Too Much Emphasis on Digital Marketing?

Adam Shiflett
I read an article from Google recently talking about the 5 critical buying moments that brands should own. Conveniently, all of the moments happened online and on YouTube or Google Search. I think too much trust is placed in online influences at the beginning of the car buying process. Don't get me wrong digital is a major influence, but for the process of selecting a brand digital plays a supporting role not the lead. The lead role is played by friends, families, neighbors and the shopper's identity. Where digital plays the leading role is during the shopping and price research role. There is one very telling part of the article that shows the importance of digital and particularly mobile: "Whereas dealership review searches happen more on desktop during the week, mobile becomes the preferred method on weekends, making up 56% of searches." Proving mobile is the last step before the purchase. What do you think? Where is digital most used in the car buying process? Article link:
mark rask
I think that it is used through the entire buying process but heavier as the final moment gets near.
Adam Shiflett
@Chris - I am a digital marketer by trade, so this feels a bit like heresy for me to ask if we have placed too much focus on digital. Which is why I asked the question. I am a big believer in digital marketing, but I think we need to be careful of saying that the only influences happen on digital. In DrivingSales Consumer Study we found that the biggest influence on brand choice was friends, family and neighbors, and most of those interactions were not happening online. Interesting point on Adroll. Sounds like you've found some success there.
Jason Stum
Great thought starter @Adam, and I tend to agree with you. Call it ZMOT or whatever you want - but that moment a consumer enters the market (i.e. they have a need, want or desire for a new vehicle) they have a starting point in mind thanks to how they've been influenced prior to that point. Car shopping doesn't begin in a vacuum with a clean slate. Things like what their family members drive, what their co-workers drive, traditional advertising, brand loyalty, etc. have already made some kind of impact on their consciousness that will provide the starting point for their search for a new vehicle - which of course will begin online. Your digital marketing presence then comes into play as that consumer begins their journey to purchase.
mark rask
Factor the whole customer experience in to this thinking as well

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