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.