Do you feel like you live in your car? If the answer is yes, then you aren’t alone. On average, people will spend about 6.5 hours per week in their cars. This doesn’t seem so bad when taking into consideration how much more technologically advanced cars have become to make the driving experience more comfortable. However, gone are the days where heated seats or back up cameras are the most desired features by auto shoppers. Having internet connecting capabilities is now becoming a standard feature for any new car rolling off the line. Automakers are recognizing this trend. In a recent study by AutoTrader, 77% of auto shoppers believe that technology is more important than car color.
Marketers have always followed the latest technology trends and figured out ways to capitalize on them. Connected cars will be no different. According to Business Insider, revenues from connected services are expected to top $152 billion by 2020. To a marketer, connected cars may be the next new digital platform they can use to not only connect, but learn more about the consumer. Data from connected cars will give marketers insight on where consumers like to shop, travel and spend their time.
Compared to other digital platforms like smartphones and tablets, the connected car market is still small. However, some companies have already taken advantage of its opportunities. By 2015, for example, Pandora Radio has already been integrated into over 150 different models of cars from a variety of automakers. At CES 2016, Pandora promoted its dealership-education program to aid car salespeople in how to pitch the radio streaming service as an entertainment option.
At the moment, in-car advertising is limited to only radio. However, this is likely to chain soon. Marketers are already beginning to think of ways to integrate a visual experience for the driver. An example would be Starbucks sending you a special offer on a new drink when you start up your car before leaving for work. Another example might be marketers tapping into a car’s intelligence system and then sending you an ad to a local tire shop if you experience a flat tire.
Being able to utilize location-based targeting with a highly personalized messaged can be a great opportunity for local businesses. With the ability for data to be pulled from connected cars, a new and valuable marketing research tool is created. Real-world location information from connected cars will bring in new types of data that have never been available. While there are still many issues to resolve, like how to present visual ads to drivers without causing distraction, many brands will jump at this opportunity to reach consumers like never before.