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Auto Digital IQ Study Finds Positive Correlation Between Digital Competency and Vehicle Sales Growth

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NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--German auto brands dominate the top echelon of the new Auto Digital IQ Ranking, a first-of-its kind measurement of the digital competence of 44 auto brands. The ranking, created by Scott Galloway, NYU Stern School of Business professor of marketing, and a team of experts, evaluated auto brands on four criteria: Platform (40 percent—site effectiveness and brand translation); Off-Platform Messaging (25 percent—digital marketing efforts such as online and mobile advertising); Social Media (20 percent—presence on major 2.0 platforms); and Search Engine Optimization (15 percent—visibility on top search engines).

“Digital aptitude will be the defining competence that separates winners from losers. Our Ranking aims to provide an actionable metric that auto companies can use to determine where they will garner greatest return on incremental investment in digital”

Each brand was scored across over one hundred qualitative and quantitative data points and assigned a Digital IQ value. The top 10 auto brands included only two American automakers, and are:

1. Audi
2. BMW
3. Mercedes Benz
4. Volkswagen
5. Ford
6. Scion
7. Toyota
8. Ferrari, Jeep, Lexus, Mini (tied)

Key findings of the study include:

  • A significant correlation (0.48) between a brand’s Digital IQ and 2009 new vehicle sales, revealing what may be a forward-looking sales indicator.
  • A 10-point increase in Digital IQ resulted in a 3-percent increase in sales across all 44 brands.
  • Top-ranked brands maintain highly effective online purchase funnels and fewer brick-and-mortar dealerships, implying a shift in the way cars are sold.
  • While U.S. 2009 new vehicle sales are down 21 percent, traffic to auto brand sites has increased 46 percent year-on-year, demonstrating a tipping point for the importance of digital aptitude to a brand’s success.
  • Over 65 percent of auto brands maintain a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Brands recorded average growth in fans and followers of approximately 70 percent on these platforms from October to November 2009.
  • Social Media plays an important and increasing role in driving traffic to brand sites and microsites. Facebook or YouTube are within the top-five referral sites for 73 percent of brand sites. Some microsites receive as much as 45 percent of traffic from a social media platform.

To view a preview of the report, go to: www.L2ThinkTank.com/autodigitaliq.

“Digital aptitude will be the defining competence that separates winners from losers. Our Ranking aims to provide an actionable metric that auto companies can use to determine where they will garner greatest return on incremental investment in digital,” said Scott Galloway.

About New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business

New York University Stern School of Business, located in the heart of Greenwich Village, is one of the nation’s premier management education schools and research centers. NYU Stern offers a broad portfolio of academic programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels, all of them informed and enriched by the dynamism, energy and deep resources of the world’s business capital.

Contacts

NYU Stern
Professor Scott Galloway, 917-567-2841
scott@stern.nyu.edu
or
Rika Nazem, 212-998-0678
rnazem@stern.nyu.edu

January 14, 2010: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20100114006059/en/Auto-Digital-IQ-Study-Finds-Positive-Correlation