Borrell Associates, an expert in local online advertising, recently published an in-depth report on the automotive industry, paying particular attention to the way the car-buying path has become dramatically shorter. In recent years, digital media has shifted the car buying process, as researching potential car purchases has become increasingly easy and accessible. Now, most consumers perform nearly all of their research online before stepping onto a car dealership lot and, in turn, they are more qualified and prepared to make a purchase when visiting a dealership.
The access to online research has caused serious trouble for traditional media outlets. According to the report, newspapers, broadcast television, and radio advertisements have seen year-over-year declines, while online and mobile advertising increased 18.7%. Borrell Associates explains that the path to purchase has been transformed into a new shape due to the utility and ease of interactive media. Fueled by online research, the use of mobile devices, and brand- and model-specific searches, the typical 6-month buying funnel for purchasing a new car is now a 3-month buying “shot glass”, with more than 70% of the consumers entering the top making a purchase.
So how will this affect online advertising? Borrell Associates expects that the auto industry will spend about 20% more on digital advertising this year and two out of five ad dollars will be spent on digital media. In the coming years, targeted display ads and online video will crush all competitive advertising media- even paid search!
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In the coming years there will be an explosion of targeted display advertising, including retargeting of users, and online video as marketers transfer their immense success with television advertisements toward online viewing. Specifically, advertisers will have to invest more time and money in moving their video assets online and make them available on mobile and tablet devices. The combination of online video, mobile device usage, and retargeting strategies will allow advertisers to remind their consumers of that gorgeous dark blue sedan wherever they traipse on their smartphones, tablets and PCs.