In 2016, car dealers spent around £115.9 million in online display and direct mail according to figures released in Google’s Car Purchasing UK Report in April 2017 — but this is no surprise.
Unlike many companies across different sectors, the automotive industry usually has a large budget to play with in a bid to achieve their marketing objectives. With increased interest in online platforms, digital visibility doesn’t come cheap — but is it worth the cost? VW service, Vindis, investigates.
Marketing in the automotive industry
Research found in Google’s Drive To Decide Report discovered that automotive shoppers are more indulged in the digital world than ever before, with 85% of them using a smartphone and 65% using it as their preferred method of internet access. These figures show that for car dealers to keep their head in the game, a digital transition is vital.
With this news, it was also found that 90% of automotive shoppers carry out research online beforehand — suggesting that they’re using their mobile device to do so. 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.
To show how big of a player the automotive industry is when it comes to digital ad spend in the UK, eMarketer have suggested that the sector accounted for 11% in 2017 alone — putting them second place to the retail industry. The automotive industry is forecast to see a further 9.5% increase in ad spending in 2018.
As more people tend to purchase in-store when it comes to car shopping, is online marketing really effective? 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.
Although digital advertising spend is on the increase, with investments growing by 10.6% over the last five years becoming third on their list of investments – however, television and radio still seem to be more popular.
Marketing in the fashion sector
Recent digital developments have suggested that the death of the high street is upon us as more businesses move online — especially the fashion sector which brought in £16.2 billion in 2017 on online sales alone. 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 stated that ecommerce accounted for nearly 15% of all purchases; which is no surprise with the success of online shopping platforms like ASOS and Boohoo.com. 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.
To continue to drive digital sales, iconic brands are pledging their allegiance to greater online investment. 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.
Online shopping offers consumers an experience they’ve never had before; something which is more convenient to them — whether it’s shopping on their device at home or when they’re on their commute to work.
As the fashion industry continues to prosper online, it has been suggested that 59% of marketers have increased their budget from 2017. In fact, 75% of global fashion brands collaborate with social media influencers as part of their marketing strategy.
However, more businesses are beginning to see the power of influencer marketing and how it could be beneficial for their brand. It has been found that 22% of customers are acquired through this type of target marketing.
Marketing in the utilities sector
Looking at the utilities sector, more consumers are using comparison websites to find the best deal that meets all of their requirements — suppliers should be looking to position themselves on such platforms to both retain and capture customers.
Successful comparison websites allocate a great deal of their marketing budget to TV advertising; which can put your brand out there to the masses. This will allow you to position your business in the right way by offering a competitive price.
To show how much comparison websites are spending on TV advertising, it’s important to understand that the four largest (Compare the Market, MoneySupermarket, Go Compare and Confused.com) are listed within the top 100 highest spenders in Britain.
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, more brands are altering their strategies — for example, British Gas are now more interested in retaining their customers rather than acquiring new ones. 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.
A £100 million loyalty scheme is a new incentive that can provide discounted energy and services; while understanding any behavioural and spending habits they have over a historic time period to find out what they are looking for. The utilities sector is incredibly competitive, so it is vital that companies invest in their existing customers before looking for new customers.
Data released from Google’s Public Utilities Report in December 2017 found that in Q3, 40% of all searches were on mobile devices highlighting the importance of the 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.
Marketing in the healthcare sector
Marketing in healthcare is slightly different, as they usually must abide by a lot of guidelines with what they’re trying to say. 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.
One channel that marketers are taking more advantage of is email advertising; with 2.5 million people 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.
One in 20 Google searches are health-related queries, meaning that online avenues are essential for healthcare marketing. This could be attributed to the fact that many people turn to a search engine for medical answer before calling the GP.
We’ve all searched a health-related query, especially with 77% of such enquiries starting at the search engine. 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 marketing is another route 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.
Online marketing is crucial for most industries; especially as the world becomes more digitally hooked. 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.
But when it comes to the utilities sector, you must remember the power and influence comparison websites can have and tailor your campaign appropriately. Without the correct marketing, advertising or listing on comparison sites, you could fall behind.
This year, it is thought that businesses will dedicate 41% of their marketing budget to online growth; which will increase 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.
Is the investment worth it 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.