3 Facts About the Female Car Buyer

Automakers serious about long-term success need to adapt their marketing and customer experience strategies to the values and preferences of female consumers.

Automakers serious about long-term success need to adapt their marketing and customer experience strategies to the values and preferences of female consumers.

Are car companies missing an opportunity among female consumers? Recent data suggests they are: according to separate studies by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and the National Automobile Dealers Association, while female drivers now outnumber their male counterparts (105.7 million to 104.3 million), men represent 91% of salespeople at franchised car dealerships.

No matter how you want to look at it, that's a serious disconnect - especially when you consider the following 3 facts:

1. Women are extremely influential in the car-buying process 

On paper, J.D. Power estimates that women accounted for up to 39% of car purchases in 2013. However, automakers have long understood the behind-the-scenes influence women hold on the final decision. The Wall Street Journal's A.J. Baime reports that Carlos Ghosn, president and CEO of Nissan Motor Co., recently stated that women are "making the final decision on more than 60% of new car purchases."

2. Women account for a majority of the powerful Millennial market

For both size and purchase power, the Millennial market has the automotive industry salivating. And women account for 53% of that market.

3. Women take a different approach than men to the car-buying process

Women aren't just buying (or at least influencing the decision to buy) new cars, though. They're buying them in different ways, focusing on different values and using different tools. As opposed to men, who've traditionally relied on expert reviews, recent research indicates that women are more likely to "crowd-source" reviews via social media, and consult peer-to-peer sites like AskPatty.com and Women-Drivers.com

"[Social media] give women a voice that can impact brands like no other time in history." - Jody DeVere, CEO, AskPatty.com

What do you think? What brands have been most successful adapting their marketing strategies to women car buyers? Let us know in the comments below!

Your Customers as Storytellers: Personalizing Your Brand with User-Generated Content

Companies like GoPro and Red Bull align their brands with their customers' lifestyles, accomplishments and aspirations by leveraging user-generated content and storytelling.

How many times have we seen companies try too hard when it comes to marketing? Some companies have gone to incredible places to make marketing work for them. Other companies have just embraced what makes them them. 

I look at a company like GoPro and Red Bull, both companies have very different products but  similar marketing techniques. One of the main ways that these companies do marketing well is they generate a lot of user content. One of the best ways to engage your audience as a brand is to use the content they make. GoPro is perfect at doing this: they've developed an app that shows videos of the day and have also created a YouTube channel to post user generated content. They interact and help users garner a following of people simply because the content is good and it's what people want to see. 

Red Bull is another perfect example of a company interacting with its fans and consumers. Keeping its focus on energy drinks, Red Bull has nevertheless expanded in almost every area that makes sense for them. Like GoPro, Red Bull has some pretty amazing content that they post and users engage with. 

Both of these companies are pretty remarkable. They are set apart by what they offer, what they do, and ultimately, who they are. The one thing that the everyone can do is find the right opportunities to personalize yourself. Find your niche and be creative. Most people will not have thousands of followers and a live TV show, but you can be impactful in your own unique way. That’s what makes these companies thrive. They live on users like you and me that buy their products, create amazing content, and share them with the world. 

Not every industry can have this effect on people. However, that shouldn't stop us from thinking outside the box and being creative. Every company has its following and its own story. It's taking those stories and making them personal that makes brands what they are. 

Want to learn more about how user-generated content and storytelling can help personalize your business? Let's talk! Find us on Twitter at @BranchCre8tive or contact us here.

About the author: Ben Dawson is Director of Branch Creative Network, a digital marketing agency based in Dearborn, Michigan. BCN is a subsidiary of Jackson Dawson, an award-winning marketing, training and events firm.