3 Ways Marketers Are Going to Impact Connected Car UX

September 28, 2015  |  By John Jasper  |       

Over the past 10 years, connected cars have changed the automotive market as we know it, and will continue to do so as they become even more autonomous. This transformation brings with it a ripple effect that will impact every aspect of a vehicle. Nowhere is this impact more apparent than in the connected car user experience, or UX. Connected cars present a unique opportunity for marketers to engage and target customers in a whole new venue.

Here are 3 ways marketers are likely going to impact connected car UX:

1. Multi-Media

Marketers are already beginning to use connected cars to help create an integrated and visual experience. Entrepreneur explains that marketers could “prompt a tone or brief message to alert the driver of a personalized promotion” based on the driver’s location. Imagine listening to the radio and an ad plays on the radio for a fast-food restaurant. Once the ad is played, the display in your vehicle shows the nearest locations of the fast-food restaurant, seamlessly.

And, as we noted in a previous blog post on this subject, some businesses can take these marketing efforts even further. As an example, consider adapting apps like OpenTable or GrubHub for the connected car, where drivers can receive alerts, ask for restaurant recommendations, and make reservations based on their location.

2. Visual Ads

This is the more disruptive side of in-car advertising. Marketing Magazine notes, however, that disruption will lessen as cars become more autonomous: “It’s [a future] with huge and exciting potential for marketers and advertisers given how much of the driver’s attention and time will be freed up.”

In the meantime, we may still see some methods for streaming ads, similar to TV commercials, inside connected cars. One way is through apps, which are part of the in-vehicle infotainment system. Forbes speculates, “It is even possible to tap into the car intelligence system to take marketing one step further. For example, a flat tire could result in an ad for a local tire shop or a tow coupon.”

Marketers and OEMs could modify these efforts to reduce distraction. For example, maybe an ad plays only when the vehicle is stationary (sitting at a stoplight) or in park. Another option is to run ads on devices that are inside the vehicle, like a smartphone or smartwatch, based on a driver’s location (information tracked by the device). Just like receiving a text message, drivers would receive ad alerts that they could open and view only when it is safe to do so.

3. Billboard Advertising

We realize that billboards aren’t inside the car, but as anyone who's driven a major highway knows, they still figure prominently in the driver’s line of sight -- and in turn, the user experience. Billboard advertising may seem old-fashioned, but the data collected by connected cars could easily revive it.

Soon enough, billboard companies will be able to access demographic data about the people who are driving by their billboards. Never before have marketers more easily been able to pinpoint exactly which billboard ads to place, and where to place them, based on the types of consumers they want to reach. As Digital Marketing Magazine notes, “With iconic images posted on billboards persuading customers in the long-term … connected car technology could be the answer to provide tangible proof of this impact.”

As you can see, there are many ways advertising companies can leverage connected cars to engage customers. And since people spend so much time commuting these days, this opportunity is too valuable to pass up. Inevitably, marketers will have an indelible impact on connected car UX.

Do you see any other ways marketers will impact connected car UX?

Topics: Automotive UI/UX

John Jasper

John is the President and COO of Abalta Technologies. Abalta Technologies, Inc. is an emerging leader in the connected car landscape. Abalta has developed an innovative platform to enable car companies, automotive electronic firms and tier 1 suppliers to bridge the gap between the smartphone and the car’s infotainment system.

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