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The Connected Car Opportunity

Marketers are experimenting with developing smart car ecosystems

June 22, 2017 | Media

As connected, smart and self-driving vehicles become more common, they are changing the way consumers drive.

But the steady adoption of smart cars goes beyond a consumer phenomenon. “These vehicles also have important implications for marketers seeking to use them as platforms for customer outreach, targeted messaging, ecommerce and personalized services,” said eMarketer principal analyst Victoria Petrock, author of a new report, “The Internet of Things for Smart Cars: Accelerating on the Information Superhighway.”

(Subscribers to eMarketer PRO can access the report here. For nonsubscribers, the report is available for purchase here.)

Connected vs. Total Car Shipments Worldwide, 2015 & 2020 (millions)

An increasing number of new vehicles now come equipped with internet connectivity and other digital capabilities that provide infotainment, communications, diagnostics and driver assistance. While there is some consumer demand, the push to adopt more sophisticated features is being driven by manufacturers and tech companies seeking to differentiate themselves and expand revenue opportunities.

Both traditional auto companies and those from outside the industry are jockeying for position in the smart and connected car market. Some automakers are attempting to reposition themselves as “smart mobility” software and services providers, but innovation is also coming through collaborative efforts and partnerships.

“Digital car technology and cloud platforms are giving rise to new service-based ecosystems for finance, retail, insurance, energy, infotainment and maintenance, among others,” said Petrock. “Additional services related to these areas will help drive the connected car market.”

“The connected car gives marketers, including car manufacturers, a lot of really interesting data to work with, with regard to how people use their products,” said Kevin Lindsay, director of product marketing at Adobe. “[Marketers] may already have years and years of CRM data, and now to be able to combine that with behavioral data that comes directly from a vehicle is a huge opportunity.”

Not only can businesses use GPS and other connected car data to target drivers with location-based offers or alerts as they pass by, they can use information about driving habits, entertainment preferences, app use and other specific data sets to deliver multichannel targeted advertising.

“Analyzing this data can potentially help marketers identify which phase of the buying cycle their users are in, suggest purchases, and execute more effective and personalized marketing campaigns across channels,” said Petrock.

Listen In: eMarketer’s Victoria Petrock discusses the evolving smart car market and its implications for marketers in a two-part “Behind the Numbers” podcast.

In part one, the discussion focuses on how developed the market is and how consumer attitudes are changing.

In part two, the discussion shifts gears to look at the various players in the market and some of the implications for marketers.

New Report in eMarketer PRO This Week


The Internet of Things for Smart Cities


Using data collected from sensors, infrastructure and networked devices, smart-city projects are helping municipalities improve efficiency, boost sustainability and encourage economic development. They are also creating more collaborative environments among cities and their businesses and residents. Preview Report


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