Auto Dealers Shifting More Ad Dollars to Web

A new survey of auto dealers shows that 96% say the Internet will consume more of their marketing dollars in the next five years. And over the past five, 80% reported that the Web has been their most successful ROI vehicle.

Even as dealers apparently stuck with TV spending during the economic downturn more than manufacturers, only about 8% surveyed said that TV has been producing their top ROI metric. Newspapers came in at 7%.

The survey was commissioned by Autobytel​.com, which has a vested interest, as it offers consumers research tools before heading to a dealer to negotiate. The research was done as a phone survey by Survey​.com in January of 200-​plus dealerships.

Dealers said the Web is more "cost-​efficient and targeted" than other media and allows some reach beyond their "immediate market," Autobytel said.

The survey revealed that 56% of dealers plan to boost overall marketing budgets in 2010, while 39% are holding firm — leaving only about 5% suggesting a decline.

Just 21% plan to up traditional media spending; 70% said they will invest more in the Web.

"Drive Thru: Car Dealers to Boost Internet Budgets," Goetzl, David; Media Daily News, February 12, 2010.  Website: www​.mediapost​.com.