Mobile is coming! Mobile is coming!

We have heard that mantra for years as marketers and digital companies scrambled to make sure their sites were optimized for this powerful internet enabled device. A lot has changed in a very short time. In fact, mobile isn’t coming … mobile is already here, and automotive dealers need to take notice. The era of reaching auto shoppers in your market solely from TV and newspaper are gone – especially with Millennial generation of buyers.

I recently returned from another Digital Dealer Conference. Of course, there were the usual educational workshops across a variety of topics and vendor exhibitions, as well as networking and product demonstrations. But there was a single statement made in one of the presentations that really stuck with me: “Mobile is not a device, it is a consumer behavior.”

If we really internalize this statement, it should be obvious that automotive dealers must do a better job delivering valuable and relevant content to their prospects and current owners via their mobile devices. They need to be far more willing to allocate time, resources and dollars to better connect with their consumers through mobile-focused applications.

A 2016 mobile usage study showed that the average iPhone user looks at their phone 80 times a day, about once every 11 minutes. Most of us simply cannot imagine not having our phone within arm’s reach every minute of every day. Our smartphone is less like technology and more like another appendage. In fact, we are so connected to our mobile devices that our brains release dopamine, a neurochemical known as the “reward molecule”, after certain mobile alerts, sounds, messages, likes, and comments.

The shift to mobile isn’t happening, it happened.  And the primary media platform dominating this explosive growth is Facebook.

First, let’s acknowledge that Facebook is not a just social site, but rather a monster media platform that reaches over 160 million U.S. consumers. The average Facebook users spends 50 minutes a day on the platform and visits the site more than 14 times per day. Facebook accounts for 40% of all internet traffic, and video continues to be the fastest growing segment of content and advertising. A staggering 75% of all mobile data will be video by 2020.

Dealers need to focus their budgets on “in-market” automotive consumers, but did you know that Facebook’s in-market automotive audience is 11 times greater than the major automotive research sites?

We are in the midst of an industry beginning to wake up to the power of Facebook as a dealer advertising channel, and mobile video is the key catalyst for continued growth and utilization.

This notion of “mobile as a consumer behavior” requires new and intelligent data driven video applications to cover both sales and service messages that the consumer sees throughout their shopping, buying, and ownership experience.

I suggest when an auto dealer is evaluating the countless products and services from various vendors, they carefully vet which are delivering the most relevant and engaging video content to the consumer’s mobile device.

Author: Tim Copacia

Tim Copacia is Executive Vice President, Strategic Development at UnityWorks. He is a former agency CEO and automotive pioneer in Digital marketing, CRM, Customer Experience Management and Data Driven Video Experiences. He has held executive level roles at BBDO, Wunderman/Young & Rubicam, Campbell Ewald and Ross Roy/InterOne Marketing Group. He has led multi-million dollar Omni-channel marketing programs across all marketing tiers for several major OEMs.

Digital Dealer