The radical transformation that continues to affect the automotive industry is questioning the old theories of consumer habits. Here are the three most important changes that have emerged from the analysis of the latest research data and the latest results from the Google consumer Surveys survey.

The automotive industry is at a crossroads. The opportunities that consumers can take to make a purchase have never been so many although, at the same time, car sharing services question the very idea of owning a car. However, even in this period of new uses and rapid technological innovations, consumers are still determining the most significant progress. We have carefully analyzed what has recently emerged from the research data and the results of Google consumer surveys to be able to understand the direction chosen by consumers and which can be the point of meeting with the marketing professionals.

People who use car sharing services also buy a car

The heated debate concerning the impact of car-sharing services on the automotive industry is fueled by a legitimate reason. The forecast of industry observers and analysts of future trends was unanimous: the concept of private ownership of the car is destined to disappear. According to the analysis of Google query trends, car sharing service searches increased by 59% compared to the previous year. 1 However, today, it is not said that the interest in buying a new vehicle prevents consumers from choosing This new form of mobility. In fact, it could even increase its propensity.

In August we conducted a survey on the behavior of consumers in relation to car sharing services. The 22% of respondents who took advantage of this service during the previous month plan to buy or rent a vehicle next year, while 80% said they are currently in possession of a car or have already taken a lease. Solo 14% of consumers who have not used a car sharing service in the previous month, however, expect to purchase or rent a car, while 71% already owns one or has chosen the leasing formula.

The data suggest that the use of car sharing does not prevent consumers from being interested in buying or leasing, but the two options could be complementary.

However, for the millenniums, the most important factor in the decision to buy a car is the price, first of all other aspects such as the efficiency of consumption, design, safety measures and vehicle technology.

This result says a lot about how much has changed the way users consider cars that, like other technologies, are more and more similar to services that can guarantee experiences and less to simple status symbols. In the long run, this change could lead to the disappearance of the privately owned model but, in the meantime, consumers appreciate the utility and convenience of a car, whether they show it in their driveway or with an app.

Conclusion: Consumers appreciate the convenience. The progressive growth of car sharing in terms of popularity and practicality pushes users to consider cars more and more as a service, wondering which solution is more useful depending on the moment: owning a car or choosing a shared car. Marketing professionals need to take greater account of consumer priorities, now more than ever changing, and to change messages and targeting accordingly.

Consumer behavior change and video guide role

In the past, a consumer could read reviews of magazines, ask for advice to friends and family and visit different dealers before deciding to buy a vehicle. This behavior is now a distant memory like the cassette car radio.

Thanks to YouTube and the research network, consumers can tap into a wide range of digital content before making purchases, multiplying the opportunities of presence that marketing professionals can grasp during the moments when Users evaluate what the best car is. Compared to 2013, last year, consumers spent an average of three hours more by making Ricerche8, using digital channels in 75% of cases.

Such a large number of research has significant repercussions on traditional showrooms. The myriad of information in the possession of the buyers has turned the dealers from places to buy and know the characteristics of a car in simple outlets. The average in-market buyer only goes to a dealer twice before making a purchase.

Nothing can replace the experience of sitting in the driver’s seat, but consumers go more and more often on YouTube before a test drive. In fact, in the US one adult out of three watches content related to cars on YouTube once a month. Research shows that consumers are mainly interested in five types of video: test drive, detailed overview, main equipment, reviews and security tests. They are mainly mobile videos to push consumers to act: one in four will go to a dealership after looking at content related to cars, trucks or rides on a smartphone.

These trends highlight the opportunity to attract viewers to the official channels of the brands. Recently, Mercedes-Benz has responded to audience search habits with a series of overview videos to meet user requests. In addition, he published some demos on endowments and features of the new class and sedan.

Conclusion: The value of videos is incalculable when you consider the power they have in narrowing the brand rose to which car buyers can turn. Consider creating content based on the five most popular video types (test drive, overview, main equipment, reviews, security tests) to allow buyers to search for information by simply reproducing A video. Also, make sure they’re optimized for mobile devices. The example of Mercedes-Benz demonstrates how digital technologies combined with creative content can help marketing professionals to be present at times when buyers evaluate the choice of the best car.

Daring brands prefer digital

What do Volvo, Tesla Motors and Jaguar have in common? In addition to producing some of the most desired vehicles in the world, they follow bold marketing strategies that prefer the digital format and have a great impact on the market.

Volvo has given great prominence to the launch on the market of the new offroad XC90 through a completely digital campaign, which offered the possibility to book online 1927 models First Edition of the SUV, recalling with this number the year in which it was founded the automotive company. The Swedish brand was also the first to use Google Cardboard: a virtual reality solution at low cost that allowed to visualize an overview at 360 ° of the XC90, months before the SUV arrived in the showrooms. Tesla, meanwhile, hosted a livestream for the launch of the Model 3 sedan in March, recording over 300,000 orders online only during the first week. Jaguar has marked a breakthrough with the “Day dedicated to digital” in conjunction with the launch of the new SUV F-Pace, publishing on the home page I takeover of, YouTube, Spotify, and many others.

The strategies of these brands demonstrate the concrete and real data underlying the online marketing: not enough to prefer the digital world, the brands must also know.

Conclusion: The digital scenario offers all the same competitive opportunities. As a result, marketing professionals do not need high budgets to achieve great impact. To overcome expectations, a well-thought-out digital strategy is sufficient to meet the needs of buyers at any time when they express an intention. Furthermore, as consumers consider dealers to be simple outlets, it is even more important to reach them during their research. Users who think they have made a decision may still be affected by an alternative and the alternative is you.

The digital revolution is transforming the entire automobile industry, creating exceptional business opportunities and real benefits for customers. Since the data generated by cars could create an additional market of 450-750 billion by 2030, the question arises spontaneously: how the operators of the automotive ecosystem, which is evolving, can transform this Huge amount of data in products and services that generate value? In this interview, created at the event Auto @ Google, Michele Bahukhandi, Partner at McKinsey & Company, talks about opportunities for players in the automotive sector.

The automotive and mobility sectors are experiencing a real revolution, perhaps the largest in history. Cars continually generate data about how they are used, where they are and who they’re driving. With the increasing proliferation of shared mobility services and the progress made in the electrification of engines, autonomy and connectivity of cars, the amount of data from vehicles will increase exponentially, with Repercussions on how cars are designed, produced and sold.

“The opportunities are huge. According to a McKinsey research, the additional market generated by the monetization of data could reach the world-wide 450-750 billion by 2030. This market will be based primarily on the use of big data and advanced analytics, in order to offer new functions and new services to motorists, reduce investment and operating costs, as well as improve the safety of drivers and passengers “, says Bahukhandi.

In order to take advantage of these opportunities, players in the industry must be prepared to face four major challenges. The first is to create an effective customer value proposition, communicating in a clear way “what are the benefits for customers “. The willingness to share data in exchange for concrete benefits is the central element of the value-creation process, since the benefits for consumers are numerous and could be encompassed in four areas: security, comfort, savings Time and cost reduction. The second challenge concerns the definition of use cases and business models related to the use of data and aimed at generating value for the end customers and the players in the sector. The third, which is crucial to better understand the opportunities for the use of data, is to leverage technologies and regulations. Finally, it is necessary to implement appropriate templates and organizational tools to monetize car data through the development of specific skills: This result is attainable both internally – by hiring, training and retaining professionals in Scope data analytics, software programming and digital services – both externally, starting partnerships with large high-tech companies and digital operators.

In this sense, technological giants such as Google play a key role in facilitating and accelerating the progressive digitalization of cars, contributing also – thanks to direct contact with end customers through their platforms To establish a relationship with them, which the traditional companies in the automobile industry have always had a hard time building.

“Technological giants such as Google play a key role in facilitating and accelerating the progressive digitalization of cars.”

“Monetization of car data will push current players in the industry to quickly and pragmatically change their approach: Many have only recently started to develop services and products that generate value from this huge amount of data. But it will be the ability to adapt and transform business models to really make a difference. In this sense, collaboration with large technology companies could significantly speed up this process,” concludes Bahukhandi.

A consumer who is preparing to buy a car, before switching to purchase, can click on several ads associated with the search results. However, with the attribution associated with the last click, most of these search clicks are ignored. In view of the growing diffusion of mobile devices and the fragmented nature of purchasing routes, Renault considered it important to identify which clicks produced a greater impact, so as to focus on more effective investments and maximize the return on Spending.

About Renault Italia SpA

  • Founded in 1899
  • Italian branch with headquarters in Rome


  • Understand which clicks have more impact
  • Focus on more effective investments to maximize return on spending.


  • Switching to data-based attribution
  • Account optimization based on results.


  • Improved conversion rate of 70% compared to last-click model
  • Cost-per-acquisition decreased by 47% compared to last-click model.

In collaboration with the WCO marketing agency, Renault Italia SpA has decided to move to the AdWords data-based attribution model. By adopting this new model, complex algorithms would have analyzed all the different paths within the Renault account (which had generated conversions or not), to determine which touchpoint had been more effective.

The results included factors such as the number of interactions with the ads, the exposure order, and the creative assets used in each conversion path. The algorithms have also compared what has actually occurred compared to what might have happened, so you can find clicks on the most important ads for a conversion.

The data-based attribution model made it possible to achieve intelligent optimizations that overall resulted in excellent results for Renault: an increase of 70% in the conversion rate and a decrease of 47% in the cost per acquisition compared to Previous reports generated using a last-click model.

“All of this demonstrates how a Smart Bidding strategy and a data-driven attribution model can increase performance and become a blatant example of the foreground role taken by the data in the planning field. ”

-Davide Tan, Digital Performance Director, WCO

“The results confirm our expectations, emphasizing the importance of the new attribution strategy and the value of the analysis that Google tools can offer. ”

-Elisabeth Yesterday, advertising & CRM Manager, Renault Italia SpA

“Given the variety of touchpoint encountered during the consumer purchasing process, it has proved particularly effective for us to measure the impact of each campaign along the conversion path,” explains Elisabeth yesterday, advertising & CRM Manager of Renault Italia SpA. “The results confirm our expectations, emphasizing the importance of the new attribution strategy and the value of the analysis that Google’s tools can offer.”

With these last metrics in hand, the team stated that it will now evaluate the investments in the Renault Research network, in order to align them with the results generated by the new attribution model, and it was also said that the optimizations will continue to promote success in the strategy behind lead generation in the future as well.