The Video Advertising Bureau (VAB) asked consumers a pivotal question for car dealers:  What’s doing the best job at driving consumers to the point of purchase?  The November study, done by Research Now, found that TV carries the greatest influence of all media throughout the consumer’s decision process—from discovery to actual purchase.

TV leads online search when it comes to first learning about vehicle brands 47% to 45%.  Makes sense.  You might see a new product line on a TV ad that drives you to search for it.  But the research also shows that TV leads every other medium at every stage of the auto purchasing process – beating online and more than double social media.


And the conversion rate is significant.  Who is the person auto dealers want to reach the most?  Likely buyers.  You know, people in the market right now.  More than 50% of likely buyers visited an auto manufacturer website after seeing a TV ad.  That’s a startling number.  Stacked up against an online search ad, the conversion rate to visit an auto website was a comparative 30%.

There’s other benefits to using TV as well.  Think about this.  Someone’s looking to shop for a car.  Wouldn’t you rather have them go directly to your dealer site rather than search and see all of your competitors?

On a TV ad, you can push out your website.  In the study, 33% said they went to a dealer website from online search.  The rest (67%) learned about it some other way.

426% typed it in directly.  How would they know this?  Branding campaigns and years in the market.  26% went as a direct result of a TV advertisement they saw.

It’s not just for Baby Boomers, either. “TV generates instant brand awareness, especially among Millennials,” the study concludes.

You can read the full study here, which breaks down categories by demographics, race, gender, and walks you through the whole sales funnel.

IMAGES:  Research Now, VAB