Automotive Research

Today’s consumers have all the advantages when they’re shopping for a car. Their smartphones place them just a tap away from information and advice about the vehicles they’re considering. MFour helps you meet mobile car shoppers in their new natural environment.

You’ll track and talk to 2.5 million first-party U.S. consumers, carefully profiled, validated and representative across all key demographics for auto purchasers, including easy access to Millennials, Hispanics and African-Americans.

Start by visualizing consumer journeys from one dealership to another, on MFour’s Path-2-Purchase® Platform. See where and when they shop for cars, over a period of days, weeks or months.

Survey them each time they leave a dealership to understand the full car-shopping experience. Get the “why” behind each visit. See the cumulative effect of multiple shopping experiences on brand, model and option preferences and intent to buy.

The New Challenge in Automotive Research

It’s not just the car that’s under consideration when consumers walk into a dealership. Auto dealers are selling experiences, too, as a necessary precursor to selling the car. You need to hear consumers tell you which experiences are putting them in a buying mood and which are turning them off.

Read on for guidance on how to combine observational and survey data to fully understand the car shopper’s process and what makes for a great shopping experience.

Automotive Research Options

Visit-Tracking with Path-2-Purchase® Platform

Observe automotive buying journeys of the only validated, first-party, all-mobile consumer panel. Track them over a span of days, weeks or months as they consider choices and narrow them down. The patterns that emerge help you identify and define your consumer segments.

The consumers whose car-shopping journeys you’ll observe all have opted in for location tracking because they’re eager for location-based survey opportunities.

  • See how many dealerships they visit on their way to a purchase.
  • Which brands besides your own are they spending the most time with?
  • Who are your weekend shoppers? Who’s coming on weekdays?
  • Where did they go before and after visiting a dealership?

Automotive App Targeting

Target car shoppers by the apps they use: for example, advisory apps such as and TrueCar. Target users of ride-share apps (Lyft and Uber) or mass-transit apps for insights into how these alternatives impact consumers’ desire to own or lease a vehicle.

Competitive Intelligence

You can leverage all the in-store, after-visit and mobile location tracking research capabilities outlined above to understand other dealerships’ shoppers as completely as you understand your own.

In-Dealership Research

Follow car-shoppers into dealerships (or automotive parts and repair shops) nationwide, using GPS-enabled mobile geolocation. Capture in-dealership or in-store experiences at the Point-of-Emotion®.

Conduct longitudinal research, surveying during and/or just after each visit to a dealership made during a search for a car.

  • Are they in the market for a new car now? Or gathering information for the future?
  • Why this dealership? Why today?
  • What do they think of your brochures and floor displays?
  • Is the dealership attractive, the staff informative and courteous?
  • Are service customers satisfied with the waiting room and its amenities?

After-Visit Surveys

Talk to validated shoppers just after they’ve left a dealership or auto parts/repair chain, eliminating recall bias. Ask for “video selfies” that will give you in-their-own-words responses that take you to the Point-of-Emotion® where experiences that influence purchases are most vivid and immediate.

  • How did the test drive affect how they felt about a car?
  • Did the sales staff interactions make them more inclined to buy here?
  • How do they feel about negotiations that took place?
  • If this was a service stop, how would they rate the experience from drop-off to pick-up?

Social Media Ad Testing

MFour’s Social Ad Testing is the only way for automotive brands to receive instant pre-launch mobile feedback on their advertising messaging, copy and design. Your specific audience sees the test ad in its personal news feeds.

It’s not a simulation, but a test in the exact social environment where the ad must perform after the campaign launches. Test across Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and Twitter.

First, observe their ad interactions passively (clicks, shares, likes, viewing duration). Then survey ad recipients for ad recall, brand awareness and intent to buy. Finally, re-inject the ad, alert the recipient and get qualitative feedback on the advertising creative.

High scores tell you you’re ready to launch the campaign. Negative feedback guides your creative revisions. Repeat until you get the thumbs up.

  • Is the concept a bore or an attention-grabber?
  • Is the creative working? Why or why not?
  • Is this ad a success on Facebook but faring poorly on Twitter?
  • Where should I place my ads and allocate my ad spending?

Measure Advertising Effectiveness

  • Test ad content before campaigns begin.
  • Measure campaign recall and impact across channels – showroom, brochures, print, TV & radio, digital, social media, mobile and out-of-home.

Holiday Weekend + Special Offers = Big Business for Car Dealers

How did we discover this formula for success? What were the big results?

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