ROCHESTER, Mich. — As marketing budgets are being slashed, automakers and their agencies are being forced to question the value of every marketing effort. Recently, some manufacturers have abandoned or scaled back auto show participation. Is this a good decision? According to a groundbreaking consumer survey just completed by Foresight Research, auto shows are still of great value to automakers, delivering better return on investment than many other forms of marketing.
From the survey, one out of four new vehicle buyers said they attended at least one auto show in a 12 month period prior to purchasing their vehicle, and among all buyers 10 percent said that the auto show had a significant influence on their purchase. The survey also showed that most often, auto shows impact buyers early on in the shopping process: 51 percent indicated that the auto show influenced their interest in a brand or type of vehicle; 39 percent said it influenced their decision to shop at dealerships for that vehicle and 19 percent said the auto show influenced their final purchase decision.
The Foresight Research Marketing ROI Study was conducted this fall among nearly 4,000 recent vehicle buyers people who own or lease a vehicle that was acquired during the 2008 model year. They were questioned about what influenced them to shop for and ultimately purchase or lease the vehicle they chose.
Auto show attendees also influence the purchase decision of other buyers. This group of buyers reported giving 8.8 average new vehicle recommendations per year to other people. So what auto show attendees see does not stay at the auto show.
Among the auto show influenced buyers, 30 percent indicated that prior to coming to the auto show they did not plan to visit the display of the brand they ultimately choose.
“Auto shows offer a unique opportunity for shoppers to discover brands and carlines that they would have overlooked,” said Steve Bruyn, CEO of Foresight. These findings and many other tools for calculating the effectiveness of marketing efforts and ultimately the return on dollars spent are reported in this benchmark Marketing ROI study.