General Motors, the automaker, is generating deep insights regarding how consumers listen to the radio in their cars, indicating that digitally-enabled vehicles can provide a new perspective on an established medium.

Saejin Park, director/global digital transformation at General Motors, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2018 Data & Measurement Conference.

Thanks to the 4G LTE WiFi that features in some ten million GM vehicles, it can give drivers useful information about matters like speed, gas consumption and tyre pressure, as well as gleaning insights about their audio listening habits.

“The radio industry and the car industry have been existing side by side … But, really, there hasn’t been that much interaction between the two,” Park said. (For more details, read WARC’s in-depth report: How General Motors uses new tools to discover new consumer insights.)

By matching audio feeds from AM, FM, and digitally-driven XM, the Detroit-based automotive enterprise hopes to use, and align, radio cues with consumer behaviour.

With tests in Los Angeles and Chicago – and an opt-in from car owners – “we decided to collect the radio listening data on 90,000 vehicles,” Park reported.

“We can tell if they listened to it to the end. Or, in the middle of the commercial, did they change it to another station?” she added, illustrating the types of outcomes yielded by this test.

The experiment lasted from November 2017 through January 2018. And it showed, for example, that different nameplates may be associated with a certain psychological behavioural profile.

As Park explained, the owner of a Cadillac Escalade “might be more likely to listen to 101.5. But someone else might be driving a GMC Yukon – same-sized vehicle, but a different brand – would be more likely to listen to 101.1.

“And you can start testing [that] by sending them different kinds of advertising to see some kind of behaviour in the [listening] patterns.”

The findings from such data analysis can quickly work their way through the GM marketing ecosystem. “It’s natural for us to reach out to our friends in the Cadillac or Chevrolet [divisions] and their agencies,” Park said.

And the applications may ultimately run even further. “We’re looking for ways to use these kinds of datasets. It’s a complicated, complex problem and I don’t know what the answer is. But GM is really interested in finding out what the potential path could be,” she added.

Sourced from WARC