Every sector budgets different for online display and direct spend here in the UK, but figures from Google’s Car Purchasing UK Report 2017 suggests that automotive dealers spent £115.9 million in 2016 alone.

It’s common knowledge that automotive manufacturers have a great budget to use when it comes to producing effective marketing campaigns. With increased interest in online platforms, digital visibility doesn’t come cheap — but is it worth the cost? Audi service plan providers, Vindis, investigates.


Advertising in the automotive industry

More shoppers are now digitally aware and are using this to their advantage when it comes to reading up about products online — 65% of people have even chosen their smartphone as the go-to device for internet access according to Google’s Drive To Decide Report. These figures show that for car dealers to keep their head in the game, a digital transition is vital.

With this, it was found that 90% of automotive shoppers carry out research online before making any decisions. 51% of buyers starting their auto research online, with 41% of those using a search engine. To capture those shoppers beginning their research online, car dealers 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.

Being listed just behind the retail industry when it comes to spend, eMarketer have suggested that the automotive sector accounts for 11% of digital ad spend growth in the UK. The automotive industry is forecast to see a further 9.5% increase in ad spending in 2018.

As most people buy automotive products in-store, what benefits can be offered through online strategies? 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.

Despite the 10.6% growth in investments over the past five years for digital platforms, TV and radio advertisements remain to be the monopoly for the automotive industry.


Advertising in the fashion industry

Online fashion sales peaked for retailers in 2017, hitting an astonishing £16.2 billion — highlighting how important online investment actually is for retailers. 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?

Research released by the British Retail Consortium suggested that a quarter of all purchases were from ecommerce in December 2017; showing that online shopping brands such as ASOS and Boohoo are making the right moves with their digital strategies. 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.

Super brands are beginning to set aside larger budgets for their online operations. 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.

The shopping experience has changed for good, as online alternatives allows consumers to surf ecommerce websites when and where they want and place orders at times that are more convenient for them.

59% of those marketing fashion brands allocated a greater amount of their budget to influencer marketing too. In fact, 75% of global fashion brands collaborate with social media influencers as part of their marketing strategy.

With more consumers being acquired through this type of marketing — 22% — more than a third of marketers believe that it exceeds traditional marketing measures.


Advertising in the healthcare industry

Marketing in the healthcare sector can be slightly more difficult, especially with the number of regulations that follow. 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.

Email communication is picking up again too, with an estimated 2.5 million using it as a main route 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.

With one in 20 Google searches being a health-related query, it’s obvious that online marketing is something that should be looked into. This could be attributed to the fact that many people turn to a search engine for medical answer before calling the GP.

Research found from Pew Research Center suggests that a large 77% of health questions start within a search engine — showing that information is being accessed more easily. 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.

Are you forgetting about social media marketing? 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.


Advertising in the utilities industry

More consumers are looking at comparison websites to find the best utility supplier for their needs; and these sites could be the key to achieving long-term marketing objective — whether this be retaining current customers or gaining new ones.

You’ve probably noticed the countless television adverts from comparison websites and this only highlights the importance of businesses to be listed on them to get as much exposure as possible and to be ahead of the competition.

Listed within the top 100 highest spending advertisers in the UK are four of the largest and most known comparison websites: Compare the Market, MoneySupermarket, Go Compare and Confused.com. Comparison 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?

With this in mind, British Gas have released new objectives that allows them to have a core focus on consumer retention rather than 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.

Google’s Public Utilities Report released in 2017 suggested that 40% of all searches in Q3 of that year were done on a smartphone — not only that, 45% of ad impressions were on the same device. 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.


Making the investment commitments

Of course, online investment is more critical for the automotive and fashion industry. 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.

Utility businesses need to be looking at how they can take advantage of comparison websites and how exposure from their TV advertisements can be beneficial. Without the correct marketing, advertising or listing on comparison sites, you could fall behind.

By 2020, it is expected that online marketing budgets will rise to 45% from the current 41%. 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 decisions will you be making for your business? 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.




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