Price Matters: A Car Buyer’s Search

Car buyer desires

A survey of 1,000 vehicle owners conducted by should not come as a surprise to anyone who has studied shopper preference polls over the past few years.  Price took top consideration and was followed by the desire for a good deal on a vehicle that would last up to 10 years. Sixty percent planned to purchase within six months, but that came with a caveat:  3 out of every 4 potential buyers would be shopping for a pre-owned vehicle.


One note of extreme interest was that dealership websites ranked second to last in value as a research site – Edmunds and KBB were ranked the highest for input when deciding which vehicle to purchase.  To a certain degree I find that surprising.  Here you have potential buyers with a high propensity for pre-owned vehicles and yet they rank local dealership websites as less useful than those with national scope.


One message we consistently encourage our clients to promote in traditional broadcast is how big – and important – used vehicles are to their operation.  If you want digital consideration, you need to address your market’s growing interest in pre-owned vehicles and reach them with focused messages on selection, quality and affordability.


While your market may recognize you as a volume new-car operation, they need to be aware of what that means:  trade-ins are coming in daily and posted immediately…on your dealer website.

About the author

John Paul Strong: For someone who spends an average of 135 days outside of the office meeting with clients, John Paul Strong remains the driving force behind his Birmingham-based advertising agency, Strong Automotive Merchandising. Strong began his career as a fresh-faced account executive at Martin Advertising. Learning much, but never satisfied, he convinced his father to partner with him in reopening their own advertising agency in 2004, catering exclusively to the automotive industry. The company started strong but humble. The original roster of 10 employees and eight clients has exploded today, growing to 100 full-time employees and more than 220 automotive dealers. And it hasn’t gone without notice. Along the way, Strong Automotive Merchandising has been recognized as a perennial winner in Birmingham’s Best Places to Work contest and as a Top 20 Agency among Google’s National Ad Partners. Yet, Strong still finds time to share what he’s learned along the way. As an avid writer, he has published two books in the Next Day Traffic series, along with more than 1,000 automotive-focused blog posts. He is also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, and his success has been recognized in the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2013 “Top 40 Under 40” feature and the 2017 CEO Awards. The foundation for Strong’s career began at the University of Montevallo where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and advanced public speaking. Always staying ahead of the competition, Strong later went on to study in Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program. Amid all of his endeavors, Strong always makes time for what matters most – his family. He is a proud husband to Amy, and father to Lilly Grace, Anne Charlotte, Hudson, and Ford.


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