Automotive’s evolution into a media channel & life app

We have noticed a key theme emerging for 2014.

Automotive trend 1

How does this apply to automotive? Automotive is being modified by the behaviour of mobile audiences and expanding digital app and brand experiences into physical spaces. This leads to some trends we have seen developing in 2014.

#Connected Car Phenomenon
It’s not an illusion, everything you use is looking for a way to plug into your car

Cars are becoming life beacons
V2V: Gas mileage to engine diagnostics to autonomous navigation
Automatic makes any car with an OBD-II port into an iBeacon
Brands offer services to, and receive data from, your car

Automotive is becoming a new ecosystem for data and engagement
From entertainment to apps for various purposes and mobile

#Mobile and App Ecosystem
Automotive is the new mobile battleground; it’s the #1 tech trend we found at CES 2014, that impacts media audiences

Your car could be a Wi-Fi hotspot
The Chevy 4G LTE example: GM and AT&T announced a partnership to build 4G LTE connectivity into upcoming Chevrolet vehicles. This upgraded edition of OnStar will enable drivers to install an AT&T SIM card into their cars, allowing them to access the Internet.

This in turn will power a suite of mobile apps redesigned for driving safety and will serve as WiFi hot spot for passengers.

The idea of simply adding your car to your data plan, along with your phones and tablets, further underscores that the car can be thought of as a mobile device. And as with other mobile devices, reaching audiences who use them is imperative.

Your car can be an app
Open Automotive Alliance: Google announced a partnership with several major automakers to launch Android-based infotainment systems starting in 2014. It will be carefully crafted for safety and will be an open platform carmakers can tailor for their needs. Since it is based on Android, it will be able to draw on a large existing base of developers.

Brands should keep an eye on when or whether to migrate their existing Android apps to this platform.

Sometime soon, it will prove to be both
SYNC App Link: Ford announced SYNC App Link at Mobile World Congress, which will give brands access to provide data-driven branded experiences in a captive setting. Partners already on board are Spotify,, TomTom amongst others.

Opt-in for mobile data sharing is essential to the development of the app ecosystems in cars

Now even Apple is moving iOS to the in-dash car experience
Apple CarPlay – iOS on Your Dashboard: Apple has announced its new in-car iPhone integration system, designed to be an eye-free system which allows drivers to safely use their phone in the car with three key functions: Voice Command, Music and entertainment and Mobile applications. This is a big deal because Apple is angling for control of the automotive ecosystem by focusing on Siri as the interface for iTunes, dictation of texts/message, navigation, and calling.

Quantified self is becoming quantified car
Dash: A hardware device and accompanying smartphone app which offers real-time feedback on your driving. Interesting features include Maps showing retail pricing info, cheapest gas nearby and Social feature integration of sharing, ratings, friends picks and so on

Cars now act as hive minds and can provide micro-location information like whether windshield wipers are on…
…so you can figure out what to wear, before you leave your driveway

The automotive industry is now a key information hub in the mobile and social data ecosystem
As cars create more behavioural data, they will become tools for predictive analyses, offer optimisation, and transform themselves into a form of alternative media.

#Value Exchange
Simply put, value doesn’t just mean money. It can be any information that makes consumers lives better or informs the brand about the consumer through time, access, information, all of which are super important to the new ‘digitally native’ automotive target audiences.

Digital natives want to curate their own journeys and broadcast content to the crowd. Facilitate these activities to gain interest and loyalty. Influencing the crowd is key here, because car buying is now a communal project, in which prospects can leverage their friends and family to upgrade product

What are the key takeaways?
Simple and basic rules of engagement
1. Be willing to experiment with both useful content and ad messaging in car
2. Remember processing power and horsepower are becoming equals; use applications as a gateway to engage
3. Be prepared to use data to maintain contact with customers after purchase
4. Embrace serendipity and make brand content/messaging be additive to the car buying, searching, and driving experience

Via Digital Market Asia Mobile

Copenhagen INK

Lars M. B. Anthonisen is Global Account Lead @ Google. Previously, he held various digital marketing positions at media companies across Europe and Asia including Regional Digital Director at MediaCom APAC, CMO at Adform and Digital Manager at Universal McCann Worldwide.

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