There’s a new trend in the fast lane on Australian roads. SUVs are experiencing a boom due to an influx of new models over the past 18 months, with even more on the way. As a result, small and medium sized SUVs are the vehicle of choice across the country, having overtaken passenger cars in terms of new car sales.
There are more than 354,000 Australian families looking to buy a new SUV in the next 12 months. Australian families are 31% more likely to consider buying an SUV compared to the average Australian.
This SUV boom offers great opportunities for auto brands. By studying the five stages along the path to purchase to understand what families are doing to find their perfect car, they can develop their marketing strategy to suit more buyers.
Stage 1: Purchase triggers
Close to a third (31%) of families are triggered to buy a new car due to maintenance issues with their current car and need a car that has lower running costs. Being budget conscious, over a third (37%) are also triggered by tempting deals and offers even if they were not in the market. These triggers lead to a lengthy researching period to find their perfect car.
Stage 2: Researching
40% of families say they know what sort of car they want and also what features they want. Families gather a lot of information during this stage and 47% said that the advice they receive from family and close friends was crucial. What is important for marketers to understand is that 45% of families also say they will consider buying a car brand they have never owned before, so marketers need to actively persuade them to consider their vehicles. Australian families are image conscious and look for cars at this stage that say a lot about them so brands need to align their messaging and imagery to these desires if they are to attract families. Getting on their shortlist is essential!
Stage 3: Shortlist
With so many SUV choices in the market families seek out advice and inspiration to refine their list at this stage of the journey. A strong TV, social and earned media strategy is crucial at this stage because families are 80% more likely than the average Australian to be inspired by micro influencers, social commentators and industry experts who open up their minds to new ideas and choices. Families get their advice and inspiration from TV and online – 42% of families said that TV ads and product placements in their favorite TV shows inspired them. 36% of families use desktop and mobile to read consumer opinion blogs and websites to research their choices. So marketers need to ensure that they are trustworthy, informative and appealing to Australian families in order to win their hearts and minds.
Stage 4: Purchase
At this stage families refine their list further, considering barriers such as affordability and want/need. Brands therefore need to consider affordability messaging as well as how unique and eye-catching/tempting their promotions are so buyers feel like they are getting the best deal.
Families need to feel reassured and trust they are making the right choice and getting the best deal at this stage. Auto brands need to make it clear and easy to buyers that they are making the right choice and that the cars price and features stack up against the competitors.
Marketers need to understand that buyers are still responsive to media they see on TV during this stage. Families are 51% more likely than the average new car buyer to go to a brands website to look for a deal or promotion and 46% of families said that they noticed deals on TV during this stage.
Stage 5: Enjoyment
Marketers need to keep customers happy beyond their purchase to drive further sales, increase awareness and build brand loyalty. This is an area the luxury car brands to do well but the mainstream brands not so much. Families are 45% more likely than the average new car buyer to review and share their purchase experience online, and 28% will take a photo of their car and post on social media or comment on a blog about their experience. A highly satisfied customer who posts their experience through social media or comment on advice sites is incredibly powerful.
Brands need to ensure that the purchase journey is a positive one right through to post purchase so that families will share their experience with their social network and beyond.
To find out how Nielsen can help your organisation find the right path to purchase specifically for your customers contact us by clicking on the button below.