SINGAPORE: Automotive brands must target women in their Asia advertising, as research shows women influence 90% of car purchase decisions, traditionally a "male-oriented" category, according to new research.

Dentsu's SenseAsia revealed that when it comes to automotive purchasing, women are more comprehensive in acquiring information both in-store and are more likely to access brands across multiple touch points at all stages of the decision-making journey.

Unlike their male counterparts who rely on pre-conceived ideas, female respondents see every media touch point as an opportunity to explore and readily adjust their decisions as they go along – averaging 33 different channels. However, most automotive branding continues to target men.

The findings indicate that automotive brands must rethink male-oriented marketing in the category, particularly in Southeast Asia where 31% of Asian women are chief income earners in their household and purchase 60% of traditionally "male" products.

The research also reveals women discover automotive brands differently, with traditional media still dominant.

Women's interest in automotive brands is activated predominantly from television (38.6%), cinema (26.6%) and out-of-home ads on public transport (23.1%). As online video takes off in Southeast Asia, the results from SenseAsia's multi-screen research proves the power of television and other mobile devices to work as a single campaign ecosystem.

Also, in the final stages of the purchase journey, the contrast in preferred channels is marked with women preferring word of mouth and asking friends or family for their recommendations.

A full 42% use personal recommendations in their final purchase decisions, whereas men prefer to consult comparison websites and branded content.

The research indicates that automotive brands must rethink their marketing strategies in Asia to engage an influential demographic that is not only largely overlooked, but has a very different purchase journey to men.

For a market-by-market break down of how Southeast Asian consumers make auto purchasing decisions, click here.

Data sourced from Warc