While there is limited data specific to the automotive industry’s C-Suite and senior management, the fact that the major demographic concern is the lack of women in the industry at all levels suggests that it is otherwise similar to other industries at the executive level. We have, therefore, provided key insights about demographics, online media habits, the best time to reach executives via online ads, and hobbies from cross-industry surveys, adding information specific to the auto industry where available.
- The automotive industry has a shortage of women executives; just 8% in the top 20 companies, compared to 30% who have a C-Suite title and 39% who are in at least upper management in other industries.
- Across the automotive manufacturing pipeline, women comprise only 13% of the C-Suite and 20% of managers.
- The under-representation of women in decision-making roles reflects the relatively low number of women in the industry in general (26.7%).
- The median age of a senior manager is just over 50 and those who have a C-Suite title average 52.3 years old.
- 75% of execs are married and 72% have a college degree, with only 29% having a postgraduate degree.
- 83% of C-Suite occupants are White, 7% are Hispanic, 8% are Asian, and 8% are Black.
- However, among senior executives, 73% are White, 21% are Asian, 3% are Hispanic, and only 2% are Black.
- 37% say that their “cultural or ethnic heritage is a very important part” of their lives.
BEST CHANNELS AND OPTIMAL TIMES
- In terms of both reach (whether the ads are seen) and receptivity, websites are the most effective online channel (~75%/~50%, respectively), but are beaten in both categories by radio, magazines, and especially television.
The best channel to reach an executive depends on the time of day. Senior executives consume media as follows:
- When they wake up (79%), at which time 50% read email newsletters.
- Morning commute (45%), during which 37% listen to the radio and 21% listen to podcasts.
- Arrive at office (41%), when 35% read news websites.
- During the workday (54%), during which 25% use news apps and 29% read email newsletters.
- Evening commute (39%), during which radio and podcasts spike again and 17% check social media.
- Nighttime (64%), during which 37% check social media and 38% watch TV.
- Weekend (100%), during which they consume media through a mix of the above sources.
When waking up and consuming news:
- 37% read a news website
- 37% view a news app
- 31% go to social media
- 25% read a news content aggregator
- 50% read email newsletters
While there is no direct data on the click-through habits of executives in general, let alone automotive executives, the following data points are salient to the question:
- 70% of purchase journeys are launched by the executive conducting their own online searches rather than by recommendations.
- Only 10% of new products or services are introduced to executives through ads and only 12% through social media.
- Based on the above data, we triangulate that the best time to reach a CEO via online or social media ads would be the early morning (pre-commute), evenings, and weekends.
While no hard information exists on the hobbies of automotive executives, based on their magazine reading habits, executives, in general, have the following interests/hobbies:
- Travel (61%)
- Fashion, Beauty (43%)
- Lifestyle (47%)
- Fitness, Health (39%)
- Cuisine (37%)
- Shelter (37%)
- Science, Technology (39%)
- Entertainment (33%)
- Regional (34%)
- Sports (30%)
- Outdoor (26%)
Note: For the sake of brevity, we will refer to the combined pool of automotive executives, C-Suite employees, and senior managers as “executives” or “execs” in our data.
Having already located several surveys of executives in general, one of which was particularly rich with demographic data, we began our research by seeking either a similar survey specific to the automotive industry or articles which highlight how this industry might differ demographically than others. This led us to a series of articles highlighting how few women work in this industry at all, let alone at the top roles. Apart from this, we found no articles highlighting unusual demographic trends in the US despite a thorough search of top industry insider sources. That being the case, we took the general executive demographic data and used it in our findings whenever we could not find a contradictory source. Note that in the Ipsos survey data, we have used the “C-Suite Role” column except where otherwise indicated, as this includes those who claim to have C-Suite responsibilities within the company even if they don’t (yet) have the title, thus incorporating senior management.
We likewise found that there were no sources, whether insider or in the general news media and polling services, which had publicly published a survey of automotive executives which would provide any insight into their favorite media channels and when they are most likely to click through an ad. Likewise, a thorough search of interviews with senior automotive insiders in business news sources such as Forbes and Business Insider, as well as industry insider sources like Automotive News and the CBT Automotive Network did not yield any interviews in which that information had dropped, even anecdotally. However, we did find several pertinent data points about the media habits of executives in general from which we were able to triangulate the most likely channels and times. We have provided this information above.
In terms of automotive executive hobbies, we were unable to find any hard survey data which would allow us to pin this down, and collecting sufficient anecdotal evidence from interviews to reasonably derive an answer would require far more time than is available for a single Wonder request. However, we can derive interest in certain hobbies from a survey on the reading habits of executives by Ipsos, and have provided this information above.