Automakers that want to reach online vehicle shoppers before they lock in choices should advertise on Web sites that cater to other interests, not automotive sites, a new study by J.D. Power and Associates finds.
The reason? By the time many online shoppers begin using auto Web sites, their minds are made up, according to the consulting company's Online Media Study, which was released Monday.
"In terms of Internet advertising, once consumers visit an automotive shopping site, they've already narrowed their vehicle consideration set," Steve Witten, executive director of automotive research at J.D. Power and Associates, said in a prepared statement.
Instead, automakers should think about putting ads on sites where potential buyers are looking for other information, Power says.
Its survey of 10,724 new vehicle buyers from last September and October showed some distinct patterns. They include:
- Buyers of full-sized pickups are more likely than the average Web user to go to sites such as nascar.com and home improvement sites.
- Women shopping for minivans and full-sized SUVs spend time at game sites and Disney Online.
- Luxury buyers are frequent visitors to the iTunes music store, which J.D. Power attributes to the segment's high ownership of digital music players.
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