Traditional media (radio, TV, direct mail and newspaper) still commands a place of authority in the automotive advertising world. While many dealers are investing big dollars into online advertising, there are others who continue to place the lion’s share of their budgets in the tried-and-true traditional media, according to this article in Automotive News.
To be clear, we are not saying that all dealers should invest 100% of their budgets into traditional media. There is unquestionably a place for digital media in today’s marketplace; in fact, our sister company, NOW Digital, is very adept at helping a dealership get much better results from their digital advertising by moving misplaced funds into new areas that result in significantly more clicks, leads and sales.
Here’s what we believe: Traditional and digital advertising actually work very well in tandem. Don’t forget that before any company (in this case, a car dealership) ever gets discovered online, people found out about them – or were reminded of them – via traditional advertising.
Let’s now take a closer look at the statistics from the Automotive News article. While there is more of an emphasis on digital advertising than ever before, the change is not nearly as dramatic as some have been led to believe.
Radio: The Automotive News article cites Borrell Associates data showing auto dealers have actually increased spending since 2012 – from $641 million to a forecasted $746 million.
TV: Automotive TV advertising dipped slightly in 2015, but dealers still spent an estimated $1.3 billion on television ads.
Newspaper: Despite dropping by about a third in revenue since 2013, newspaper still represents the second-largest advertising media, checking in at $2.1 billion.
Traditional media – especially radio and TV – affords dealers the chance to add a human element to their advertising, something that is difficult to do in a digital format. Often, that’s what makes the difference when it comes time to make a vehicle purchase. When customers want to do business with your store simply because they prefer you over another dealer; you know you’re doing something special.
JKR Automotive Advertising: We Move Cars