Considering my recent new car purchase and online experience, I’m particularly enthusiastic about my Nielsen BuzzMetrics colleague Bill Stephenson’s work in the automotive industry. In fact, Bill just released public data about the impact of consumer-generated media in driving transparency among manufacturers and dealers. He’s going to tackle these and other issues in a free October 5 Webcast. He points out that online buzz for transaction pricing and incentives across automotive discussion forums is up 40% since January 2007. He says in the press release:
Shoppers are going online to learn what other buyers have paid for the car they are interested in. This trend is driving transparency among automakers and dealers because now, all of a sudden, shoppers are privy to the best deals that others received. In order for the manufacturer to protect the integrity of the brand and the dealer to make the sale, both must understand that shoppers are seeking the advice of recent car buyers and these â€˜CGM-informedâ€™ shoppers expect full transparency when it comes to vehicle pricing.
To better understand sentiment toward automotive dealer incentive programs, Bill’s team applied a Brand Association Map (BAM), which plots how consumers naturally think and talk about the topic of “incentives” across millions of unaided conversations online. The Brand Association Map (BAM) uses advanced text-mining algorithms to plot the most important language, attributes, issues and themes about a brand in concentric circles, derived from consumer expression in blogs, boards, ratings sites and other forms of consumer expression.
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Based on over 33 million messages posted to 457 automotive CGM sites from January 1 through September 10, 2007, the BAM reveals that:
- Shoppers actively discuss current automotive dealer and manufacturer incentive programs available to them.
- Full-size trucks are referenced most often in relation to incentives during this period, fueled by the introduction of the Toyota Tundra.
- Consumers frequently reference Edmunds.com when seeking vehicle pricing and incentives, reflecting shared dealer experiences among peers.
If you’re interested in how CGM is impacting the automotive industry, sign up for Nielsen BuzzMetrics’ Auto Webcast on Friday, October 5, at 12:30pm EST, featuring Bill and Forrester Research’s Chloe Stromberg. I’ll be moderating and asking tough questions, and I hope you’ll join us.