Marketing in a saturated industry like auto presents several challenges. Price wars with your competition, low dealership visibility, less-than-fruitful seasonal sales, and a low automotive marketing ROI are just the tip of the iceberg. Many also struggle with new launches, needing to liquidate products that aren't moving from the car lot, misusing marketing tactics, and being overwhelmed with options.
The problem is you've likely been working with ad sales reps who are pitching buzzwords to get a quick sale as opposed to genuinely assessing what your dealership needs to get the word out to the right people.
Auto dealers need to work with a media partner who understands how to use marketing tactics specific to their needs. To name a few that are significantly successful in the auto industry, check out the following automotive marketing strategies for maximum ROI.
The Power of TV
TV has always been a powerhouse for advertising, but rumors that it's 'dead' have made their way around some dealerships. The truth is, TV is anything but, especially in the automotive industry.
Investing in TV can increase advertising effectiveness by 40%, and experts predict that TV advertising spending will grow steadily to $75 billion by 2022. More than half (54.4%) of total auto ad spend has been directed toward TV advertising — and for a good reason.
You Down with OTT?
If you haven't heard about its success through the grapevine yet, you certainly will in no time because it is without a doubt making a name for itself in the industry. Not only is it fast-growing, but OTT advertising is also extremely effective. Not convinced?
OTT ad spend increased 25% in 2020, with ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) revenue up 31% and digital upfront TV ad spend up 11%. It’s only going to get better from here, with 57% of digital advertisers planning to increase spending.
For the auto industry, in particular, 94% of OTT viewers own or lease a vehicle, and 89% of people planning to purchase a car in the next six months are OTT viewers.
Cars for a Cause
If there's one thing that's for certain, it's the importance of cause marketing when it comes to gaining a competitive advantage. Consumers prioritize companies that are responsible (86%), caring (85%), advocate for issues (81%), protect the environment (79%), and give back to important causes (73%).
One way to get involved as an auto dealership is to partner with a local charity or organization to contribute to your local community.
Digital marketing is where it's at when it comes to getting the word out about your auto brand and increasing traffic to your dealership. Not only is it considered the most cost-effective and efficient form of advertising, but results can be tracked and measured — allowing future decisions to be more informed.
Not to mention research has found several statistics that speak to its effectiveness in the auto industry specifically. Running Facebook ads increased vehicle consideration while decreasing competitor consideration — reporting a 37% increase in dealership visits, 17% increase to dealership and automotive brand sites, 11% increase in brand search activity, 14% decrease in competitive model searches, and a 3% decrease in competitive brand searches.
Eighty percent of buyers are likely to begin the car buying process online, with 78% saying they value the in-store dealership experience. This means more opportunities to attract your target audience to your dealership via digital means and make the sale in-store.
Combining marketing channels for an integrated campaign can be significant for auto brands looking to boost their ROI. This is because they can work together to reach more people, more times — after all, it takes 5-7 impressions before a buyer can recall your brand.
One way, in particular, is the combination of TV and digital, which comes in a variety of forms (i.e., email and TV, social media and TV, OTT and TV, etc.). Social media can be a great way to stay connected after a TV commercial, and/or email can be a great way to keep consumers informed on your brand's latest news and deals.
Statistics show that OTT/TV integrated campaigns are also seeing a significant increase in effectiveness. Not only have 53% of marketers planned the two strategies together, but 91% still plan to do so by 2021. They report that this is because more than 90% of advanced TV cross-screen campaigns saw online sales lifts and more.
One Last Tip?
Don't go at it alone. Automotive marketing strategies like TV, OTT, cause marketing, digital, and integrated campaigns are all sure-fire ways to get your dealership recognized by the right people, but it isn't easy. Like with anything so dynamic and data-oriented, it comes with its own set of challenges to overcome.
Fortunately, working with an experienced media partner can make all the difference by sharing an extensive range of marketing tactics and customizing a blended solution that will boost ROI.