Car companies often have a large marketing budget to work with — a privilege that not all businesses have. With increased interest in online platforms, digital visibility doesn’t come cheap — but is it worth the cost? Together with Vindis, providers of Audi servicing, we investigate.
The motoring industry
According to Google’s Drive to Decide Report, 85% of individuals living in the UK aged 18 and over own a smartphone. In addition to this, 65% choose a smartphone as their preferred device to access the internet. These figures show that for car dealers to keep their head in the game, a digital transition is vital.
Other statistics in the report revealed:
• 90% of auto shoppers carry out research online.
• 51% of buyers start their auto research online.
• 41% of those use a search engine.
How can car dealers capture these online researchers? They must think in terms of the customer’s micro moments of influence, which could include online display ads – one marketing method that currently occupies a significant proportion of car dealers’ marketing budgets.
Behind the retail sector, the automotive industry accounted for 11% of the total UK Digital Ad Spending Growth in 2017. The automotive industry is forecast to see a further 9.5% increase in ad spending in 2018.
Most of car purchases take place on the dealership forecourt, but information online can still influence decision making. 41% of shoppers who research online find their smartphone research ‘very valuable’. 60% said they were influenced by what they saw in the media, of which 22% were influenced by marketing promotions – proving online investment is working.
The automatic sector places most of their marketing budget into TV and radio adverts. But in the last past five years, it is digital that has made the biggest jump from fifth most popular method to third, seeing an increase of 10.6% in expenditure.
The fashion industry
Online retail is becoming more important for fashion companies. Figures show that online sales in the fashion industry reaching £16.2 billion in 2017! This figure is expected to continue to grow by a huge 79% by 2022. So where are fashion retailers investing their marketing budgets? Has online marketing become a priority?
Ecommerce accounted for almost 25% of all fashion purchases in December 2017. This is as online brands such as ASOS and Boohoo continue to embrace the online shopping phenomenon. ASOS experienced an 18% UK sales growth in the final four months of 2017, whilst Boohoo saw a 31% increase in sales throughout the same period.
Large brands have invested millions into online marketing to attract the online shopper. John Lewis announced that 40% of its Christmas sales came from online shoppers, and whilst Next struggled to keep up with the sales growth of its competitors, it has announced it will invest £10 million into its online marketing and operations.
Buyers are happy to shop from their home nowadays, or via a smart device when they’re on the move.
Influencer marketing is up and coming to. In fact, according to PMYB Influencer Marketing Agency, 59% of fashion marketers increased their budget for influencer marketing last year – an essential marketing tactic in the fashion industry. In fact, 75% of global fashion brands collaborate with social media influencers as part of their marketing strategy.
In 2017, more than a third of marketers said that influencer marketing is more successful than traditional forms of advertising. 22% of customers are said to be acquired through influencer marketing.
The utilities industry
Many consumers are heading to comparison websites to find the right utility deal.
These types of websites are spending millions themselves on marketing campaigns. It has become vital for many utility suppliers to be listed on comparison websites and offer a very competitive price, in order to stay in the game.
The four biggest comparison websites are Compare the Market, MoneySupermarket, Go Compare and Confused.com. These are among the 100 highest spending advertisers in the UK, how does this investment reflect on them?
These types of sites can be the difference between a high rate of customer retention for one supplier and a high rate of customer acquisition for another. If you don’t beat your competitors, then what is to stop your existing and potential new customers choosing your competitors over you?
Utilities company, British Gas, has changed its marketing strategy towards customer retention as opposed to acquisition. Whilst the company recognise that this approach to marketing will be a slower process to yield measurable results, they firmly believe that retention will in turn lead to acquisition. The Gas company hope that by marketing a wider range of tailored products and services to their existing customers, they will be able to improve customer retention.
There will be an £100 million investment made into a loyalty scheme to offer discounted energy and services. The utilities sector is incredibly competitive, so it is vital that companies invest in their existing customers before looking for new customers.
This industry is also involved with the digital world too. 40% of all searches in Q3 2017 were carried out on mobile, and a further 45% of all ad impressions were via mobile too – according to Google’s Public Utilities Report in December 2017. As mobile usage continues to soar, companies need to consider content created specifically for mobile users as they account for a large proportion of the market now.
The healthcare industry
Marketing is very different for the healthcare sector due to heavy restrictions. The same ROI methods that have been adopted by other sectors simply don’t work for the healthcare market. Despite nearly 74% of all healthcare marketing emails remaining unopened, you’ll be surprised to learn that email marketing is essential for the healthcare industry’s marketing strategy.
It's been reported that around 2.5 million people use email as their primary means of communication. This means email marketing is targeting a large audience. For this reason, 62% of physicians and other healthcare providers prefer communication via email – and now that smartphone devices allow users to check their emails on their device, email marketing puts companies at the fingertips of their audience.
It’s also beneficial for the healthcare sector to invest in online marketing. Especially when you consider that one in 20 Google searches are for health-related content. This could be attributed to the fact that many people turn to a search engine for medical answer before calling the GP.
When it comes to health enquiries, research has shown that 77% of all health enquiries begin at the search engine. In fact, 72% of total internet users say they’ve looked online for health information within the past year. Furthermore, 52% of smartphone users have used their device to look up the medical information they require. Statistics estimate that marketing spend for online marketing accounts for 35% of the overall budget.
Social media is still important too. Whilst the healthcare industry is restricted to how they market their services and products, that doesn’t mean social media should be neglected. In fact, an effective social media campaign could be a crucial investment for organisations, with 41% of people choosing a healthcare provider based on their social media reputation! And the reason? The success of social campaigns is usually attributed to the fact audiences can engage with the content on familiar platforms.
Is marketing worth the heavy investment?
It’s clear that ROI varies by industry. For industries such as automotive and fashion, online marketing investment is critical! With a clear increase in online demand in both sectors that is changing the purchase process, some game players could find themselves out of the game before it has even begun if they neglect digital.
For other sectors, the picture is bigger. Whilst TV and digital appear to remain the main sales driving forces, its more than just creating your own marketing campaign when comparison sites need to be considered. Without the correct marketing, advertising or listing on comparison sites, you could fall behind.
Webstrategies.com has revealed that the average firm in 2018 is expected to spend at least 41% of their entire marketing budget on online advertising. This figure expected to grow to 45% by 2020. Social media advertising investments is expected to represent 25% of total online spending and search engine banner ads are also expected to grow significantly too – all presumably as a result of more mobile and online usage.
What do you think? Is it worth it? If mobile and online usage continues to grow year on year at the rate it has done in the past few years, we forecast the investment to be not only worthwhile but essential.
"59 of fashion marketers increased their budget for influencer marketing last year an essential marketing tactic. In fact, 75 of global fashion brands collaborate with social media influencers."
PMYB Influencer Marketing Agency
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