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Blogs and Chatrooms Jumpstart New-Car Prospects, CNW Says

February 23, 2010

New technologies, such as blogs and chat rooms, are enticing consumers to consider a new-car purchase, according to a recent study by CNW Market Research.

“Blogs and chat rooms overwhelm all other information sources when it comes to motivating consumers to consider a new car,” wrote CNW’s Art Spinella.

Looking at consumers “purchase path” habits in 2009, CNW found that 56 percent of consumers who became “new-car intenders” were exposed to the prospect of buying a new car through a blog, social media outlet or chat room.

Ninety percent of the blogs, social media and chat rooms used by consumers were not automotive related, but were instead political forums or hobby and task-related sites. Sites that were automotive in nature focused on classic cars, muscle cars, hot rods or specialty vehicle auction chats. Few of the sites were new-car oriented.

Consumers also made casual contact with other information sources, such as television ads (10.68 percent), consumer magazine ads (9.93 percent) and special events (4.16 percent). However, none of these three sources were automotive related.

“For example, of those who became new-car intenders after reading a Consumers Report magazine, virtually all had purchased the magazine because of a non-automotive product comparison and happened across a car- or truck-related article,” Spinella wrote.

The study shows that blogs, social media and chat rooms play a major role in marketing new vehicles to consumers, which adds another layer of information that needs to be addressed carefully.

“These are effectively ‘word of mouth’ sites; the contents of which are tough to control or influence. Yet, they have a growing importance when it comes to the initial shopping list of new vehicles to be considered,” Spinella noted.

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