Dealership Marketing

Is TV advertising looseing its effectiveness for your dealership?

Take a look at this article from eMarketer, Geoff Ramsey. Some great stuff here!

TV effectiveness is on the wane—ratings are down—yet costs continue to rise. Look at this 2006 data from McKinsey & Co:

  • Over the past 10 years, ad spending on broadcast TV has risen 40
    percent, while the number of viewers has dropped by almost 50 percent
  • Upfront CPMs for TV broadcast spots increased 7.3 percent in 2004/2005 and 2.6 percent in the 2005/2006 season
  • The cost of a Super Bowl ad has increased 14 percent between 2003 and 2006, yet the audience shrank.


Research from Forrester and the ANA predicts that by 2010 traditional TV advertising will be only one third as effective as it was in 1990!

Many recent surveys show that marketers across the board are spending more online:

  • BtoB Magazine: 72 percent of marketing execs worldwide plan to increase their spending online in 2006
  • ANA: 80 percent of advertisers say they will spend more of their budgets on web ads
  • TNS Media Intelligence: 49 percent of CMOs at Fortune 500 firms plan to increase their online ad spending by 30 percent


What are dealers going to do 5 or 10 years from now? Will they still be placing ads in the newspaper and spending thousands on TV and radio ads?

Read the entire article by Geoff Ramsey

(Thanks for the link Matt)

Hey Jeff:

I spent 11 years in advertising sales for a regional cable television system. Being there when it all began, I was able to watch as the (then new) concept of placing localized television commercials within National class programming - make television advertising a reality for dealerships in many markets. Dealers especially benefited in major markets where broadcast television advertising just wasn't financially viable.

Now what I see beginning to happen, and become an option for regional dealerships is geo-targeted advertising on National calibre websites. Ad sizes have standardized, and there is now a viable case for agencies to put together media plans which include a variety of National sports, news, entertainment and enthusiast websites.

Not only will dealerships increasingly be able to consider incorporating Flash ads on,,,, and dozens of of "national" websites - with geographically targeted exposure.

Couple that with the use of Flash animated ads, and the ads themselves are not simply - "click through to my websites" ads - but they can deliver enough message and garner enough excitement to bring the campaign's essential advertising message onto the screen itself - and can deliver the dealership's sales message without clicking through to anywhere.

I was recently asked to prepare just such a media plan for a small dealership group. They were considering taking their television budget and moving it to just such an online plan. The $45,000 monthly budget included online ads on major area radio and sports team, and newpaper sites as well, and would deliver 2.35 million ad impressions each month.

Although the dealership didn't pull the trigger in this case, just the fact that the plan was seriously considered, to me, shows that this transition will be happening for real more and more.

- Jeff Bonnell
  • J
    Jake Wirth
  • October 30, 2006
Thanks for all the great data Jeff and Mr. Bonnell!

I think this information brings a lot to light that all us Gen-X, Y & Z'ers have known for a long time now.... Traditional TV (and old-school advertising in general) is of a dying breed! Until TV conglomerates and Newspapers alike find a magical way to:

Effectively measure the amount of impressions made on their audience, the amount of leads generated from that advertising and can justify the ridiculous amount of $$ they want for that 30-second spot after that Late Night Re-Run nobody watches....

They WILL see the same demise as the great Disco Music I am so happy to have been born after!

Why would a savvy Dealership throw money into the dark hole that is local TV advertising without ANY WAY of measuring the results generated from their hard-earned $$'s spent? Especially when they can INVEST in Web-based advertisements and a good CRM tool that will track the results of their advertising and provide them with accurate data. They can then analyze the data from their advertisements and decrease the amount of advertising $$'s spent and see an increase in ROI along with a LOWER cost per sale?

Just my two cents Mr. Kershner!
Well I always like when an online entity sends out data on how the market is changing. I whole heartily agree that the market is changing and my generation X plus the y’s and the next are tech savvy and online. I would not however say pull your TV advertising or for that mater any of your advertising. It is time to change the way you look at it. The key I see if frequency and longevity. You need to hit your target where they are and with great creative to get them involved with your brand. That being said frequency is the easy part. Be there on the FM radio when their alarm goes off in the morning, hit them when they turn on the tube for the traffic report or morning sport cetner, or morning videos. Then sponsor al local pod cast, place a radio by with the local independent, top rated, or news stations. Buy some online advertising with local sports teams, online news papers, online automotive classifies, Vehix, Edmunds, or some other geographic targeted online advertising. Hit them again on their ride home and then be on their favorite TV shows. Have a multimedia marketing mix and stay with it. Stop thinking about what is going to sell me more cars this month and start thinking about a plan that will sell you more cars year over year!

Just make sure you are targeting your customers with the right message at the right time. Hit them in every step of the sales funnel with. Don’t buy what you watch or listen to unless you are your targeted demographic and please find yourself a niche so you will be around in 5 years.