- Forrester Research predicts that self-driving, also called autonomous, cars will become hubs for marketing and advertising to a captive audience, the research revealed in a blog post containing takeaways from its Autonomous Vehicles Will Reshape the Global Economy report.
- There are likely to be three main marketing opportunities: cars will become a new screen for building digital relationships with brands; car makers will become more like publishers as they are pushed into new business areas such as selling ad space in their vehicles, and brands will turn self-driving cars into experiences, such as Disney including a branded autonomous car ride as part of a vacation package to one of its properties.
- The blog post also predicts that luxury car brands will shift their marketing messaging from high-performance engines to high-end entertainment systems with advertisers and media companies competing to become part of the new vehicle experience.
Entertainment systems within cars are not a new experience with screens and DVD players a widely available accessory, but when everyone in a car becomes a passenger and the car is driving itself, the need for in-car entertainment will become even more valuable. With eyes glued to in-car entertainment, these screens are likely to become an important way for marketers to get in front of a captive audience.
A future where the roads are dominated by autonomous vehicles is expected by many but could still be a few years off. A study by Boston Consulting Group forecasts that more than 12 million fully autonomous cars will be sold annually on a global basis by 2035. The software market for autonomous cars is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 76.10% between 2017 and 2021, according to a report from Research and Markets.
While marketers can look forward to the future Forrester is predicting, smart car and personal digital assistant technology offer in-vehicle marketing options right now. Major car makers like Ford, Fiat, Chrysler, Toyota and others are already integrating technology like Amazon’s Alexa AI-powered digital assistant, Google’s Android Auto and in-car apps, giving brands a more personalized and digitally enhanced way to reach the inside of cars than the traditional radio spot.
“As the ripple effects of an autonomous transportation expand to all areas of the global economy, CIOs and their C-suite peers must prepare for the disruptive challenges and opportunities that lie ahead," the Forrester post concluded.