Why there's more to McLaren fans than motorsport

For any car brand looking to connect with the online automotive audience, it’s imperative that they fully understand the groups that comprise that audience. Those groups - or segments - are formed from the common passions, interests, likes, and motivations that different people share.

As our segmentation of the automotive audience shows, by far the most important consumer segment is Motorsports; a group of people who love automotive racing of almost any kind. This segment accounts for almost 40% of the total automotive audience and, as such, it’s the penetration of car brands within this group that really ‘make or break’ their social profile.

Take McLaren, for instance. Their penetration into the motorsport audience is only 5%; yet, in actual terms, the number of followers they have within this segment are greater than those from every other segment put together.

As McLaren over-index so heavily in this category (51% of the total Mclaren audience vs. 37% the total automotive audience), it would be hard to imagine that McLaren can increase their audience share amongst this segment.

Instead, McLaren should look elsewhere for audience gains.

Top Gear Celebrities would be the best place to focus. Accounting for 21% of the entire automotive audience, this segment accounts for less than 2% of McLaren’s total audience.

No one brand does particularly well in this category. Volkswagen - a mainstream car brand - top the rankings, with 6% penetration; but, high end brands like Aston Martin and Lamborghini also do well in this category, with the latter achieving just over 6% penetration and the former just under 4%.

With high end brands doing well in this segment, there’s no reason that McLaren couldn’t also grow their audience share here. As ever, the key to audience growth is increasing appeal - focusing on messages and content that resonate with the audience’s passions and interests.

For the Top Gear Celebrity segment, it’s obvious - from the name - that they’re keenly interested in those individuals who work on both the old and new Top Gear shows. However, they also have passions elsewhere; enjoying computer games and football, for instance.

By addressing these passions in the content they post online, McLaren would attract a greater number of genuine automotive fans and, as a result, could climb there way into the top 20 most popular automotive brands.