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Driving car sales

Newspaper media is the key for targeting new car buyers. BRIAN ROCK explains why.

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Infographic_TORQUE IT UP_DIGITALKey takeouts

  • 790,000 newspaper readers plan to buy a new car in the next 12 months
  • 95% of new car prospects read newspaper media each month
    • 88% read printed newspapers
    • 70% read digital newspaper media
  • Newspapers are the most useful form of advertising when buying a car.
  • Automotive section readers are high value new car prospects
    • 83% more likely to buy than non-readers
    • Above average spenders: $41,500 vs $39,600 for non-readers


Australians bought 1.1 million new cars in 2014, according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive industries, with the most recent data showing 2015 YTD car sales are up 3.5%. 1

It’s a good time for car manufacturers to reach out to new car buyers. And newspaper media is a great place for them to start.

Most new car prospects consider 3.4 car models. This isn’t a long list, so it’s imperative for car manufacturers to get onto the list as early as possible.

Getting on the list is necessary, but not sufficient. It’s also critical for manufacturers to give prospects a reason to select their cars, and not a competitor’s.

Newspaper media is an excellent way to make this happen.

From 0 to 790,000

Currently 830,000 Australians say they plan to buy a new car in the next 12 months, according to emma data. These prospective buyers are heavy newspaper media readers, with 790,000 (95%) reading newspaper media each month.

Digital readership is an increasingly important part of the mix. When emma first reported digital readership two years ago only 61 percent of new car prospects turned to digital newspaper media over a four week period. In the most recent data it’s 70%.

However printed newspapers continue to deliver the most prospects. Over a four week period newspapers reach 726,000 (88%) of prospective buyers. Not only do they deliver high reach, they provide ample opportunities to reach buyers, as 40 percent of these prospects are heavy readers, reading 7+ issues a week.

Trip planning

Buying a new car is a major purchase, and prospective buyers turn to a variety of sources when selecting a car. They seek advice from friends and family, visit car makers’ websites, and visit dedicated automotive websites.

They also rely on traditional advertising to help them make the right decision, but not all advertising media are equally useful.  Magazines and television are important to many prospects, but more often than not they consider newspapers:

Media most useful when buying a car
Outdoor advertising3%
Unaddressed mail or catalogues2%

Given the nature of these media this makes sense.

Strong brands have a clear edge, with most prospects (77%) saying they prefer to buy well-known car brands.

Building emotional links and brand associations is often most easily achieved with imagery and impact. Television generally has the edge here, followed by magazines, then newspapers.

But actually convincing a buyer to purchase also involves information about factors such as safety, price/value, warranties, and practicalities:

Agree/strongly agree
Safety is an important consideration when buying a car86%
I am very conscious of the price I pay for a car80%
A new car must have a long warranty77%
I need a car with space and flexible seating options 54%

Newspaper media are high-attention media, and readers actively engage with and think about advertising messages in them. This makes them excellent for drilling down into details, and an outstanding environment for retail/promotional messages.

1. Australia’s New Vehicle Market, http://www.fcai.com.au/sales, New car sales up 3.5% YTD, http://www.fcai.com.au/news/index/index/year/2015/month/all/article/391

Source: emma,12 months to April 2015. Survey conducted by Ipsos MediaCT, people 14+, Nielsen Online Ratings, April 2015, people 14+ only. New car prospects: intend to buy a new car in the next 12 months


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