AutoTrader wanted to better understand the car purchase journey, clearly defining the stages consumer go through (including by key target segment). They had some knowledge, but it was disparate and disjointed.
They wanted a holistic, deeper understanding.
We delivered a staged research programme combining multiple elements of our insight ecosystem; consumer trends, mobile ethnography, in-home depth interviews, short term online community and quant survey.
Observing behaviour via mobile ethnography was integral to the success of the project. Over four weeks, we asked people in the process of buying a car to keep a media rich diary of their experience. This element captured ‘micro moments’ that would have been missed using alternative approaches. It created a detailed picture of current experiences, motivations, efforts and feelings throughout the car buying process. Around 25 consumers uploaded nearly 400 posts comprising video, photos, screenshots and text. In-home ethno depths allowed us to explore and reflect on individual journeys – triggers, mood states, barriers, influencers, improvements, etc.
The research has influenced multiple areas of the business including consumer audience growth, site development, product offering and marketing message. It has also positioned AutoTrader as a thought leader to its advertisers.
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