A recent Cars.com dealer poll found almost two-thirds of auto dealers plan on boosting their online ad budgets next year (See our News story). Over 20 percent will continue current spending levels, and 18 percent will reduce spending. Though the announcement doesn’t draw out the exact number, we can assume the portion of dealers surveyed that will increase spending online is about 62 percent.
The two-thirds number is promising for auto sites like Cars.com, networks like Jumpstart Media, portals and other publishers. But I’m kind of surprised at the 18 percent that intend to decrease Web ad spending.
Are they getting less bang for their online buck? Are they frustrated by the dearth of contextually-relevant media, which when it comes to auto content, gets bought up about as soon as it’s offered? Is the demand for online auto content pushing up prices to an unpalatable level?
I’m sure advertisers will continue to snap up all the relevant online content out there. The fact is they want to be present when consumers are in-market, and that online research phase is crucial. However, more and more, advertisers are marketing through their own properties — microsites, blogs and the like. This could be a factor contributing to the decision to lower spending.
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