DISRUPTION IN THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY

Since the early 20th century, the automotive industry has been an important economic driver. It’s a primary industry of its own but has also had many spin-offs. Consider parts, service, racing, even road construction, just to name a few. Our lives have become dependent on automobile travel. We run quick errands, commute to work or take road trips. We’ve fought for ‘shotgun’ and have childhood memories of fighting with our siblings in the backseat. (And of playing I Spy or Road Trip Bingo.) Much of our time is spent inside a car or truck.

When evaluating the automotive industry, it’s important to note it’s cyclical in nature. Peak periods of demand are seen in the spring (March – May), as consumers change seasons, and again in fall (September – November), after new models roll out. This means that cars are also priced the highest during these times.

The auto industry is very vulnerable to shifts in economy, employment rates and consumer confidence. While the overall industry has seen increased revenue, the light car market is on the decline. Americans now prefer crossovers, SUVs and pickup trucks, and those categories are seeing the most increases.

Regulations for air quality controls put pressure on manufacturers, and the environment is right up there with safety features for key selling points for some audiences.

What else affects the automotive shopping industry? Retail buying habits. Car buyers spend 59% of their time researching their options online. Perhaps it’s for that reason that brands like Vroom, Shift and Carvana have been able to disrupt the market by selling used cars online. Fifty-six percent (56%) of Millennials would rather clean their homes than negotiate with a car dealer, spurring brands like TrueCar to streamline the buying process.

Shoppers are turning to AutoNation and CarMax online, and even Costco has experimented with car kiosks. While Amazon doesn’t yet have a click-to-buy function for car sales in the US, they do offer a large vehicle platform for research. Auto brands and dealers can create digital showrooms right within Amazon.

However, new buying opportunities haven’t replaced the need for a test drive. Most cars are still purchased the old-fashioned way, by walking into a dealership.

MEDIA STRATEGY FOR THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY

The right media strategy is even more critical for the automotive industry than ever before. Whether you’re a manufacturer, a dealer or an online retailer, you want car shoppers to keep your brand top of mind.

Studies prove that when you increase the amount of out-of-home media in your plan, your ROI increases. So while TV, radio and print all have a place in the mix, out-of-home media is a driving force that adds credibility and trust to the overall brand campaign.

Plus, out-of-home media drives more online engagements than any other media channel per dollar spent. An integrated mobile display ad reaches the same out-of-home audiences. It provide a point of conversion for additional information or online storytelling. When the two are planned in conjunction with each other, click-through-rates soar.

Dealers are spending 40% of their advertising budgets on digital, and 62% of those digital budgets on paid search. When out-of-home is added to the media plan, it increases the ROI of search by 40%, according to the OAAA. When you factor in how out-of-home reaches commuters who are young and affluent, aligning with the same target audience most auto brands are trying to engage, you get a winning combination.

Therefore, we recommend:

  • Mobile billboards to drive near competing dealerships or in neighborhoods where your target audience lives, works, plays
  • Mobile display advertising to engage car shoppers online
    • geofence car dealerships to reach those looking in real-time at competitor lots or vehicle models
    • target your key audience demographics to you serve ads to a pre-defined in-market audience
    • serve ads to devices who are visiting automotive-related sites and apps, and apply retargeting to further engage those most likely considering a car purchase
    • reach specific audiences based on which app(s) is installed on their device, such as CarMax, Kelley Blue Book or TrueCar apps
    • leverage video content across display to captivate viewers in an engaging way
  • Brand experiences may also be effective for brands who need to educate buyers, influence perception or win more loyalty (see an example by Toyota Camry)
  • Integrate your paid search efforts by maximizing exposure in the same key markets as your out-of-home placements to boost your search ROI

Don’t dismiss out-of-home media too quickly. Large format advertising gives your creative a big, bold presence in the physical world. It can’t be blocked or fast-forwarded through. Your cars and your brand deserve visibility in the real world. Out-of-home is an effective solution.

Download Infographic | Download Industry One-Sheet

automotive industry

Download Infographic | Download Industry One-Sheet


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Out-of-home media drives your automotive industry brand. To request your customized proposal, please get in touch.