In the past, automotive marketing has always been behind when it comes to taking advantage of digital media and mobile ads. According to Borrell Associates’ latest report, this trend is about to change. The report shows the auto industry’s use of print, radio, and direct mail will be taken over by this growing transition to digital media. To put things into perspective, about 40 cents of every media dollar spent for automotive marketing will go toward digital advertising this year.
According to the report, the auto industry will spend $11.9 billion this year on paid search and online banner ads. This number represents a possible 39% increase in digital media spending from 2011. The increase is largely associated with the push to reach potential buyers on their mobile devices. Last year, the automotive industry ranked fifth among the top global advertising verticals utilizing mobile ads. In 2012, it is likely 90% of additional advertising dollars will go toward digital media.
We are also seeing an auto marketing trend toward reaching out to consumers in the initial research stages. In Q1 of this year, 24 % of automotive consumers in this stage of the purchase funnel were targeted through brand awareness campaigns. Advertisers are using mobile devices to sustain their in-market presence and generate leads to promote conversions. Whether in the initial research phase or further along the purchase funnel, auto consumers are key targets for mobile ads.
In the auto industry, it is absolutely imperative to be in the right place at the right time during a potential customer’s purchase funnel. Search-based digital media is an incredible way to do just that. As this trend toward digital and mobile ads grows, it will become increasingly difficult to stand out as a leader in the automotive industry. It is important to differentiate yourself now, and stand out as an expert in delivering relevant and helpful content to potential customers, right when they need it.