How will the connected car change advertising

“Everything changes and nothing remains still”, said Heraclitus, the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher. So here we are, at a point in our lives where we are pretty much overwhelmed by the constant changes. We find it harder and harder to keep up with them. One of those changes involve how the connected car will bring a new kind of advertising.

What will change?

Every new direction, needs a different approach. Truth is “Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does” (Steuart Henderson Britt). It’s a fact and you can’t deny it.

It’s getting harder and harder to target your audience. It used to, but not anymore. Traditional advertising will no longer work with connected car owners. Although you may find that advertising intrudes your life at every step you make, there’s not much you can do about this. If you think about it, radio commercials were the only ads that had access inside our cars. That is about to change.

The connected car invented a new kind of advertising: the in-car advertising. It is so close to you, it’s even scary to think about it. But I am sure that reading minds is a superpower you always wish you had.

Contextual marketing is a technique used to deliver targeted offers to clients, based on their location. Marketers need to be really careful not to be too pushy with those ads. People have to receive useful information, rather than spam messages. Neither of us would want to be annoyed with notifications, especially while we are driving. Targeted ads is the new thing. It works for smartphones, and it could definitely be an amazing idea for the connected car.

Smartphones + the connected car = new possibilities

Let me give you a brief example on how this new advertising would work. Let’s just say there is a device made by a company and that device connects to your car. This device receives information on the surroundings, the weather, location and such. Assuming this company made a partnership with an application that rewards you for different things, like waiting in line on the highway to get home, you could receive a discount or a free meal or even a drink at the closest restaurant in your area.

This reward system could work in many different ways. This is just one of many situations in which it can be used. Rewarding is something that reminds of our childhood and it acts in our subconscious. Rewarding makes us feel good about ourselves.

Juniper Networks predicts that by 2017, there will be 120 million connected cars on the road. There is a huge opportunity for mobile operators and automakers. The number of partnerships will be increasing between them. Also, chances are that a new niche of jobs will rise that doesn’t exist right now, and that are related to advertising in connected cars.

The potential is huge and needs to be taken advantage of.

Things are moving slow, but surely

Even though it’s only the beginning, things are moving kind of fast. We spend more and more time in our cars, driving to and from work. Along with our smartphone, these two have become our lifestyle. Though we tend to change our smartphone really often, studies show that, on average, a person owns the same car for approximately 7 years, before he buys a new one.

When was the last time you were lost in a new city or did not know where an open store was? Based on the information received from a connected car, it would know whether you’re for the first time in a city or not. The locals already know how to get to the grocery store, but a stranger may not know where that non stop shop is. You may even find out about an awesome place to hang out, that you didn’t event know was there before.

Keep in mind that not everything is nice and pink. Forbes wrote an article on some issues that the connected car still has, focusing on how marketers should solve the current problems. I mean, of course, this new technology is only at the beginning. There are still plenty of questions to be addressed and problems to be solved. But with every new technology nowadays, things move fast and things could change in less than a year drastically.

It’s all in the details: “The consumer isn’t a moron. She is your wife”

Advertising in a connected car is great for many things, except for the obvious many offers and rewards. The board on your car can tell you the routes you can take in order to avoid traffic jams. Based on your surroundings, it can also warn you so you can prevent accidents.

Still, we wouldn’t want to be bothered all the time with notifications. The good thing is that you have a choice. It is the first time when you can say “Stop it, I am not interested in that!”. But, the tricky part comes in when it’s your significant other that is driving the same car. This is where marketers need to find a way to identify the driver’s profile.

I think that targeted advertising is the best kind of advertising you can make. But who is the target? Who buys connected cars? It is a bit too early to make assumptions now on who is the exact audience. In-car advertising is all about the fact that it pushes you notifications only based on what you do at that time, and what you did in the past. In other words, it’s a system that allows it to get to know you. Well, isn’t that lovely?

That being said, what do you think about the trends of advertising in the connected car? What is a technique that will make you want to have one? Also, do you think it will be a success? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. I would love to read them.

Philipp Kandal