Drive to Decide Auto Research

Automotive Press Releases Friday September 29, 2017 15:00
Bangkok--29 Sep--Inspire Communications
Research into Thai Auto shopping habits shows over 8 out of 10 (84%) of Thais would be prepared to buy a car without a test drive after watching a 360 video.
Today, at the "Think Auto" event held in Bangkok, Google shared new research into Thailand's auto industry and how consumers find and buy cars in today's fractured media landscape.

New "Drive to Decide" research from Google and TNS outlines the complex journeys that consumers make before making their final purchase. The survey comprised 518 interviews with new car buyers, men and women who are online and bought a car in the past 12 month].

Thai consumers are better informed than ever before. With a whole host of ways of finding out about products and services, consumers come to the dealership with definite views on which car they want.
Key findings of the research show:
It's a long and winding road ... to deciding a new car. Most Thais take around two months to choose a new car.

Thai consumers are open to ideas while researching. On average, Thais consider 2.4 brands before making a choice, but 74% start the process without a clear choice in mind. This is good news for marketers looking to influence consumers.

Search is the most influential. Over 9 out 10 (96%) of auto shoppers find Search the most influential source of information at all research stages.

Video also plays a role in brand choice. Almost 9 out of 10 (88%) said they used online video in the buying process and 87% said that online video introduced a new vehicle they were not previously considering, and almost half (49%) said that they went on from watching videos about cars to visiting dealers.

And 360 video could replace a test drive. A surprising 8 out of 10 (84%) said that 360 video could convince them to buy without test drive.
What this means for marketers:

The research shows that marketers must be present from the start of the consumer journey in all the moments that are shaping consumer decisions. Brands that go the extra mile to not only show up but offer helpful, relevant content from the first moment a consumer turns to their phone are putting themselves in pole position.

Phumipat Chatkaew, Industry Manager, Auto of Google Thailand, said, "This new research gives a great insight into the way Thais buy cars today. Throughout their two-month journey to buy a new car online plays a key role - with over 9 out 10 (96%) of Thais starting their research on Search to discover brands, information, and even dealerships. It's fascinating to see that it's not just about Search, that almost 9 out of 10 (88%) find online video helps them to choose between brands."

Saruth Ingkavat, Marketing Director, Ford Thailand commented, "We differentiate ourselves in this highly competitive industry with a "Digital First" strategy to reach consumers through digital channels. Our campaigns are built on a strong foundation of analytics to ensure that consumers are not only aware of Ford but also engaged. Working with with YouTube has played a tremendous part in growing our brand and business. We were not only able to overcome a challenging year in vehicle sales but also outperformed and thrived when comparing to other major players."

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