jennifer vianello

What’s Next for Car Buying? Insights from CMO Jennifer Vianello


Like many industries, the automotive space has been upended in recent years. With supply chain issues, changing technology, and evolving customer preferences and priorities, the car-buying process is much different than it used to be.

Jennifer Vianello, CMO of, says there have been so many predictions about car-buying over the last 25 years that it is challenging to make new predictions. And even with advancements in technology, most customers continue to purchase in person and do tremendous amounts of research beforehand. Buying a car is the second largest purchase most people will ever make and one most people don’t take lightly. 

But Vianello says one thing is certain: customers’ consideration sets expand as they go through the purchase process. That requires an incredible depth of research. Typically, when customers start the car-buying process, they have a specific make and model in mind. But as they research and see what’s available, they start looking at cars they might not have considered otherwise. The features of what they thought they wanted in a car shift based on what’s available and what they see. 


That behavior has held true for 25 years and will continue to grow in the coming years. Buying a car is expensive and requires a lot of education and inspiration.

The mentality behind car-buying may stay relatively consistent, but how customers get their information and research is changing. Vianello says that there is always a new generation of car buyers. Today’s young buyers get their information and are influenced by different channels, such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. To stay relevant, car companies must be where younger generations get their information. To match that change, is working aggressively with influencer networks to educate customers across multiple channels. Even niche influencers can effectively share information and get news and products in front of the right customers.

Vianello says that in any changing industry, it’s crucial for brands to continually evolve and adapt. She says there’s value in getting outside perspectives from agencies, especially around new channels and social media. It’s easy for brands to get mired in their complexity, so having an outside perspective can help you stay fresh and relevant by focusing on what matters most to customers.

A willingness to change and evolve keeps companies at the forefront of changing industries and emerging social channels.

The changes to the automotive industry show that no matter how much products and technology may evolve, customers always come first. Providing a robust educational experience, building trust, and showing up where customers are will always be in fashion and lead to great results.


Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist and the bestselling author of The Customer of the FutureFor regular updates on customer experience, sign up for her weekly newsletter here

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