An issue that marketers and media specialists at car brands face every day, is the question if they can improve the return on investment (ROI) of their campaigns by allocating budget differently? With the vast changes in the media landscape this question is now more than ever relevant.
The average time spent using digital media per day will surpass TV viewing time for the first time this year, according to an estimate of media consumption among US adults by eMarketer. The average adult will spend over 5 hours per day online, including mobile non voice. The figure for watching television is 4 hours and 31 minutes. Daily TV time will be down slightly this year, while digital media consumption will be up 15,8%. In Europe TV viewing time differs somewhat per country. Just as broadband internet penetration and usage varies. The underlying reason why digital media are surpassing TV is found in the ever increasing popularity of smart phones and tablets. With 5 European countries in the top 10 of smart phone penetration and the US ranking 13th in the list, it seems very likely that in Europe digital media consumption is rising just as fast as in the US.
When it comes to spending marketing Euros in media, the auto marketers in Europe do not seem to change the leading media channel in integrated campaigns from TV to digital media. The majority of brands still focus on TV as their primarily channel of choice for informing consumers about their new models. We touched upon one of the reasons in the article Changing media landscape challenges automotive brand management. It comes down to the fact that the array of companies that realize the communication campaigns for the car manufacturers – media agency network, the creative networks – have high stakes in maintaining the status quo in the way advertising is conceived. And in some cases even the brand management sees it as a bold and hard to justify move to assign a higher budget to digital media than to television. Marketers need to be accountable for the plans they propose to their board. In such meetings the choice for television is often examined less critically than the choice for digital media as the dominant channel.
In the way to justify the move from TV to digital, marketers use data to attempt to prove to executives that digital dollars can deliver a better return on investment (ROI). The most widely tracked and valued digital key performance indicators (KPIs) are click through rates (CTRs) and leads generated. eMarketer says it loud and clear: these are fairly old school. More sophisticated analytics tools now become available rapidly. There has never been a better time for marketers in the auto industry to reconsider their measures.
As more and more data come available about website usage social media, mobile, dealer management systems, search advertising, the question, “what is really influencing prospects and what is converting them into customers?”, calls for a new reliable set of marketing KPIs. New digital analytics tools can solve the problem that marketers and media specialists at car brands face every day: how do I know what works and what does not? And can I improve the ROI by allocating more budget to digital ?
If you want to know more about the KPIs and tools, that I have implemented at various car brands, don’t hesitate to contact me.