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Video across the Ages. Part 4

In 2017 over 7.5 million videos were sent from the CitNOW platform. They were watched over 15 million times and rated at an average 4.8/5 by customers. CitNOW’s data delivers some fascinating insights into the way video is perceived when making car buying decisions across the generations.

The last in our series of blogs which also looked at Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials, it’s the turn of Generation Z. This is the youngest set of car buyers we questioned in CitNOW’s Vision Research*, our benchmarking report looking at consumer attitudes to video communication from automotive retailers.

Generation Z – 18-24 year-olds

By tackling this generation in a slightly different way, dealers could easily steal both a march on the competition and the hearts of the nation’s digital natives by utilising video.

The youngest age group, 18-24 year-olds represent the biggest growth opportunity for personalised video.

Research Insights

1) As the youngest car buyers, Generation Z or the iGeneration are often guided by parents and the opinions of their peers when choosing and financing a vehicle.

This generation also has a different attitude to ownership, particularly of ‘big ticket’ items such as a car. From a fairly early age, they are likely to have had mobile phones on packages, albeit paid for them, and as a result are already familiar with automotive finance cycles of monthly payments followed by upgrading.

According to recent research, a fifth (20%) fund their car in instalments (Experian 2015 Consumer survey on Car Buying Habits) which means this generation is therefore likely to be in a position to change their vehicle every two to three years.

Opportunity: Keeping in touch with video and introducing available options and new model USPs as their finance agreement ends is a great way to maintain an ongoing customer relationship with this age group. By treating them like you would every other customer, you will earn their respect. With many living at home Generation Z disposable income can be higher than expected.

Although Experian’s data shows that when buying a car these youngsters with low cash reserves are likely to opt for the cheap and cheerful used car, more than a fifth now choose to lease. By tapping into a monthly payment model they are already familiar with you can demonstrate the value and kit they can have for a monthly payment rather than owning the car itself.

With almost three-quarters (74%) of Gen Z interested in receiving a personalised video, it is clearly a good channel to use when influencing a purchasing decision.

2) This group is swayed by the opinions of others as they lack experience in car-buying and for many, this will be their first big purchase. For the 18-24s, digital media ranked as the most influential in their decision making (41%), followed by friends and family opinions (37%) and dealership materials (32%).

Opportunity: This generation is there to be influenced, especially via digital channels. Direct them to reviews on your website. If you manage your wider reviews and can link them to independent sites, that’s even better. CitNOW’s research found they valued digital media the highest when making a decision so if you have customer reviews on video, even better. If not, get filming some of your best customers and make them available by email and upload to your website. If you have any customers in this age group, start with these first, that way you will combine peer to peer influence with digital excellence which will be particularly impressive for Generation Z.

Summary – Generation Z

It’s not surprising that these digital natives are particularly open to communication by video, but dealers need to take on board some of the findings. By focusing on this generation’s familiarity with monthly payments and regular upgrades, dealers could encourage youngsters into newer vehicles. Far from encouraging young people to spend more, it is likely parents will be happier to see their offspring behind the wheels of newer and therefore safer cars. Whilst they are familiar with monthly packages for the likes of mobile phones, Generation Z will need easy to understand explanations on how it works for funding a vehicle, so make sure it is easily accessible and don’t use industry jargon. Opinions from fellow consumers are also important to this generation to make sure there’s plenty of them and creating some in a video format is likely to prove influential for these youngsters.

If you represent a brand that spans a broad range of city cars to family saloons, 4x4s and more sporty models, a video could well help you net a customer for life.

For more generational insights read about Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials in our previous blogs.

*The Vision report combines survey responses from 2,000 UK motorists with video usage data from leading UK groups and brands. You can download the full report here.