This has not been a good year for automotive sales, and domestic car dealers are doing particularly badly. A recent study released by Autobytel surveyed hundreds of auto dealers to find out how the recession is affecting them and what they are doing about it. While the news is bad all around, domestic car dealers in particular are feeling the downturn, with 73% reporting lower sales this year than last.
According to this survey, one of the main strategies to deal with the lagging sales is to increase the amount of their budget spent on Internet marketing. 69% of the dealers surveyed reported that they will increase their spending online, contributing to a 91% that will either spend the same or more than they did last year on Internet marketing. Interestingly, the brands surveyed reporting the strongest sales gains in 2008 — Honda, Hyundai and Nissan — also ranked as the top three brands with the highest percentage of dealers increasing their Internet marketing spend. Read more about the survey here.
This is a great opportunity for Internet radio to show local dealers that it can drive local sales online. Local Auto Dealers have long been a strong category for local radio stations. Extending these relationships into a campaign on the streaming side makes a lot of sense. Local broadcasters should package website banners, streaming audio, and maybe even video gateways to create online campaigns that can deliver results and show local auto dealers that they’re an excellent online option for their ad dollars.