Thursday, August 3, 2017

Report: Radio Gets Just 5% Of Car Dealers Ad Dollars

The marketing of new and used vehicles is the largest U.S. advertising segment, totaling $36.3 billion in 2016. And while it’s shaping up to be a bad year for new-car sales (unit sales are down for the first time since 2010), Borrel Associates is forecasting ad-spending growth of 3.2%, pushing the total to $37.4 billion for 2017.

Expenditures on digital media account for all the growth. Dealers and manufacturers are now spending more than half their budgets on it. Digital budgets are expanding this year at a rate of 7.9%, while dollars spent on offline media are shrinking by 2.3%.

But perhaps the bigger story is that manufacturers are cutting budgets while local dealers are increasing them. This trend might set the pace for the future. Over the next five years, Borrel is forecasting that manufacturers will trim ad budgets at an annual rate of about 1%, while dealers will increase theirs 4% annually.

What about digital ad fraud? It doesn’t appear that dealers are concerned. While they’ve actively lobbied to get manufacturers to ease digital requirements in co-op plans, those requirements remain in place and continue to drive local dealership ad-buying decisions.

In fact, the amount dealers will be adding to digital spending this year ($1.4 billion) is nearly as much as the total they are forecast to spend on broadcast TV advertising ($1.6 billion).

Over the next five years, we expect overall automotive ad spending on digital media to go from a 54% share of all expenditures to a 66% share. Offline media -- principally broadcast TV and newspapers – are forecast to see annual declines of nearly 3%, while digital media chugs along with annual increases of 6%.

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