New vehicle sales are slowing and the ad spending is changing. The auto industry is a leader in digital marketing and that trend will continue. And why not? 3 out of the 5 top sources for leads are digital in nature, according to local auto dealers. As the focus on digital continues, the auto industry is beginning cull the weakest media from their budgets and keeping those that complement their digital initiatives best. If a traditional media company chose to focus on digital, that bet could soon pay off.
Automotive is the second-largest advertising category, behind general merchandise stores, at $35.5 Billion. It’s a landmark year for digital advertising. For the first time, more than half of all advertising dollars will be spent on digital media.
This is a Client Memo for subscribers only! We wanted to give you a head’s up on some abrupt shifts in automotive advertising we’ve begun to notice. The good news is that auto advertising is up. By our projection, it will end up at 6.8% more than 2013. The bad news is, the longtime beneficiaries of automotive advertising – broadcast and print media – will experience exactly the opposite.
Wrenching changes in automotive advertising are forging a new landscape for local media. Broadcast media and newspapers are losing more ground, while online and direct mail are on the rise. Our annual report examines the underpinnings of those changes. It tracks historical shifts in automotive spending across each media type and issues forecasts for up to five years.
In our annual outlook, we estimate automotive advertising to hit $31 billion this year, about 14 percent of an increase over 2011. The biggest gainer? You guessed it, digital media. In fact, digital media will account for almost 90 percent of all automotive advertising growth this year as dealers and manufacturers drive more spending toward streaming video commercials, targeted social media ads and mobile. This 37-page report is our annual review of trends in both new and used car sales and the latest fluctuations in spending by manufacturers, dealers, dealer groups and private-party sellers.
Automotive advertising is finally on the rebound. Our annual look at this important ad segment pegs it at $22.6 billion this year, running about 7 percent ahead of last year. Our 2011 Local Automotive Advertising Outlook examines trends in new-car sales (down), used-car sales (up) and the underlying mechanics causing dealers to shift their spending toward channels like online media and cinema advertising. The report, which includes 20 charts and graphs, dives deeper into the online phenomenon, showing that auto dealers are the most aggressive local advertisers on the web, and that they’re likely to carry that mentality over to mobile media.
Our new report, "Auto Advertising Outlook 2010: Running on Empty," brings good news for online advertising in 2010. Meanwhile, the rack publications and yellow pages will continue taking it on the chin. Overall, we expect the total U.S. ad spend for new cars to rise to $19.2 billion from the low of $18.4 billion in 2009.