The buying behaviours of younger vs. older customers when buying a car

The buying behaviours of younger vs. older customers when buying a car

For Digital Natives the internet is personal, social and experience-driven. For Digital Migrants the internet is practical, entrepreneurial and a planning tool.
Work – They use the internet to gain instant skills (like how to drive, or how to change a battery). Work – More likely to use the Internet for entrepreneurial pursuits or planning (like buying and selling a car, or planning a road trip).
Live – They are part of the sharing economy. They are more willing to show you their home or favourite causes (like video messaging in their car, traffic updates etc). Live – Less involved in the sharing economy but will engage in communities and communications (like drivers clubs and product reviews).
Play – They value experiences rather than products. They are more willing to share their experience (like the buying experience of a new car, getting a service, upgrade or personalisation) Play – Use the internet as a practical tool to plan and support hobbies, home life and travel (like going to car events, or how to maintain their vehicle).

There is quite a lot of scope in these profiles that not only gives you an insight into your audience but also provides inspiration. What marketing collateral could help the two different groups?

What marketing collateral do you think each group is looking for?

Research suggests that more than 4.1 million Brits searched “how to” queries in the first 3 months of 2016 and 1.3 million visited online learning sites.

This trend is particularly strong amongst digital natives (18 to 34-year-olds) who represent over half of all visitors to online learning sites, despite only accounting for one-third of the UK population.

The need for learning does translate to when people are buying and looking after a car, too. Do you provide ‘how-to’ guides and videos to help your audience get closer to your business and a buying decision?

Digital Natives will also want to work with businesses that have a positive social impact or have a cause worth shouting about. Do you tell your audience about all the good work you are doing socially and in the community? The businesses that do will steal the advantage over those that don’t – even with less superior or more expensive products.

Digital Migrants are using the Internet to improve their own business skills or entrepreneurial ventures. This suggests that they are more about the numbers, facts and specifications. They want to research and compare. Do you make it as easy as possible for them to do this? If not, the decision-making process will be long-winded and difficult, increasing your pipeline and reducing profitability.

Digital Natives have ultimately grown up connected to their peers. The sharing economy is defined by a peer-to-peer exchange of values (such as facilities, money, goods and information).

So what does that mean for automotive businesses?

• More car/travel sharing (not to mention AV and EV cars).
• Value for products and service is only part of the equation.
• Prospects and clients will share the information, education and entertainment you put out there. They will either be advocates of your brand or try to ‘troll’ it.
• If you don’t put any information, education and entertainment out there, you will be left behind.
• Online brand reputation will be key over the next 5 to 10 years.

Digital Migrants use the sharing economy in a different way. They use it for practical and commercial purposes to get a business loan (for a car maybe?) or rent a vacation home. How can you make the most of this opportunity? Could you align with sites like FundingCircle, Crowdfunder and Rebuilding Society (not the traditional banking or finance options)?

Digital Natives are 2.1 times more likely to search for and share an experience than Digital Migrants. 71% of Brits under 35 agree with the statement: “I’d rather tell people about something I’ve done than something I’ve got.” How can your marketing plan leverage this?

Really think about this from a client attraction and conversion point of view. How can you leverage all the hard/smart work you do to make someone’s experience with you newsworthy? (Even if they don’t buy a car, you could still win!)

Think about:
• Digital advert targeting and messaging
• Staff interaction – you need to be knowledgeable and entertaining
• Environment – how your business environment makes people ‘feel’
• Point-of-sale incentives to share
• Back-end marketing to share

Nick Hill, Managing Director of Big Marketing, says:

 Obviously the buying landscape has changed massively over the years…

Although research shows the average amount of time spent online has doubled in the last 10 years, consumers of all ages are still regularly using the web to support their real life decisions.

Brands must ensure their marketing efforts and services seamlessly support consumers who use the internet to plan their offline experiences. This sounds complicated but can be really simple.

The younger population spend a lot of time online, but they are also strongly motivated to venture offline for what they perceive as meaningful ‘experiences’ – whether they are cultural, culinary or simply unusual.

Experiences are the new currency, and have more social value than products.

Ask yourself what can be done to improve the experience of your marketing? How can you evoke emotion? How can you surprise and delight your audience? It’s not just about giving a new special offer or discount.

The older population may never be ‘native’ to the web, but from the guys that do adopt using the internet the conversion rates are high. They regularly use the web to support offline hobbies, develop skills they enjoy and plan for their next trip.

Brands should provide practical, convenient and simple planning tools to support their older audience. How can you do this?

Research cited: Hitwise, PWC, Nesta Research, The Drum, Ofcom and the Office of National Statistics.

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