Digital Automotive Advertising Drives $15B in 2015 Local Revenues

Automotive will drive $15.13 billion in local advertising in 2015. That’s according to BIA/Kelsey’s 2015 Insights into Local Advertising report released today.

The Automotive industry, which has returned to strong growth on improved economic conditions, low fuel prices and the largely unanticipated transportation needs of Millennials, who have become the largest car-buying generational cadre in the past year. We project the segment will continue to grow at a three-percent compound annual rate through 2019.

The Automotive category includes: 1. Auto dealers & manufacturers 2. Other motor vehicle dealers 3. Auto parts & accessory stores 4. Tire dealers 5. Gas stations & auto repair. Collectively, these auto segments account for 11.1 percent of all local advertising in the United States.

Car and light-truck advertising remains heavily dependent on television advertising, with 33.9 percent of local ad spend going to television. However, digital advertising is the sole growth category in automotive, increasing by 12 percent annually. BIA/Kelsey estimates that digital, which represented $2.78 billion in local spending in 2015, will account for 30 percent of automotive advertising by 2019. All of the anticipated $2.3 billion in market growth over the next five years will come in digital channels.

The report also examines the growing importance of Millennials to automotive industry growth, despite their long-reported indifference to driving. As they age into parenthood, Millennials are buying more cars than any other generation and can be expected to drive the industry’s transition to low- or no-carbon emissions and digital in-car entertainment and marketing.

“The auto industry and television came of age together as keystones of Twentieth-Century American culture,” said Dr. Mark Fratrik, report co-author, senior vice president and chief economist at BIA/Kelsey. “The two industries remain closely tied, with the auto industry being dependent on over-the-air television advertising, and all auto vertical subcategories relying heavily on traditional media to get their message to their audience. Looking forward though, digital is going to be very important by 2019, representing nearly one-third of automotive local ad spending.”

We also offer our guidance on preparing to use vehicle-generated data and in-dash displays, mobile and PC marketing, which will be responsible for much of the digital growth as the fleet turns over to a generation of digital-enabled cars and trucks. Location, personalization and programmatic advertising will be critical to connecting the in-car experience to marketing messages.

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The report is available for purchase in the BIA/Kelsey store. Advisory clients with portal access can login to download the report.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Jeanne Landau

    “The two industries remain closely tied, with the auto industry being dependent on over-the-air television advertising, and all auto vertical subcategories relying heavily on traditional media.”

    Thank you for pointing out that balancing a marketing campaign to mostly digital channels doesn’t work for all industries. Yes, digital will increase for auto advertising, but television and traditional channels are still performing well for this industry – so it’s important to continue making the investment into these forms.

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