 19,000 respondents once a year, The report is the second in an ongoing series of consumer research studies that IAB is producing in conjunction with Prosper Insights.

To read the full report, go to


IAB conducted a custom analysis of syndicated Prosper Insight data to look at consumer and media behaviors of those who state that they are planning to buy an auto in the next 6 months as compared to the general adult 18 and over population in the US. The report is derived from the Prosper Insights & Analytics Monthly Consumer Study (Nov. 2013) of 6201 respondents surveyed online which focused on those planning to buy an auto in the next 6 months and the Media Behaviors & Influence™ (MBI) Study (Jan. 2013) of 19,774 respondents surveyed online. The studies have a margin of error of less than 1 percent, at a 99 percent confidence level.