How a Digital Marketing Strategy Can Help Your Automotive Brand 

| July 30, 2020

It’s no surprise that the pandemic has shifted the way consumers are purchasing products and the same goes for buying cars. This guide will show you how a digital marketing strategy can reach consumers with these new behaviors.

It’s no surprise that the pandemic has shifted the way consumers are purchasing products and the same goes for buying cars. Like most businesses across the country, the automotive industry needs to shift and adapt to meet these consumers’ needs.  

What are auto buyers’ new shopping behaviors? We’ve got you covered. Like we’ve seen happen with other industries since March – more and more consumers are shopping online to decrease the risk of contracting COVID-19.  

Auto Buying Behaviors are Shifting to Digital  

Research from J.D. Power reveals that retail sales of new vehicles are only 4% below the pre-virus forecast, evidence of strong consumer demand, so not much has changed here.   

What’s new is that consumers are spending upwards of 11 hours researching cars online, decreasing the number of dealerships they have to visit. Consumers increasingly want a shorter and easier experience overall, and digital channels provide this convenience. With that in mind:[Text Wrapping Break] 

  • – 90% of car shoppers prefer a dealership where they can start the buying process online​ 
  • – 70% of car shoppers expect to be able to configure a payment on a dealership website 
  • – 83% say online buying technology helps them narrow down their vehicle choice and determine what is affordable 
  • – 43% of car buyers say they are willing to complete the entire purchase process online, without ever visiting the dealership 
  • – 18% of auto shoppers would buy a vehicle sooner if there was an online purchase option​ 

Additionally, while the purchase journey itself is happening online, the purchase still happens offline. At-home test drives and vehicle delivery were tied as the number one alternative to visiting a car dealership for auto shoppers. 

What Does This Mean for Your Auto Brand’s Marketing Strategy?  

At a time when social restrictions related to the pandemic are impacting consumer behavior, developing strategies for how to meet consumer demand for online buying and at-home delivery can make a large impact.​ In a world full of uncertainty, there is one thing we do know: winning the digital engagement battles will be key to sustained success in a post-COVID-19 market. 

When paired with a strong brand strategy and a solid linear broadcast strategy, digital ad formats are going to align best with the consumer’s mindset, and to get them down the purchase funnel more effectively.​ An integrated campaign like this provides manufacturers and dealerships top-of-mind awareness when consumers are in-market.​ 

How TEGNA can Help Your Automotive Brand 

By partnering with TEGNA, your automotive brand can leverage our network of 63 stations in 51 markets to reach potential customers from coast to coast by placing brand messaging alongside local news headlines, weather and traffic reports, and behind-the-scenes local sports coverage.  

Auto brands can also leverage our Over-the-Top (OTT) streaming solution, which places brand messages alongside premium long-form, on-demand, and live streaming content on more than 125 branded networks.  

This brand messaging can also extend to TEGNA station’s local websites and apps. Meanwhile, our digital solutions include extensive targeting capabilities, including audience targeting, location (also known as geofencing), and search retargeting.  

Last, but not least, TEGNA provides actionable results so you can understand exactly how your marketing dollars are working now and in the future. TEGNA Attribution connects TV and OTT viewing habits with engagement metrics such as website visits (Website Attribution) and visits to a specific brick-and-mortar location (location Attribution), such as a storefront. This data can be used by clients to prove the value of TV/OTT schedules in driving business results, make optimization decisions, and maximize the efficiency of the paid media. 


At TEGNA, we’re committed to serving the greater good of our communities. TEGNA Marketing Solutions is a one-stop-shop that helps businesses thrive through an unmatched suite of services and solutions that reach consumers across through linear broadcast, over-the-top streaming (OTT), and digital solutions. Click here to learn more. 

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