For the first eight or nine years of its creation, this author was a regular at the fall event of what was formerly called the JD Power Automotive Internet Roundtable. It was a top priority event, as, although there are many good automotive industry events throughout the year, it was always one the few that took a broad, yet comprehensive perspective of large scale digital marketing industry trends as applied to automotive retailing. As schedules conflicted the last few years however, I regret to say I missed the last couple of these annual conferences. I attended the most recent one however (October 23-25), the “JD Power 2012 Automotive Marketing Roundtable,” and am very glad I did so, for, although the name changed a bit (and now Internet is replaced by the more “mainstream” term “Marketing” in the title), I am happy to say the quality and of the content and depth of the subject matter and presentations has not diminished, and now perhaps are even more vital for anyone in the industry. This trade conference, more than any other, brings in not only experts in the automotive industry on marketing and digital trends, but leading digital marketing experts from the media and technology industries as well (this year from such varied companies as “YouTube,” “ABC Television,” Twitter,” “eBay Motors,” and “TechCrunch” and “Facebook” to name a few…)
While the words “data,” “social media,” and “mobile,” seemed to dominate in almost every major discussion, indeed, though I might be a bit biased “mobile” was the most ubiquitous, as it is inescapable fact now that no matter how one markets to consumers, through conventional or digital means, with social or traditional campaigns, the target prospect will increasingly either receive or respond to the message through their mobile device.
I couldn’t help but notice and be so enthused by one particular slide that I took a picture of it with my cell phone camera, when presented by Arianne Walker, Senior Director, Media & Marketing Solutions at JD Power, that is, the growth of “Mobile Automotive Content Through a Mobile Website” – as the slide dictates, this started at 17% in 2010, grew 41% by 2011 to be at 24%, and another 29% from 2011 to 2012, to now stand at 31%. If this growth trend continues, this will be well over 60% within two years, that is, very soon the majority of consumers will look at automotive content through a mobile Website…is there any better reason to a) take a good look at your mobile site, and b) make sure your mobile site is utilizing all of the most updated mobile tools available (text message marketing, textchat, send2phone, etc.).
It would take me many blog articles to even begin to scratch the surface of the content provided by this, the most “high end” of automotive conferences, but suffice it to say that even the New York Times caught the implications of the mobile trend for automotive shoppers presented at this event, see the New York Times blog, “Wheels” from last Wednesday, “J.D. Power: Consumers Increase Their Use of Smartphones in Car Shopping.”
At any rate, it was great to be back at the JD Power Automotive Marketing Roundtable once again, and particularly good to once again hear confirmation of the automotive mobile marketing trend from some of the industry’s top sources.