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Social Media Not Significant Source of Information For New Car Buyers

For buyers 35+, dealer salesperson most influential source of info; for buyers under 35 family, friends rank highest

SALT LAKE CITY, February 25, 2015 – While social media channels may be great for catching up with friends or sharing photos, they do not provide significant information to new car buyers, according to research from MaritzCX.

When all ages were averaged, approximately 22 percent said the dealer salesperson was the most important source of information for new car buyers, followed by friends and family at 19 percent, and published “consumer guides” at 14 percent. Social media, including Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter, came in at 0.6 percent.

“We have no doubt that social media is a factor further up the sales funnel for brand awareness, but when we talked to people who had just bought a car, the salesperson was still the most influential source of information,” said Chris Travell, Vice President, Automotive Research Group, MaritzCX.

“Vehicles are expensive. Considering all that’s involved in buying a car, including the options, technology, financing, and many other factors, customers want the salesperson to guide them in their purchase decision,” Travell said.

For buyers under 35, friends and family were mentioned most often (27 percent) as the most important information source, but even with these younger buyers, the salesperson was the second most important. “This is not too surprising since for many in this age group this could be their first new car,” said Travell. “They want to get the opinion of those closest to them before buying.”

Rounding out the top five mostimportant sources of information were automakers’ own websites, followed by published safety ratings from such agencies as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Safety Administration. The complete results are posted in the MaritzCX CXCafé blog at www.maritzcx.com/blog/auto.

The MaritzCX New Vehicle Customer Study (NVCS) is the longest-running and most comprehensive buyer behavior study in the automotive industry. The study, released monthly to subscribers, provides a lens on vehicle buying patterns including key metrics on conquesting, retention, loyalty, purchase reasons, feature ratings, and vehicle design. For more than 40 years, the NVCS has delivered tactical and strategic intelligence for product planning, marketing, brand management, financing, and more. The study receives feedback from 250,000 North American vehicle buyers annually and is used by most automotive manufacturers in both the US and Canada. For more information about MaritzCX in the auto industry, please visit www.maritzcx.com/blog/auto.