Are You Getting Your Share of Automotive Ad Money?

BY Kathy Crosett
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There’s no question that the automotive vertical fuels plenty of advertising spending in our economy. This year, according to BIA Advisory Services, the entire automotive vertical will spend at least $15.1 billion on local market advertising. And when the national spending is included, Zenith Media says automakers will allocate $18 billion to 2019 advertising. Here’s a look at the details.

TV and Automotive Advertising

Local dealers, manufacturers and associations account for nearly 75% or $11.3 billion of automotive-​related spending, says Dr. Mark Fratrik at BIA Advisory Services. As you likely know, the remaining opportunities in this market come from related sectors like tire dealers and auto parts shops. Automotive advertisers have long favored traditional media formats like TV. The power of TV is “the best channel for conveying emotional brand images and sustaining them over time,” say Zenith Media analysts. That company’s data indicates that over 50% of the typical automotive ad budget went to TV, globally. Analysts also believe that, except for print, other traditional media formats are holding on ‘pretty well’ to automotive ad spending.

Digital and The Competitive Marketplace

But at least 20% of automotive ad spending, globally, goes to digital. In the local markets, BIA is predicting that auto-​related businesses are allocating about 40% of their budgets to digital formats. The pressure to increase digital advertising will likely increase. As traditional media grows more costly, the U.S. auto market may shrink this year. Only 16.8 million cars will sell in 2019, compared to the 17 million units that have sold in recent years. This change, along with the trend of consumer attention shifting to digital formats, means automotive advertisers may be evaluating their marketing strategy. The change also means a more competitive marketplace for ad sellers.

Where to Find Opportunity This Year

During the recent LOAC2019 conference sponsored by Borrell Associates, John Fitzpatrick from Force Marketing reminded listeners that only 5% of dealer profits come from new car sales, but 95% of advertising is spent on that revenue source. Media sales reps can sell more advertising by reminding auto dealers to promote their certified pre-​owned vehicles and to tout the quality of their automotive service departments.

Analysts across the board agree that the most successful campaign strategy in the automotive sector will combine digital and traditional components. To understand more about who intends to purchase new or used cars, and to see which features are most important to prospective advertisers, read the profiles in AudienceSCAN from AdMall at SalesFuel​.com.