Did you see the Borrell Associates report? Borrell’s Automotive Advertising Outlook Report claims that dealers are forecasted to spend $32.8 billion on advertising this year. That represents a 2% increase over last year. That’s no surprise, auto sales are up nearly 9% over last year. But this is a surprise. The report says “For the first time, new and used-car dealers will spend more on online media than on all other media combined – including TV.” Think about that. (continued below)

Auto Report July 2013

The Internet has compressed the buying cycle. Consumers used to spend 6 months pondering their purchase. Today, digital media, social media, and online shopping has squeezed that down to 3 months. With 31% fewer people in the funnel, virtually everyone that shows up at your dealership is a buyer. Is the news about digital spending bad news for traditional media? Not at all. Before you TV, radio and newspaper people bombard me with hate mail, consider this. It’s more important than ever before for auto dealers to have the kind of top of mind awareness that only a cohesive, synergistic multi-media advertising strategy can achieve. Mr. Dealer… Do you want to be the Ford (or fill in your brands here) dealer that prospective buyers think of first? When people think of buying a BMW, is yours the dealership that is the first to come to mind? Do you have a relationship with people in your trading area? Have you earned their attention? Invest in your brand, advertise all the time. Have an active media plan that includes investments in both traditional AND digital media. When shoppers are ready to buy, today’s educated and informed buyers will beat a path to your door.