The purchase of a car is a significant expense for anyone, especially money-conscious millennials who are saving for the future and entering the phase of their lives with many large purchases ahead. Turns out, millennials are changing the scope of car ownership.
The loss of interest to purchase a car than previous generations vary, but as this article points out, financial stability is one reason and another is the fact that transportation is now so much easier thanks to alternatives like Uber, Lyft or car sharing.
Buying a car has simply just become less of a goal or accomplishment than it was in the past. There are also other reasons why millennials are opting out of owning a vehicle. This Washington Post article addresses three arguments why this is the case, including economic, technology, and cultural reasons, all of which make for an interesting analysis.
With the changing needs and tastes of the market, car manufacturers need to reassess how they communicate to consumers -- particularly to millennials.
The number one way to spark this generation's interest is through technology. We all know, millennials are the most tech-savvy individuals out there. They have an addiction to be connected at any given time, including when they're on the road. The automotive industry is definitely riding the trend of making smarter cars. Both Toyota and Ford recently announced that they will adopt SmartDeviceLink (SDL) software to link smartphone apps to car dashboard screens.
Exclusive for iPhone users, over 40 automakers, Cadillac, GMC, and Hyundai, are selling cars with Apple CarPlay - an app that allows connectivity to your iPhone interface directly onto your in-car screen. In terms of entertainment (or infotainment), Chevrolet has grasped onto the demand for embedded entertainment connectivity via Chevy MyLink.
It's only a matter of time before every major car manufacturers pick up on offering technology incentive. Internet connectivity and modern tech are pretty much a must for millennials in their considerations to purchase a car according to reports from AutoTrader and J.D. Power.
So what plays a major factor in attracting or deterring millennials from car ownership?
As one study discovered, this generation of consumers enjoy visiting car dealerships, but hate the pressure of sales associates - this may not be different than other generations, but they are much more decisive about it. They like to do their research before making any kind of purchase, especially a big one like that of a car, but they dig much deeper into reviews -- not just form the typical influencers, but also their inner social media circle.
When it comes to attracting the millennial consumer, automotive leaders need to factor in several facets on how to market their products. Technology, affordability, internet marketing, and social media campaigns are all imperative when attempting to steer Gen Y buyers in the right direction - attracting millennial buyers to their products. In a recent interview, Dealer Marketing Magazine asked four automobile leaders for their insight and strategies on how to successfully market to the tricky yet viable millennial market.
The outcome showed some interesting facts on the topic, the first being how millennials differ as consumers compared to generations before them. The number one difference is the role technology has played in the decision making process of almost everything, including the decision to purchase or not to purchase a car.
Millennials also place importance on how auto brands communicate with their audiences.
This market is looking for specifics when buying from a certain brand. As the experts in this article point out, this generation looks for transparency and consistency when it comes to a brand's messaging, pricing, and all aspects of their business. Millennials also gravitate towards a brand that appeals to their social conscience; they're looking for that connection.
One way automotive brands can instantly connect with millennials is to ensure their social media presence is strong and significant, but make sure it's connected to your system managing ratings and reviews. One car brand doing a great job at attracting this generation is BMW.
Social media stats show that BMW has the biggest Facebook page in the automotive industry. Their understanding of the younger market has contributed to their success on social media. Encouraging fans to post pictures and share driving experiences across social media in exchange for exclusive news, information and entertainment content related to their favourite vehicle seems to be working extremely well.
While car ownership is hot and cold with the millennial generation, stats prove that if marketed well, car manufacturers can still attract and maintain loyal millennial consumers. Maybe it goes without saying, but the sooner you begin to develop a meaningful relationship with them (whether they're ready to buy or not), the better. So when they finally take the plunge, you're at the top of their consideration list.