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AddThis Data Puts Auto Industry Marketers in the Fast Lane

Insight Into Content Consumption and Social Sharing Reveals Purchase Intent and Optimal Times for Consumer Engagement

McLean, VA - Oct. 14, 2014AddThis today announced the results of an in-depth analysis of online social sharing and content engagement behavior specific to consumers buying automobiles. The results were announced at the J.D. Power Automotive Marketing Roundtable.

AddThis data reveals the ways that shoppers consume and engage with online automotive content throughout the entire research, decision-making and post-sales process. The data also provides insight into the type of content shoppers are most likely to consume and when they’re most likely to engage with that content. Based on this information, auto brands and dealers can more effectively reach their buying audience and influence the purchasing decision.

Among the key findings, AddThis data reveals that shoppers in the beginning, or consideration phase of the buying process are 55 percent more likely to enter the next phase, known as in market, after consuming auto-related video content

AddThis also analyzed the way shoppers consume unbiased third party content and content developed by the brand and how this can have an impact on the potential sale. Shoppers that consume content from third party sources are 40 percent more likely to show purchase intent. The likelihood of showing purchase intent after consuming first party content, also known as brand owned and operated content, is only 15 percent.

“Today’s consumers are clearly in the driver’s seat when it comes to the content they decide to consume, engage with and share,” said Alex Hultgren, national digital manager, Ford Customer Service Division. “To be effective in our communications, we need insight into the types of content most likely to influence the purchasing decision—whether it’s new vehicle sales or service—and precisely when and where to serve that content. We look for every opportunity to utilize differentiated external data, which—when combined with our proprietary data—can more effectively engage customers and move them down the purchase funnel.”

The sample size for the analysis includes interactions that occurred over the past 60 days across desktops, tablets, and mobile devices and on more than 25,000 Websites featuring automotive content. All data used in the analysis was non-personally identifiable.

Additional highlights from the analysis include:

  • When it comes to pre-sales content consumption patterns, 45 percent of shoppers engage with unbiased and trustworthy third party content such as reviews and vehicle comparisons; 25 percent engage with blogs and forums, 15 percent engage via social networks, and 10 percent engage with content that is brand owned and operated.
  • Among the three different phases in the buying process, pre-sales, in market, and post purchase, shoppers engaged with content in markedly different ways. Specifically, during the pre-sales phase, when consumers are researching automobiles, social sharing outweighed private sharing by a ratio of 50:30. As shoppers narrowed their choices and moved into the in-market phase, private sharing of content dominated by a ratio of 80:15, thereby limiting an auto brand’s ability to influence the final decision. After shoppers moved into the post-purchase phase, social sharing again became the primary engagement activity by a ratio of 45:25.
  • The primary times that consumers engage with auto content varies by device. Specifically, consumers are more likely to engage with auto content on desktops on Wednesday afternoons, on tablets Thursday evenings and on mobile devices Saturday mornings.
  • After purchasing an automobile, the likelihood of a customer to follow an auto manufacturer online or install auto apps varied based on the type of automobile purchased. Specifically, 45 percent of truck owners and 30 percent of sports car owners were likely to follow an auto manufacturer online. Meanwhile, 20 percent of customers with mid-sized cars and 40 percent of SUV owners were likely to install an auto app.

“Since only 1.5 percent of the population is in the market for a vehicle at any time, auto marketers are keenly aware of how critical it is to reach their target audience at the earliest stage in the decision making process,” said Greg Cypes, senior vice president, product marketing and client solutions, AddThis. “Adding to the sales challenge is the dramatic shift in the way consumers research, consume and compare auto industry information. Without a solid grasp on the types of content that lead consumers through the customer journey, auto marketers are faced with an uphill battle. Armed with our data, they have a distinct advantage as they map out their marketing strategies.”


Maggie Clark

About AddThis

AddThis helps brands build more authentic customer relationships through insight, activation and personalization products powered by the AddThis Audience Intelligence (Ai) platform. AddThis Ai processes the real-time interest and intent data from 1.9B monthly uniques across 15M global domains. AddThis’ extraordinary reach, combined with world-class data science and seamless integration across the marketing ecosystem, gives marketers and advertisers unprecedented transparency into target audiences and enhances their ability deliver effective personalized experiences across paid and owned media. Learn more at

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