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Car Talk In 2020: Predicting The Future For Digital Advertising, Auto Insurance And Purpose-Driven Decisions

December 28, 2020 Sarah Cavill

Shutterstock_1011178438 white business car moving on highway

Many industries over the last year have had to adapt to the new behaviors of consumers, pivoting to strategies that would safeguard their businesses while staying connected to consumers who would need them again soon. For the automotive industry, due to economic anxiety and reduced driving, a slowdown in sales was inevitable at the start of the pandemic. By adopting digital strategies that reached consumers where they were, offering personalization and economical solutions, car and auto insurance brands were able to stay relevant and top of mind for consumers.

Purpose-Driven Campaigns And Data Insights Helped Car Manufacturers And Auto Insurers Stay Relevant For Consumers

When GM decided to make ventilators, the decision resonated with consumers because it aligned with their values. When a car insurance company uses telematics to reduce auto insurance bills, the action resonates with consumers because it speaks to what they need in their lives today. One of the lessons of 2020 has been about seeing consumers for who they are and what they want, being authentic in the execution of strategies and engaging consumers with personalized messaging. Throughout 2020, trends in car and auto insurance advertising have illustrated how companies can reach consumers effectively.

The sections below summarize previously published DMS Insights articles about automotive news and trends in 2020.

Car Sales Climb As Auto Industry Prepares For Strong Rebound

One immediate result of the lockdowns that began in March was the move to working from home for so many people, and in turn less commuting and less driving for travel. As a result, the automotive industry had to adapt to this new world by offering consumers enticing financial incentives, experiential activations and seamless delivery options. As consumers started considering car purchases again, automobile brand and auto dealership advertisers responded with safe, tech-savvy offerings that reflected the mindsets and demands of consumers.

Personalized Auto Insurance Appeals To Consumers Looking For Deals And Customization

Many modern consumer expectations can be met through personalized, seamless digital technologies that save money and time, and what is expected for auto insurance is no exception. From telematics to agile pricing, auto insurance brands are providing today’s version of customized experiences for drivers. In a crowded marketplace like auto insurance, data-based personalization and customization is a surefire way for auto insurance companies to differentiate their offerings.

Car Dealerships Speed Up Adoption Of Digital Marketing & Sales Solutions

The move by consumers in 2020 to rely much more extensively on online shopping opportunities was apparent throughout the auto industry, where dealers had to respond to newfound demands and expectations from car shoppers. While the idea of a digital experience is not an entirely new concept for auto dealers, the share of consumers relying on a fully online process for car buying is something the auto industry is adjusting to. Automotive marketplaces like Cars.com and Auto Trader leaned into digital strategies and outreach like never before, seeing major upticks in business and a greater understanding of today’s consumer.

18 Days From Cars To Ventilators: The GM Pandemic Pivot Creates New Brand Purpose And Employee Commitment

At the start of the pandemic, there was concern nationwide about access to ventilators and PPE. Less than a month from the start of quarantines, GM was able to convert several of their factories into ventilator manufacturers and mask-making facilities, eventually producing 30,000 ventilators and 10 million masks. “18 days from cars to ventilators,” said Deborah Wahl, global CMO at General Motors. A mantra that is now frequently repeated at GM as a reminder of what can be done when GM employees feel inspired and committed. GM's purpose-driven mission extends to its manufacturing aspirations; GM leadership has committed to having 20 electric vehicles in production by 2023 and an all electric future for the heritage brand.

Positive Growth In Auto Insurance Industry Leads To New Emerging Trends Among Consumers

In recent years, the auto insurance market has shifted from traditional advertising strategies to significant investments in digital advertising. Digital Media Solutions (DMS) analyzed its proprietary auto insurance online shopping data in order to spotlight consumer trends within the auto insurance industry. The 2020 Auto Insurance & Emerging Consumers Trends infographic reports data from nearly 8 million consumer auto insurance inquiries submitted on DMS owned-and-operated websites, Jan-Sept 2019 (Q1-Q3 2019) compared to Jan-Sept 2020 (Q1-Q3 2020).

Click here to read more automotive news from DMS Insights.

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Senior Marketing Communications Writer, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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