Car marketers are wasting their time – and their big budgets – by pushing their electric car brands to environmentally-friendly consumers; the vast majority of their target market are techno-heads rather than eco-warriors.
That is the conclusion of a new in-depth study into the minds of automotive consumers carried out by Starcount, the social insights company run by Edwina Dunn and Clive Humby. They do know a bit about this stuff, too, after all, they turned DunnHumby from a kitchen table start-up into one of the most successful data companies in the world.
Taking the electric car market as a segment, the report uncovered that consumers are driven to purchase by three distinct mindsets. Some 56% of the electric car audience have a passion for technology, while 30% are general car enthusiasts and only 14% are motivated by an eco-friendly mindset.
This insight comes from a wider study into the automotive industry, conducted by Starcount’s data scientists. It is claimed that the firm’s data visualisation tool draws on the latest and best digital data to show at-a-glance the passions, motivations and mindsets that lead to purchase, as well as the brands, influencers and media titles favoured by different consumer mindsets.
The study also reveals how automotive consumers move between segments, bringing to life their changing life-stages and the ways in which these impacts buying behaviour.
Starcount’s report also identified six key mindsets that define the automotive industry, including: money saving; family values; car enthusiasts; environment; affluent; and tech savvy.
Over 68% of the “family values” mindset are female and as it is the largest mindset in the study, family-focused women represent a powerful portion of car buyers. Technology is the top overall passion for UK automotive consumers, followed by politics.
Renault has attracted a host of new consumers into the automotive space since it upped its focus on electric vehicles. The brand has also experienced a notable shift in its appeal to certain consumer segments since the end of 2013, engaging with the ‘tech savvy’ and ‘environment’ mindsets, as well as staying strong across the board.
Starcount cheif data scientist Clive Humby said: “Although owning a vehicle is often a practical necessity, the process of choosing and purchasing a car is often more emotional than rational. Via richly-insightful graphics, our tool, The Observatory, has enabled us to move beyond skewed perceptions and get under the skin of automotive consumers.”
Starcount will be conducting similar reports throughout the year, delving deeper into consumer behaviour across a range of industries, including retail, banking and gaming.
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