Don’t Overlook Millennials in your Automotive Internet Marketing

By: Felicia Savage

A few months ago, I wrote a post about the importance of dealerships catering to millennial car buyers. One thing I realized recently is that I hadn’t touched on the very specific characteristics that make this new generation of car buyers so unique. We all know that it’s important for dealerships to cater to their needs; but how can one do that if they don’t understand what they’re all about?


Car dealerships have begun to realize that connecting with today’s consumers requires a new strategy. That’s why more dealers are investing in automotive internet marketing tools. But technology alone won’t increase conversions if you don’t understand your audience — specifically, millennials.


The millennial generation, composed of people born between 1980 and 2000, is the largest population group in the United States. According to U.S. Census data released in early 2016, the millennial generation includes 75.4 million people.


Because their generation spans 20 years, individual preferences and lifestyles may vary among millennials. But there are some commonly observed traits regarding how they spend money that should influence your marketing efforts.


Here are four millennial characteristics to keep in mind:


They are Cautious About Spending Money.

Many millennials saw their parents suffer the effects of a long financial crisis and are therefore intent on saving money for emergencies and retirement. According to Bankrate, about 54 percent of millennials are worried about whether they can repay their student loans. So this generation is going to think carefully about whether they want to incur further debt in the form of a car loan.


Car dealerships will need to promote the long-term value of a vehicle and its qualities when trying to persuade millennials to buy. People who are planning to start a family may be more open to buying a car because a car offers the value of safe and reliable transportation.


They Expect you to Use Technology – and they Expect it to be Use-Friendly.


Nearly 75 percent of millennials do research online before deciding what product to buy. They want easy access to helpful information, such as comparison tools and online reviews. When shopping for a car, millennials are more inclined to choose the dealership with the best, most user-friendly website.


When assessing your website, make sure you’re focused on delivering experiences as well as easy navigation — components that will appeal to all audiences, including millennials. Upgrade your automotive internet marketing solutions to provide engaging interactive forms, seamless vehicle searches, and options that allow users to quickly gather the information they need to make a purchasing decision.


They Values Experiences Over Possessions


A Harris poll found 72 percent of millennials would rather spend money on experiences than material possessions. So while millennials may sock away thousands of dollars for a trip to Tahiti, they’re less likely to spend a lot of money on a flashy sports car. But if the experience of driving that car is impressive enough, that could be a selling point.


They Are Diverse.


automotive internet marketing - image 3Members of the millennial generation could be just graduating high school or parents to children in high school. They are also the most racially diverse generation – about 43 percent of millennials are non-white.


If you flip through a few magazines and newspapers, you may find that many advertisers don’t feature models that are representative of their target audience. To reach millennials – to tell them, “This car is for you” – you may want to think about whether the people you use in your marketing and advertising campaigns reflect the diversity of the millennial demographic.