Are connected cars the next digital billboards?

Data that cars generate will help marketers reach customers at the most effective moment.
22 August 2018

The screen inside cars are just getting bigger and bigger. Source: Shutterstock

When you think of connected cars, you think of convenience and comfort.

The sensors embedded in your vehicle, communicating with you, the manufacturer, and some of your chosen vendors such as GPS and service partners are supposed to smoothen the ride for you — mile after mile, no matter where you go.

However, the same technology is also turning into a boon for advertisers. The data that your car generates is very valuable to marketers who want to know who you are, where you’re going, and how you feel because it can help them sell you products and solutions at the most opportune time.

Advertising platforms that make this possible, as a result, will earn billions. In fact, according to McKinsey, just the data from your connected car will make auto manufacturers US$750 billion by 2030.

Although that figure seems absurd at first glance, it starts to make sense when you dive deeper into the insights that data can offer.

Imagine heading to the airport with your family or friends (all seats occupied, your car’s trunk filled up). You’re in a rush and you’re driving your luxury SUV as fast as you can, changing lanes whenever needed. However, there comes a point when you slam the brakes really hard — and your bumper sensors record a ‘near miss’.

Now, reminded of your loved ones in the vehicle, you’re suddenly a cautious driver. At the next traffic signal, when you’ve got a few seconds, imagine the screen in the car selling you travel insurance, maybe for just US$5 a day. Would you ‘click to buy’? Probably.

That’s a powerful moment for every marketer, and brands can think of hundreds of thousands of moments just like that where drivers and car owners will be most likely to ‘accept a suggestion’ and make a purchase decision without too much thought.

The connected car is the next digital billboard, with sensors embedded everywhere, and infotainment screens getting bigger and bigger every day. There’s literally no escape.

Earlier this year, Telenav became the first major vendor to offer an in-car advertising platform for automotive original equipment manufacturers.

“Telenav’s In-Car Advertising Platform provides an exciting new opportunity for OEMs to monetize connectivity to cover service costs and even drive healthy profits while enriching the consumer experience with safely-delivered, engaging, and relevant offers,” said Telenav CEO HP Jin.

The fact is, as businesses start to see the opportunity in connected cars, they’ll create more systems and solutions to cater to the growing demand. After all, in gridlocked city traffic, the connected car is the most exciting marketing opportunity.