What Auto Dealers Say About Media

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Auto-ChartAutomotive is always one of radio’s top advertising categories. Now, Borrell Associates CEO Gordon Borrell says there’s cause for concern.


Even after 20 years of scaling back their advertising dollars away from traditional media into digital advertising, dealers aren’t done yet, he cautions.

He’s not predicting whole-scale cutbacks, but rather a shifting of ad dollars away from “inferior” media companies, Borrell posts on LinkedIn. “Dealers are simply shutting the door on companies that keep sending reps who see digital media as a competitor, not a complement.”

“Car dealers are reporting that they get called on by sales reps an average of 84 times per month. The average for all SMBs is 25,” says Borrell.

He calls the trend a “thinning of the pack.”

Car dealers are now rating “online ads” on par with TV spots as a leading source of leads. “Social media” is not far behind TV, Borrell says from speaking with dealers.

The information is contained in Borrell’s annual outlook on auto advertising, due out later this month.


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