What Is An Automotive Nomadic Customer?
Written by: Lauren Blackwell
September 27, 2022
3 min read

A few years ago, reaching automotive shoppers was much easier.

You knew exactly where to spend your ad dollars, because you had your “clear-cut YouTube watchers,” your “die-hard Facebook-ers”, and then “whatever the kids were using.” 

But since the pandemic, shoppers have become nomadic with their digital usage.

And this makes it hard—impossible, really—to place a dealership’s ad exactly where auto shoppers are spending time.

Because nowadays, we simply can’t predict where that is. It’s almost as if we are back to the “spray and pray” days of advertising.

We call these impossible-to-reach customers “automotive Nomadic Customers,” and they are a key problem for dealerships today.

The Automotive Nomadic Customer – Defined

The automotive Nomadic Customer can be defined by 3 core traits:

  • Transient & Unreachable
    The Nomadic Customer is unpredictable, unreachable, and difficult to track down.
  • Seeking Value—Fast!
    Nomadic Customers are constantly in search of greener pastures and better resources.
  • Disloyal By Default
    Nomadic Customers will quickly move if valuable resources aren’t found where they’re spending time.

These character traits are no doubt due to the explosion of digital over the past few years: A new report reveals that the average American spends 494 minutes (over 8 hours!) consuming digital media per day, up from 474 minutes in 2020. (Source: Insider Intelligence)

And with the incredible volume of new websites, apps, and networks today, these automotive Nomadic Customers are simply never where we expect them to be.

Where Does an Automotive Nomadic Customer Spend Time?

Instead of using 1 or 2 social apps consistently, automotive Nomadic Customers dabble in various apps unpredictably.

And it all comes down to mobile apps:

The average person has 40 mobile apps on their phone and spends 4.2 hours a day on mobile apps. Shockingly, 89% of that total time is split between 18 apps. (Source: TechJury

So what are these 18 apps that are hogging all of these customers’ attention?

According to Statista, Social Media and Chat apps are #1 when it comes to where mobile US users spend the most time, ranking at 50% of total time spent compared to that spent on Browsers (42%) and Mail (36%).

But more importantly, which social apps are Nomadic Customers most loyal to?

Which Social Media Apps Do Automotive Nomadic Customers Use The Most? 

One big assumption is that digital auto shoppers are just on Facebook and YouTube.

Wrong! Automotive Nomadic Customers are spending time across tons of different social platforms.

In fact, the average user today has a whopping 8.4 social media accounts and spends 4.5 hours on social media per day. (Source: Global Web Index)

It’s no longer a question of IF the Nomadic Customer is on social media, but a matter of WHICH apps they spend the most time on, and of course—reaching them before they relocate again…

And that’s why many automotive advertisers are missing the mark when they keep their marketing dollars corralled to just Facebook or YouTube.

How Do Automotive Nomadic Customers Shop For Cars?

Due to their digital obsession, it’s a no-brainer that automotive Nomadic Customers rely heavily on online research during the auto buyer journey.

19 of the 24 steps to buy a car are done online, from research, to price comparisons, to understanding financing options, and more. (Source: WardsAuto)

This presents a sea full of digital marketing opportunities, however, there’s a risk, too:

Since Nomadic Customers are always looking for greener pastures and better value, dealerships need to be everywhere these shoppers are hiding – because there’s no shortage of hiding spots.

But many automotive businesses feel that customers today are in plain sight, on major third-party platforms like Cars.com and Edmunds.

Truth is, they’re not…

Download our infographic now to see the full “In-Market Auto Shoppers By Platform (Reach In Millions” chart, and find out how sites like Cars.com are stacking up against platforms like Pinterest. 

Ask yourself: 

Are YOU one of those businesses missing out on getting in front of the most prevalent customers today, the automotive Nomadic Customer? 

Uncover More About The Automotive Nomadic Customer

There’s an abundance of automotive Nomadic Customers who are in-market and ready to buy… 

The problem is, that automotive Nomadic Customers are everywhere and nowhere at the same time. “Catch-them-if-you-can…”

Nomads are never in one place for too long, and when they’re constantly roaming between 8+ apps, it makes finding them all the more difficult.  

BuyerBridge is on a mission to pin down this Nomadic Customer and stop them in their tracks, no matter where they’re located. Throughout this mission, we’ve developed omnichannel AdTech solutions to help dealerships reach these customers through automation.

The first resource of our Nomadic Customer series, a massive infographic around “What Is An Automotive Nomadic Customer?”, will help educate automotive dealerships and agencies on how to finally reach this unreachable shopper.

Subscribe Now To Learn More About The Automotive Nomadic Customer


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Written By: Lauren Blackwell