The Shift from Newspaper to Digital – is your Dealership on Trend?

The Shift from Newspaper to Digital – is your Dealership on Trend?

There has been a renaissance of sorts in the advertising world over the last two decades. The digital ad, which was once considered a risky buy, has become a market leader. While traditional print ads and billboards are still considered a viable form of marketing, the information age has paved the way for digital to take a seat at the head of the proverbial table. 

Are You Behind the Curve?

How is your dealership’s marketing budget currently allocated? Are you still spending on newspaper ads? How about mailers or other forms of print? If you are spending even half of your budget on these mediums, it’s time to reconsider. There is a reason the industry is making the shift toward digital, and it’s difficult to argue with; results! 

Before we dive into the benefits of programmatic display ads and other cutting-edge adverts, let’s take a look at the trend. According to 2014 – 2015 Automotive Advertising Outlook from Borrell, the automotive industry is second only to general merchandise stores when it comes to ad spend. Spending a whopping $35.5 billion annually, it’s no wonder ad agencies target the industry. In fact, in 2014, automotive ad budgets were up 17%. The big kicker – online media accounted for 95% of that increase.

Furthermore, since 2004, the total number of dealer franchises dropped 18% while the per capita number of new cars sold per dealership has risen 18%. What does this tell us? The drop in competition and the rise in sales has led to a 21% drop in advertising cost per vehicle sold. In other words, business is good! However, there is a resounding trend in dealership advertising. Dealers are expected to spend $800 million less in print advertising in U.S. newspapers in 2015, to make way for digital buys. Why? We’re glad you asked? 

Digital Advertising 

There are countless benefits of ‘going digital’, a few of which include: 

  • Trackable ROI
  • Real-time ad updates
  • Low cost per impression 
  • Ability to geo-target
  • Ability to demo-target 

The classic newspaper listing allows for some basic vehicle information. And if that vehicle sells just as the paper hit the stands, the dealership is out of luck. With today’s real-time programmatic display ads, dealerships can serve up live images of their inventory at the very moment an interested buyer seeks information on a given make and/or model. This highly intuitive approach to dealership adverting has helped to reduce the average advertising cost of a new vehicle by an incredible $522. The numbers simply don’t lie. In addition to programmatic display ads, dealerships are also leveraging paid search, sponsored social and other viable forms of digital advertising. If you’re currently spending a significant portion of your dealership marketing dollars on print, we urge you to visit our site and learn what we do! Discover what many of your competitors already have – digital is not only the future of the industry, it’s the competitive edge that you cannot afford to overlook.