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Media Buying and the Pandemic - Part Two: How Media Habits Research Can Help you Spend Effectively

Updated: Jan 15

COVID-19 brought on a colossal shift in consumers’ media habits. This shift, if gone unnoticed, may have left your dealership investing advertising money in the wrong media platforms for your target demographics. The use of media habits research is an invaluable tool that helps uncover changes in how your customers consume media. Collecting this information on a consistent basis, so that the data is always fresh, increases its value and validity in normal times, as well as in a pandemic. Let’s look at some examples…

As mentioned in Part One of this series, during the height of the 2020 pandemic period, people were largely remaining at home, watching more streaming services, TV, and engaging with social media platforms. They were spending less time commuting and listening to traditional radio.

Fast-forward to Spring 2021, and CBC Automotive Marketing’s Media Habits Research Program has revealed another equally-impactful shift. People are getting back out, driving and socializing more, and are often going back to their offices for at least part of the work week. While streaming services and social media platforms remain very strong, in just the last 12 weeks we are once again seeing a major uptick in traditional radio listenership.

Due to evolving times and behaviors, media habits are changing once again! Without a proper research program and consistent data-collection practices, how does your dealership stay ahead of these trends and spend ad dollars in the most effective way? Even without a pandemic in the mix, ongoing media habits research can help your dealership plan and buy media with increased precision and efficiency.

For example, let’s consider that when selling a new truck, the primary target is men, age 25-55 with a mid-to-higher income level. How can you best reach this group? What media do they consume and when? For this target audience, let’s hypothesize that new truck buyers listen to traditional radio, primarily rock and country stations, during commuter drive times. 67% also listen to Pandora and watch ESPN. 71% of this target group uses Facebook and watches television via streaming services. Only ongoing customer research can provide these types of granular specifics for your own buyers, essentially allowing you to develop a profile of your ideal customer for any vehicle model and buy the best media to reach that ideal customer.

Ongoing research can also help you “buy around” any station or platform that may not be cost-effective or is otherwise out of reach. CBC’s Media Habits Research Program provides the flexibility to run “Audience Duplication Reports”. These allow CBC’s Media Buyers to, for example, pull data, on a specific radio station that may not be affordable for a client, with specific information on other media sources that those same consumers also utilize. This gives you options to reach the same audience using fewer dollars.

Having a media habits research program that can specifically target and pull data reports on certain vehicles, target demographics, media outlets, individual social media platforms and more can be a game-changer for your dealership or group. The ability to analyze data at such a granular level allows you to hyper-target your ideal customers, in any category, with unparalleled accuracy...and cut the “fat” out of your marketing budget.

Using data-driven methods to make marketing decisions for your dealership was once the wave of the future, but the future has already arrived. Simply put, if you are not engaging in media habits research, you are falling behind your competition.

If you would like to talk about how to spend effectively with CBC’s Media Habits Research Program, let’s have a conversation!

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